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Enjoy a lawn that’s healthy and pleasant for the whole family. Don’t let pests infest your beautiful lawn ruining whole patches of your grass in their hunger to thrive. Where you have a history of activity or conditions that favor infestation, keep out the insects through our prescribed lawn treatment, tailored individually to meet your lawn’s needs and optimize its performance.
You might think it’s drought, but the dry, damaged areas of your lawn near walkways and driveways could be chinch bug damage. These insects usually damage the lawn during the summer, when temperatures are in the high 70’s and above.
Symptoms first appear as bleached looking dead grass. If not stopped in their tracks, Chinch bugs can continue to spread into new turf, destroying large areas of your lawn. Chinch bugs release a toxin that will continue to damage your grass, making recovery of your lawn difficult in the case of severe chinch bug damage.
Chinch bugs can be identified as active, reddish nymphs, with a band of white on their back, feeding on the grass plants of your lawn. They become darker as they grow older, and in the adult stage, have black bodies with white, folded wings. When mature, they measure 1/6 of an inch. They are slow moving insects, and don’t hop, jump or fly.
To test for Chinch bugs, simply remove both ends from a metal can and press it into the ground, next to the damaged area of your lawn. Fill the can with water. If Chinch bugs are present in your lawn, they will float to the surface. Usually, the outer margin of the injured area of your lawn is a good place to look.
Another method of detecting the presence of the pests is to water small areas heavily, covering them with a white cloth. Shortly, the bugs will crawl up the grass blades, clinging to the surface of the cloth where they can easily be seen by turning the cloth over.
Chinch bugs should be dealt with directly through a proper lawn treatment. Call your Highpoint Lawn Service representative today to discuss how to best treat your Chinch bug infestation.
Different species of grubs present themselves at different times. Unlike the White Grub, which spends the winter deep in the soil, the Billbug grub does not present itself in the turf until early spring when it’s the wettest. Clay colored, the adult Billbug weevil moves out of hibernation during the first warm days of spring, feeds on your lawn, burrowing its eggs into grass crowns and the surrounding soil.
The adult beetles bear a long snout or bill, measuring 1/5 to ¾ inch in length. In four to 14 days after the eggs have been deposited, tiny grubs are hatched in the soil of your lawn. At ½ to ¾ inch in length, the grubs are legless, white, and have an orange-brown head and a dark humped back.
Though the grubs are not very big, their appetite can destroy large amounts of green space, which will have to be reseeded. Save yourself a headache and make it easy on your wallet. Kill Billbug grubs before they have their chance to feast. The best treatment time is mid to late Spring.
Unlike White Grub injury which is often localized into a definite area, Billbug grub damage thins the turf, killing your lawn and its natural abilities to fend off diseases. The Billbug Grub does its damage by chewing near the crown, devouring the roots of your grass slightly below the ground level.
Though you can’t see them on the surface, your lawn could be teeming with Billbug Grubs. If the Billbug Grub does serious enough damage to your lawn, you will have an expensive renovation process to deal with.
Cutworms can chew away the health of your grass, leaving uneven damage along the grass blades of your lawn. Cutworms have segmented bodies varying from 1 to 2 inches in length. Like Armyworms, they have three pairs of legs, with additional pro-legs or unjointed projections on the abdomen.
They usually have a dull color, often greenish-gray, brown or black, with lighter longitudinal stripes along the length of their back and side. The adult moths are a uniform pale brownish-gray, with a wing span of 1 ½ inches. These moths cause no damage to the turf.
But the cutworm larvae feed on your lawn at night, hiding in the debris or thatch on the surface of the soil during the day. They inflict damage by uneven chewing along the edge of the grass blades of your lawn. This can skeletonize the blades, completely severing the grass from its roots.
Cutworms are solitary feeders and don’t mass together to do damage like Armyworms. Most species of cutworms will produce only one generation a year. The adult moth lays eggs in late spring, depositing them on the grass blades, weeds and debris. Eggs will hatch in about a week, and the larvae will feed on your lawn until fully grown, riddling the grass blades, causing them to be scraggily and chopped.
At maturity, the larvae will dig cells in the soil, pupate and change into adult moths. Rarely will Cut Worms present themselves as a problem in a home lawn environment. They are much more common of a problem causing damage to closely mowed turf such as golf course putting greens.
Sod webworms can also damage the thick lushness of your lawn by chewing up the grass blades. Sod webworms are the larvae stage of the lawn moth’s life cycle. These worm-like insects are light brown and ½ to ¾ inches in length. Their segmented bodies have stiff hairs protruding from dark brown, circular blotches. Adult moths are a dull grayish-brown.
