Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Now is the time for you to get on your hands and knees and bend down to hear the bugs chomping on your lawn, like the cereal…. snap, crackle, pop! Perhaps your Memorial Day picnic was ruined because you where getting bitten by ants, yuck! Let’s look at what you can do about some lawn insect pests.
Grubs, the C-shaped larval stages of certain beetles chew on the roots of grass plants causing millions of dollars of damage across the USA. Grub damage is usually seen when dead patches of grass are peeled back revealing the grubs in the top layer of soil. Understand the white grub life cycle before beginning your control plans. After their long winters nap, adult beetles move up to the surface in spring with an appetite to feed on your grass roots. After feeding for a few weeks they fly to an area driven by mating behavior. Late spring and early summer is one time to control grubs since they are near the surface. Jonathan Green’s Grub Control, which contains Imidacloprid, can give season-long control if applied at this time of year.
As grubs develop into final adult stage, mating and the laying of eggs happen from June through August. As young grubs emerge from these eggs, they burrow into the top layer of soil where they begin feeding on your lawns grass roots. The best time to control grubs is when they are close to the soil surface and they are young. Try Jonathan Green’s Pest Kill, which will control grubs and over thirty other insect pests that can affect your lawn.
Usually we want to get rid of ants so they do not enter our house or bite us when we roll in the grass. Ants build nests on the ground and find food left over from your most recent picnic or spilled soda. Removal of trees can also bring an abundance of wood burrowing ants to your yard. Anthills can become large enough to smoother the grass killing it. Nests built around grass roots may destroy the grass and ants have been known to chomp on grass seed too! Jonathan Green’s Lawn Insect Control can control the ants that damage your lawn.
Chinch bugs are pests that feed on the sap of grass plants. Their piercing-sucking mouth parts suck out plant juices while they inject a chemical, which clogs the plants vascular system. Chinch bugs are most damaging in open, sunny areas and prefer to feed on the lower leaf sheath, near the crown of the grass plant. Yellowish-brown areas turn rapidly brown and then into dead areas. This usually happens during warm summer months.
To identify chinch bugs, examine marginal areas of injured patches, spread the grass and look in the thatch near the soil surface. They have a distinct cross-winged pattern on their back. On warm, sunny days you should be able to see them scurrying around. Otherwise, you can try this easy method to determine if you have chinch bugs. First cut out both ends of a coffee can (after removing the coffee!). In an area where you suspect chinch bugs are present, soften the soil with some water and insert the can 2-3 inches into the soil. Fill the can with water almost to the top, wait five minutes and see the chinch bugs rise to the surface. Lawns which have received weekly, deep watering and those lawns which are growing vigorously can tolerant a large number of chinch bugs without showing damage. Natural predators such as ground beetles keep chinch bug populations from getting out of hand. Lawns that contain endophyte-enhanced grass seed varieties, like Jonathan Green’s Black Beauty grass seed, provide resistance to chinch bugs. Jonathan Green’s insect controls are labeled for chinch bugs so be sure to check the timing instructions.
There are a number of other lawns insects, some that damage the lawn and those that are just nuisance pests. These include billbugs, ticks, sod webworm and more. Remember to read all label directions carefully to better insure your timing and rates of applications for the most success.Back