Insect Tips



Several species of spider mites can damage turfgrass in Colorado: clover mite, banks grass mite, and brown wheat mite.

Most damage occurs during early to midspring. Damage to turfgrass is primarily related to dry conditions and turfgrass stressed by drought.

Base all control programs on adequate water to the site. This includes fall and winter watering as needed since populations of the mites can build up during this period. Under drought conditions, it is difficult to control mites.

The most important means of limiting grub injury is to grow a vigorous lawn. Healthy, well-watered lawns can tolerate grub feeding more easily than weakly growing lawns. White grubs, however, are among the most difficult soil insect pests to control.

It helps in the identification and control of the insects.

Some insects have chewing mouth parts while others have piercing or sucking mouth parts. Understanding how the insect feeds will aid in determining what is the best control.

Understanding the insect life cycle helps predict when damage can be expected and when the pests are vulnerable to control.

The stages are egg, larvae, nymph, and adult.

They include white grubs, billbugs, webworms, and armyworms.

Insects usually damage a lawn by their method of feeding. Grubs eat roots, billbugs feed on the crown, and sod webworms feed on the blades.

Green bugs and chinch bugs suck the juices from the plant.

Animals like skunks and raccoons dig up areas looking for insects.

When you suspect insect damage, the best way to diagnose a problem is to get down on your hand and knees and examine the turf. Look for insects or signs they have been feeding on leaves, roots, or the crown.

Some ways include "flushing" with soapy water, applying excess water causing insects to "float" to the surface, or by setting traps.

It is usually a sign that the birds are feeding on sod webworms.

This probably means sod webworms, cut worms, or army worms have developed to an adult stage.

Although a healthy lawn provides extra food for the insects, they can endure a lot of insect feeding without showing much sign of the presence of insects.

Insecticides are considered the most effective. Some help is given by bacteria and nemadoes.

They include diazinon and sevein, but these are being replaced by pyrethrum in some cases. On the southwestern side of a house after a long dry winter, there is a lot of dead grass.

It appears two things are happening. There is a lack of moisture due in part to the direct rays of the sun. Thus, the dryness encourages the invasion of mites that feed on the grass.

No! A certain amount of the various insects are important to the lawn ecosystem. The problem arises when the numbers increase causing the ecosystem to be out of balance.

This is a problem. One or two per square foot is just part of the ecosystem. When the numbers increases, the real problem begins.