Lawn Care Tips – Pests
Keeping your lawn healthy and well fed is your first line of defence against pests and diseases. Most of lawn pests and diseases thrive better where the lawn is damaged, weak or otherwise not in the best shape. You should check your lawn often for any presence of pests and diseases and remediate immediately if you spot any problems or issues. However please note that not all insects are pests and some or most common insects will not harm your lawn. Insects such as ladybugs are beneficial for your lawn as they help keep other more damaging pests at bay (by feeding on them). If you spot anything unusual (damage to your lawn, areas that do not look healthy or are covered by insect droppings, cocoons, silk, sticky oozy substance, warped up leaves etc.) or have any questions about the possibility of pests being the problem in your yard, please consult your Maxigreen professional.
Following are some of the common pest problems found in Edmonton and area.
Dew Worms: In general dew worms are beneficial for your soil by recycling the waste and making nutrients more available for your lawn and vegetation. However, in some instances, overabundance or dew worms can be problematic especially where your lawn’s soil consists of lots of clay which can be upturned by dew worms and when exposed to the sun create baked spots that are hard for the lawn to grow on.
Ants. Red, brown or black insects. A presence of few is to be tolerated as ants will remove lots of waste and disease from your lawn but the overabundance of which (or presence of ant hills or mounds) can be problematic for the property owner.
White Grubs. White grubs are actually larvae and can indicate the presence of several insect species in your backyard (June beetle, European Chafer, Japanese Beetle etc.). Depending on that type of insect or pest is making a home in your yard as well as extent of damage to , you may want to decide how you want to tackle the problem (in lesser instances you may opt to simply remove the beetle from your lawn but where the infestation is more severe you may want to consider applying the right kind of insecticide to treat the problem).
Chinch Bugs. Small insects that typically thrive in the thatch (the underlayer area of your lawn) and feed off lawn juices. As they feed off lawn juices, those pests can deplete the nutrient access to your lawn. You may not notice the damage and sunken areas those pests create until later in the season when lawn begins to thin and prepare for dormant season (late July or August) by which time it may be to late to remedy the problem. Insecticide is the best defence against chinch bugs if applied early.
Tip. To check your lawn for the chinch bug presence take an empty coffee can or similar container and remove both top and bottom from the can leaving the hollow cylindrical surface. Plant firmly the bottom area of the container by pushing it into your lawn (where you suspect chinch bugs to be present and fill with water). After few minutes insects will flow to the surface and you can easily distinguish chinch bugs by the white band on their belly and abdomen).
Sod Webworm. Also called lawn moth, is a very destructive pest that removes grass blades completely and can if left untreated cause brown spots (dead and skeletonized grass) on your lawn. Proper insecticide application is the best remedy and is recommended to be applied early to minimize the damage to your lawn by the insect infestation.
Turf Grass Scale, Adult yellowish bugs that feed on grass juice. Few are tolerable and will not cause damage to the lawn, if problem suspected, the remedy by applying insecticide in June or July when most young hatchlings will start to crawl.
Above are most common pests found in Edmonton and area, however, this list is not exhaustive or all infestations and problem insects. In some areas of the city, there have recently been reports of the increased presence of Dutch Lilly Beetle and other pest insects that can be very damaging to your lawn and garden plants. The non insect pests (include moles, gophers, mice etc.) too can presnet an issue for the property owner but are usually spotted and removed more easily by trapping or installing deterrants that will make your lawn a less attractive home for them. Please consult your Maxigreen professional for more info and if you suspect you have a problem with pest insects in your lawn.
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