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Insect Pests on Lawns

Ants
Bronze Cutworm
Chinch Bug
Dew Worm
Sod Webworm
Voles

For all chemical controls, READ AND FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS THOROUGHLY BEFORE USE.


 
 
 
 
 
 
Ants

Plants Affected - Ants are mostly beneficial, feeding on other insects however in great numbers, tunneling will cause damage to root systems of plants/lawn.  They do not feed directly on plants, but rather on plant debris, rotting wood.

Symptoms:

  • Will see ants scurrying along, may see tunnels in lawns/garden if population is high.
  • May see them around aphid colonies—they feed on aphid’s honeydew excretions.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Keep garden debris free (ants are feeding on debris).
  • Pour boiling water down hills.
  • Keep area well watered-ants don't prefer wet areas.
  • Control aphid colonies.

Controls - Chemical

  • Pyrethrum
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Doktor Doom Residual (yellow can)

Bronze Cutworm

Plants Affected - Lawn

Symptoms:

  • Thinning of turf, grass chewed to thatch level.  If large populations around, they feed under snow cover and leave large areas of lawn cut right down to thatch level with few green stems remaining.

Life Cycle:

  • Adults emerge from pupae in the soil August/September, lay eggs.  Some hatch in two weeks - these feed until frost then can continue to feed under snow cover.
  • Remaining eggs hatch in spring, feed.  All then pupate, remain in soil until August.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • BTK

Controls - Chemical

  • If problem significant, water lawn thoroughly, then drench affected areas with Sevin

Chinch Bug

Plants Affected - Lawn

Symptoms:

  • Patchy, dead, yellowing sections in the lawn. To test for presence, shove open ended can into lawn, fill with water, if Chinch Bugs present they will float up

Life Cycle:

  • Adults overwinter in tufts of grass, under litter or on leaves in protected areas.  Adults emerge in spring, lay eggs on leaves, roots and soil  Insects are most active in hot, dry periods of weather.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Remove excess thatch
  • Heavy rains will drown your nymphs and bury eggs
  • Turf varieties containing endophytes show some resistance to damage

Controls - Chemical

  • Sevin, Grub Out

 

 

 
 
 
 
Dew Worm

Plants Affected - Lawn

Symptoms - Large bumps in lawn, mounds of ‘castings’ (clumps of soil) left on lawn

Controls - Cultural:

  • Dethatch lawn every 2-3 years
  • Maintain even lawn moisture (2.5cm every week); avoid heavily watered lawns.
  • Apply a thick layer of sand on lawn; sand irritates worms and they will burrow deeper into soil (as opposed to disrupting thatch layer)

Controls - Chemical:

  • Sevin; ensure you water lawn well before applying. Product should be drenched into soil, not simply sprayed onto grass blades. Apply two times, two weeks apart.

 

 
 
 
 
 
Sod Webworm

Plants Affected - Lawns

Symptoms:

  • Small white moths flying in zig zag pattern - mostly at dusk.
  • Large infestations will produce yellow/brown spots up to the size of a softball.
  • To determine if worms are present, pour a soapy solution over the spot - worms will wriggle to the surface.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Cut out excessive damage and re-sod or re-seed area.
  • Water beneficial nematodes into lawn.
  • BTK

Controls - Chemical:

  • Sevin (apply this in evening when larvae are actively feeding). Product should be drenched into soil, not simply sprayed onto grass blades

Voles

Plants Affected – Lawn areas, trunks of trees
 
Symptoms:
• Tunnels and mounds in lawn
• Trunks of trees have been chewed

Controls:
• Wrap tree trunks in fall with plastic tree coils.
• Spray lawn and yard border with Plantskydd repellant.