Lawn insects can be controlled
June is typically a transition month from spring to summer. In terms of your grass or lawn, it is a time to be aware of increasing heat, mowing height, and the potential of insect damage.
Now is the time to raise your mowing height to 3-3.5” inches in both shade and sunny areas. In the sun, mowing high will help promote deeper roots which can minimize drought stress and subsequent browning. In the shade, longer grass maximizes the reduced sun light reaching the leaf so your lawn does better long term- reducing thinning. As I stated in my prior post on high heat, don’t mow when it is hot out and irrigate “hot spots” if you can to help reduce or lessen the effects of drought and summer heat.
Insect damage can occur in June from a variety of critters from chinch bugs, late stage white grubs, cut worm, sod webworm, billbug, and ticks are annoying to pets and humans. Many products exist to combat these insects which can cause minor to major lawn damage over a period of time. This is especially true if your lawn is brown as many assume this is just heat or drought damage. In fact, unusual browning within a green lawn can be a first visible symptom of insect activity. Left untreated, some of these pests will have a second generation in August, multiplying exponentially from the spring generation.
Insect control is usually divided into surface- above the ground or subsurface, below the ground. Many products are designed and should be used for different life stages and therefore are not interchangeable. What kills ticks by definition will not control white grubs of Japanese beetles below the ground. Also, trying to control certain grubs in July is futile given their life cycle or using the wrong product in the spring is just a waste of time with the wrong chemical in hand. There is preventative insect care and then there is curative care- both require specific timing and specific materials. Don’t just assume buying a bag of something and sprinkling it on your lawn in June will solve your problems.
A short statement on Milky Spore- Don’t use it in New England, it does not work and is a massive waste of money. Send me the check and I will at least send you a thank you note versus the chemical company taking your money and you have nothing in return. If you want organic insect control for grubs- Nematodes in the route you want to go, and it is actually proven to work in New Hampshire and Vermont- unlike milky spore that does not. Luckily, I use nematodes so if you are interested in that product, send me a note or response and I would be happy to respond on the logistics of this kind of treatment.
Ticks and other surface insects often need a perimeter spray on your lawn and into the surrounding woods or field to create a barrier. Many of these treatments are labeled for tick and other surface insects on your lawn like sod webworm, cutworm, chinch bugs and the rest of the gang. When used as directed by a professional, great control can be gained with a few treatments during the growing season. High populations of ticks often require several applications beginning in May into the summer months.
Another benefit of having a professional lawn care service like mine is the fact you get free monitoring during the season to inspect and bring to your attention potential issues. My licensed, experienced technicians will observe and make a note to either you and or me as to action that may be required to prevent unacceptable damage. Experience is the key here as I have said before in prior posts regarding employees of other, larger lawn care companies and the massive turnover they experience.
June is usually a great month to finish aeration, seeding, broadleaf weed control applications, grub control, tick control, high calcium lime, and a slow release fertilizer to prepare the grass for the upcoming summer. Remember, you are supposed to enjoy your lawn, not be a slave to it.