We have noticed elevated chinch bug activity in NH this summer, especially in the New London area. Any unusual browning surrounded by healthy green grass is suspect and may have chinch bugs. Brown spots may appear as small pockets or larger patches and they will slowly grow in size. If your lawn has unusual browning that just does not look right, please give us a call or e-mail for a free consultation.
Posts Tagged ‘lawn pests’
The Japanese beetle posses a double threat, both as a ravenous adult beetle chewing on ornamental trees and flowers as well as its juvenile stage as a white grub damaging lawns. Given the unpopular disposition of this outdoor pest, it may come as no surprise that many homeowners look to reduce its damage both above and below ground. How can a regular citizen stop sand cherries, crab apples, and roses from being defoliated by this hungry pest? If you listen at night, in the quiet you can almost hear the crunching as the adult Japanese beetle feasts on its favorite plants in your landscape. I almost forgot about the lawn! White Japanese beetle grubs enjoy chewing the roots off your lawn, especially in the spring and fall. A grub population will sever grass roots turning grass brown and attracting skunks and crows that do even more damage. The Japanese beetle is truly double trouble above and below ground to any home owner with a sunny lawn and some plantings.
Effective control measures target the grubs in the ground, reducing them while still small in size with a variety of treatment options from standard to organic in composition. Controlling the larvae or young version of the beetle is not only the most effective means of reducing damage to your lawn and landscape, it is also the least expensive. Treating the adult beetle is difficult because they are strong fliers and enjoy going out to eat. Spraying your plants after the adults emerge with successive treatments will reduce population levels and damage to your foliage. An added benefit of treating your lawn for Japanese beetle grubs is also controlling other pests who can also inflict harm, such as rose chafers. Even the best looking lawn is no match from the younger form of the Japanese beetle and other white grubs.
A quick word on pheromone traps, the classic “bag a bug” solution. These things work well, real well, so well in fact that they call in adults from miles around . . . all to your property. Like a good BBQ, they will come, eat some shrubs, mate, lay eggs in your lawn, and then fall into the trap. If you are determined to use one of these pheromone traps, at least put it in the woods or far away from your lawn and landscape as possible. A better solution is to consider treating your lawn or doing a few spot sprays on susceptible plants as necessary to keep them healthy and with some leaves before fall arrives.
For more information on these services and more provided by Chippers, just call or shoot us an e-mail.
Chinch bugs are small insects that can make your lawn appear as though it’s dry but is actually slowly killing it before your eyes. The adult chinch bug is a small insect that can be seen darting around in the thatch layer or surface of the lawn. The adult is black with a characteristic white diamond on its back while in the young stage, it is bright red and orange; very easy to see if you look close enough.
The chinch bug does damage by piercing the stem of the grass blade and sucking out the juices like a vampire. Unable to restore or keep up with this moisture loss, turf slowly dies and appears as yellowing or brown patches that can coalesce into larger areas.
I have included two pictures taken last week that clearly illustrate chinch bug damage Notice that the picture (seen above) of the more recent damage appears as small brown areas that can easily be mistaken for drought stress or a hot spot in the lawn. The rear lawn (see below) is severely damaged and the front lawn still under attack from chinch bugs overwintering and beginning their reign of terror this spring. The damage appears as razor stubble, for lack of a better analogy, where the grass is still rooted but the tops are dead, leaving only a small piece of the crown and old leaves behind like razor stubble or five o’clock shadow. This lawn will be treated once to knock the chinch bugs back so no further damage occurs. Seeding will be done in the future to restore lost turf.
Left unchecked, chinch bug populations can explode in one season, destroying large portions of your lawn right underneath your weekly mowing schedule. What you think is a dry lawn is really a lawn under attack, perishing from the small, yet determined chinch bug. Since chinch bugs can have two full generations per year in NH or VT, a lawn that becomes infested can quickly succumb in a matter of months, requiring treatment and renovation involving seeding and thatch removal.
If you suspect your lawn does not look right and has unusual browning or coloring, call in a professional before a costly lawn renovation is necessary.
Grubs in your lawn right now and into the fall are likely hidden beneath brown grass. While crows and skunks may alert you to this lawn problem, grubs are growing fat thanks to the hot, dry summer. Grubs destroy the root system (or whatever it is they do!) so it is important to take action against this lawn pest. What is a home owner to do?
Take action this fall before winter arrives. To reduce the grub population, your lawn can be sprayed several times with cedar oil for an organic approach or more traditional products can be applied. One hundred percent control should not be expected since the larger the grub, the harder they are to knock down. Any reduction in the population will be helpful, especially if you have animals digging on a nightly basis. The same method of grub reduction can be employed next spring for additional results. I do not normally endorse wide spread use of preventative action toward insects in general, mostly because in a normal year insects are usually kept in balance. However, this dry, hot year is anything but normal, so added control measures are certainly prudent. The best approach for lawns with a history of insect damage would be to consider a preventative treatment in 2013 which will provide the highest degree of satisfaction.
If your lawn has experienced severe damage, renovations are better done this fall including seeding, topdressing, liming, and fertilizing to help set the stage for 2013. Failure to repair damage this fall means you miss out on warm soil, cool nights, and generally warm days; ideal grass growing weather. An added bonus is the absence of annual weeds and crabgrass which will not interfere with fall seeding results compared to waiting for the spring of 2013 when they will thrive. In general, seeding is best done in the fall because of these important factors.
If you suspect your brown lawn has more than a water issue, give your local turf expert a call and get it checked out before you carve that Halloween pumpkin!
I visited many lawns this past week infested with grubs, chinch bugs, and even ticks. The picture below illustrates classic chinch bug damage with active chinch bugs feeding as adults. The picture to the right is that of an adult chinch bug. The lawn was thatchy and not a current client but certainly needs some help from my program. Left untreated, these adults will have lots of kids and spread to other areas, causing further damage this spring. Recommended treatment for chinch bug is a surface insect control, either organic or traditional in nature to stop the feeding. Aeration and seeding may also be warranted to help restore the turf area for a more pleasant view versus brown thatch. If you suspect insect damage, be sure to contact a local professional for a lawn inspection, not an over the phone lawn quote from a satellite.