It can be tempting to ignore the leaf piles on your lawn, especially when there are so many leaves and you just do not have the time to clean them up. However, letting your leaf piles sit untouched all season may be inviting a large variety of pests to your property. Leaf piles are a huge attraction for pests because they are moist and dark, they are warm and insulated, and they serve as a potential food source. For these reasons, you need to add leaf removal to your lawn care and maintenance schedule for this year.

Leaf piles provide a moist and dark environment for pests.

Shaded area of a lawn with a pile of leaves in Grand Rapids, MI.

Dark, moist leaf piles provide the ideal environment for insects such as ants, beetles, and roaches. These pests tend to prefer confined, humid places that will keep them warm and comfortable, which is what attracts them to leaf piles. The dark environments provide them with a place to hide and breed.

Mosquitoes also love the moist environment that leaf piles provide. Mosquitoes only need a tiny amount of water to lay their eggs in, and moist leaf piles are perfect for that. If you don't clean up these leaves, you are creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Leaf piles provide warmth and insulation for pests.

Especially during the fall and wintertime (if you let your leaves sit around that long), critters like rodents and snakes are desperate to find a warm place to survive the harsh weather conditions. This is particularly true for mice and rats, who typically breed throughout the fall season and have multiple babies to feed and protect. Untouched leaf piles are the ideal environment for critters trying to get out of the cold because they provide warmth and insulation. The more you let your leaves pile up, the more warmth and insulation they will provide, and the more pests will come to inhabit them.

Leaf piles provide a potential food source for pests.

Pest crawling inside of leaf pile left on a lawn in Hudsonville, MI.

The little food chain of a leaf pile begins with insects; insects such as ants and earwigs prefer to feed on plant material and debris, making decomposing leaf piles their ideal food source. The diets of rodents like mice and rats often consist of the insects that feed off of the decomposing leaf piles, meaning that they can and will feed off of the insects that live in the leaf piles. These small insects can also attract families of spiders that will feed off of them. Next, the rodents that are attracted to the leaf piles by insects can also attract snakes, who typically feed on the rodents. By not removing your piles of leaves, you are inviting an entire food chain's worth of pests to your yard.

If you think about piles of leaves as a food source, you can see that leaf piles can have their own little ecosystem living within them.

Give us a call today to sign up for our leaf removal service!

Many homeowners have no idea how big of a problem untouched leaf piles can be for your property. While small amounts of leaves can decompose and actually provide some nutrients for your lawn, large leaf piles can attract tons of unwanted pests. Critters like ants, spiders, rodents, snakes, and even termites could be hiding in your unattended leaf piles right now. Call us at Rose Landscape Services to have our lawn care professionals clear your lawn of leaves today. We have been serving property owners in the Grand Rapids, Ada, and Cascade, MI areas since 2003 and we would be happy to clear your lawn for you. Give us a call today at (616) 293-0361 to sign up for our leaf removal service.