The female moth will fly over the turf in a jerky, zigzag pattern, dropping her eggs into your grass. Eggs will hatch in about 6 to 10 days, sprouting larvae that will damage your lush turf by chewing down the blades of your grass. Sod webworms often cut the grass blades in half, sometimes severing the entire plant at its crown. They may strip the foliage completely off in patches, causing a yellowish-brown appearance similar to drought damage. Usually Sod Webworm activity is not overly damaging to the average lawn.
Sod webworms spin silk-like tunnels in thatch or debris, remaining hidden during the day. Since their life cycle is no more than 6 weeks, most species can have several generations in a single growing season. All grasses are vulnerable to an attack by Sod Webworms.
Armyworms have plump segmented bodies that range from ¾ to 1 ½ inches. Their color is dull and varies from greenish – gray to brown. A yellowish – white mid-strip runs the length of its back and ends in an inverted "v" on the head. Three light-colored longitudinal stripes run along the length of each side. The Armyworm had three pairs of prominent legs and additional prolegs or unjointed projections.
The adult moth is dull brown and had a wing span of nearly 1 ½ inches. Eggs are laid on grass, shrubs and other low-growing plants. Larvae hatch in about a week and start eating immediately. Thousands of Armyworms may be produced within small areas. Damage first occurs in bright, warm sunlight. As the name implies, Armyworms move in "hordes" destroying most vegetation in their path. Attacks by Armyworms leaves the turf ragged and bare in a very short time.
Armyworms are unpredictable. One year they may go unnoticed, while the following year they might do extensive damage. However, when they do appear it is usually in great numbers.
The beetles appear in June and are abundant during July and August. They feed on the fruit, blossoms, and foliage of fruit trees, shade trees, and ornamentals. The beetles are about ½ inch long with metallic green bodies, coppery-brown wing covers, and 6 small patches of white hairs along the sides and back of the body. The Japanese beetle has a complete generation each year and spends about 10 months of the year in the soil as a grub.
The adult beetles start emerging from the soil during the last week of June and increases in numbers until they reach their peak in July. Emergence drops off sharply about mid-August, but a few beetles may still be around through September.
The female beetles deposit their eggs in moist soil. The eggs need ample moisture to promote hatching. Dry soil conditions during July and early August are not attractive to the females for egg deposition and hinder hatching of the eggs. Eggs normally hatch in about 10 days.
The tiny grubs start feeding on humus immediately. As they increase in size, they move close to the soil surface and start feeding on grass roots. They grow rapidly and will be about 1 inch long by late September. Most injury occurs during the fall and early spring as the mature grubs feed near the surface. The Japanese beetle grub can be distinguished from other grubs by the arrangement of hairs on the raster.
When the soil temperature starts to drop in the fall, they move down 6 to 12 inches in the soil where they over winter. In April, they move back up to the root zone and continue feeding. In late May and June, they change to the pupal stage and start emerging as adult beetles in late June.
Symptoms of grass damaged by grubs are dead, brown patches which can usually be rolled back like a carpet. The roots are severed by the grubs and there is nothing to anchor the turf to the soil. Such areas are often spongy when walked on. Damaged areas may be noticeable anytime from Spring until the grass browns off for Winter.
Yuck… what is that big bug? Well, it's not a dragon fly or a mosquito, it's a Crane Fly.
Crane Flies can either lay their eggs in water or in the soil. The females tend to find areas for their eggs near wet or moist areas, such as mud, wet moss, or under dead leaves. The female will place her abdomen just below the water's surface and the eggs sink to the bottom. Other females will place their abdomens right below the surface of the soil to lay their eggs.
From an egg form they become larvae (worm-like) that can be brownish, grayish, or even cream colored and their length varies from ½" to 3" inches. During the larvae stage Crane Flies are also known as "leatherjackets". The larvae stage is where the Crane Fly does most of its damage by eating on the roots and crowns of turfgrass. The damage will become noticeable during March and April. It can also be damaging to one's lawn if the larvae are present, because the moles and skunks will tear up a lawn looking to eat the larvae.
Next is the pupae stage what is also known as the "resting period". This is when the larvae hatch from the "leatherjackets" and transform into the Crane Fly. This resting period occurs during the winter months so come Spring, the Crane Fly is out and flying again.
The adult Crane Fly abdomen is about 2 ½" inches long and the wing span is about 3" inches wide. The adults' main purpose is to mate and lay eggs. The adults only live a few days and the females will lay their eggs within 3 to 17 days. The adults are basically harmless; they don't eat, bite or sting. The adults are essentially just a huge nuisance.
If you would like to add this protective service to your lawn service treatments, please contact our office today.
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