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Lawn Care Management Information
Normal Lawn Maintenance
Insects to Watch
There are many different pests that can negatively impact the health of your lawn. The table to the right highlights insects that are commonly found on residential lawns. Not all pests are present at the same time of year, and not all of them affect the same layers of your lawn. Some pests can damage turf from underneath by harming root systems. Others breed in the thatch buildup under healthy leaves of existing turf.
To figure out what kind of pest you need to treat your lawn for, utilize one of the tests described here. The table to the right lists the best test to use for each suspected kind of pest. These tests range from driving a cylinder into the soil and filling it with water to flush out the insects, to simply turning over a patch of turf and shaking the grubs loose. It is important to be sure of what pest you are addressing to target your treatment appropriately and avoid using options that will be harmful or ineffective.
List of Common Lawn Insects
|Turf will appear to be experiencing drought stress. Skunks, raccoons, and crows will dig for the grubs. Turf may be able to be rolled back.||
Adult: Pheromone traps
Larvae: Soil Sample
|Billbugs||Jul-Sept||Areas wilt and do not recover if watered. Sawdust-like material in thatch buildup. Turf may easily be tugged loose.
Adults: Soapy Flush
Larvae: Core Float
|Chinch bugs||Jul-Aug||Wilted or browned areas. Worse in sandy and sunny areas. About 1/5 of an inch long.
||Adults: Can Float
||Jun-Aug||Burrows surrounded by brown patches. Green frass possibly present.
Adults: blacklight trap
Larvae: Soapy Flush
||Apr-Aug||Discrete brown areas that become contiguous later. Common in late spring in sunny areas.
Adults: Visual observation at twilight
Larvae: Soapy flush
Fungi and Infections Common to Turfgrasses
List of Common Fungi That Affect Turfgrass
||Matted grass covered with white-grey or pinkish white mycelium. Reddish, brown, or yellow sclerotia may also be present
||Grows on cold, wet turf incubated by snow cover. The Pink variety is heartier and can also damage root systems.
|Rusts||Jul-Oct||Irregular pattern of orange, yellow, or rust-colored pustules on the grass blades. Produces powdery orange spores.||Can be a sign of low nitrogen content in soils. Most common when nights are cool with heavy dew and light, frequent rainfall.
|May-Oct||Pink or red gelatinous mycelium on leaves. Small pink cotton candy-like puffs of spores present||Grows in areas with poor nutrition, and more common in cool, wet conditions. Can survive for long periods.
||Jun-Sept||Straw colored silver dollar-sized spots. White mycelium can be observed when wet. Leaf has bands of brown or reddish-brown||Spreads mechanically through mycelium. Common in warm, humid areas. Targets leaf tissue, but usually does not harm roots.
||May-Sept||1-3 inch patches of light brown turf. Light grey mycelium around the edge of the patch can be observed when wet.||Thrives on succulent turfgrasses with high nitrogen levels in humid conditions.
Common Residential Weeds (Click blue text for examples)
|Kinds of Weeds
||Apr-Jul||Period of peak germination.
||Aug-Nov||May develop seed heads earlier in the year if the weather is fair
||May-Jul||Sedges can be identified by their triangular, solid stems. Grasses normally have round, hollow stems.
|Winter Annual Broadleaves (Dead Nettle Depicted)
||Aug-Nov||Period of peak germination.|
|Summer Annual Broadleaves (Carpetweed Depicted)
||Period of peak germination.|
||Period of peak germination.|
List of "Safer" Pesticides
- World Health Organization:The WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard and Guidelines to Classification 2009
- Texas Cooperative Extension: Earth-wise Guide to Products Toxicity Rating
- Our Water Our World: Less-Toxic Product List, 2018
- National Pesticide Information Center: Main webpage
- Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets: Database of pesticides registered in the Kelly Licensing System
- UMass Extension: Turf Best Management Practices