If the problem is expected then
pesticides can be applied in a timely manner and prevent
infestation from occurring and help save a lawn in advance. Some
infestations occur so slowly that you may not notice the damage
until the lawn is gone. In this case preventative pesticide
programs are an investment.
||The first thing
to remember is that not all insects are bad and many of them
are beneficial not only to the plant but to us.
Bees for instance pollinate and make honey
and the population is getting smaller through such misuse of
pesticides and other factors.
Secondly watering, fertilization, mowing, shading,
drainage or soil conditions that need amending may
be the culprits and these need to addressed first. If none of
those are the problem and there are no fungal diseases then it
will be insect damage. There are many well researched and
developed pesticides on the market but you must make sure you are
getting the correct one and must read the directions for
application. These are chemicals and not to be used without
caution. One pesticide will not kill all insects and each species
have a distinct poison that has to be used and a certain method of
application depending upon where the damage is being done; on top
of the ground or under the ground in the root system.
Some of the pests live under the ground and so you will
have to cut an area and peel it back to identify these.
Grubs, bill bugs, ground pearls, nematode infestation,
mole crickets tunnels.
Grubs and billbugs will be found here. Use a square foot
measurement and count the offenders. Rule of thumb if there are
more than 5 grubs or more than 1billbug use pesticide.
Some of the pests live in the thatch and debris area.
Some of the pests feed entirely in the grass blades and are
easier to spot and probably to kill with a contact spray.
Many of the pests seen are the same insect only
in a different form. For instance many moths which don’t do
damage lay eggs and then the young which are worms or caterpillars
do all the damage before turning into moths. These moths can be
seen well at night flying over the grass. Some of these are the
armyworm moth which is buff and gray in color; the fiery skipper
which is grayish buff with darker markings and cutworm moth which
is grayish brown with dark brown markings and longer, feather-like
Crane flies also lay eggs, which become larvae called
leatherjackets. They are voracious eaters work their usually from
the outside to the interior of the lawn. The brownish gray larvae
can be controlled with chlorpyrifos or diazinon.
Mites are very small and instead of eating the blades of
grass they literally suck the life from the plant. Infestation
makes the grass become brown and dry and not from lack of
moisture. On close observation you will see white moldy colonies
of the mites. Control by removing build up thatch and if it
is really bad apply diazinon.
Greenbug damage starts in the shady areas and spreads to
the sunny open area. These are deadly to the grass blades and can
completely kill a lawn if not halted. First they suck the sap out
of the leaves then inject a poison thereby killing the plant.
(control) At the onset of damage apply an Orthene containing
Ground Pearls are shaped like pearls and are attached to
the roots of the plants. They are small organisms and kill the
grass by sucking the juices out of the roots. The grass turns
brown and dies. Well-fertilized, watered and mown lawns are least
attacked. They prefer the sandier soils and drier conditions.
Bermuda and centipede are the grasses directly infested.
Lawns: Choices | States
| Diseases | Fertilizers | Irrigation | Mowing
| Pests | Weeds
a beautiful tomorrow!®