Posts Tagged ‘milky spore’

Double trouble: the Japanese beetle

Published by mrgrass on July 25th, 2013 - in Lawn Pests, Bugs & Insects

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.

Double trouble, the Japanese beetle.

Double trouble, the Japanese beetle.

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.    

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

Grubs in your lawn

White grubs in your lawn in June are very difficult to reduce successfully because they are large.  Most grubs are best controlled when they are very small, which generally means a preventative treatment from June to September in NH or VT.  Treating existing grubs which are large are very difficult to control in June.  There are about six or seven types of grubs which are immature beetles and cause turf damage.  While milky spore has some effectiveness in warmer climates, it only controls one grub type and does not do well in colder New England soils; therefore it is not recommended as a useful tool in grub management.

June grub damage in a NH lawn

Grubs at this time of year are very easy to see because they are close to the surface and are as big as they will ever be before turning into beetles.  If your lawn is green and you see patchy yellowing, such as the picture above, grab a handful of grass and gently pull upward.  If you have grubs, you may see one on the first pull as I did in the picture below on a lawn evaluation call for help.  In some cases, extensive ongoing damage may require a swift and aggressive curative treatment to prevent hundreds or thousands of dollars in renovations.  With smaller patches, it may do just to let them be and then treat the next generation during the summer or early fall. This will provide a much more cost effective control and a high degree of satisfaction.

Grub in a NH lawn

Sunny lawns are predisposed to insect infestation because heat attracts pests such as white grubs.  Grubs are one of the most damaging lawn pests and are probably the most well known in gardening circles.  If you suspect grub activity, get a professional to take a look and by no means waste time and money applying milky spore.  Remember, turf management is all about proper pest identification, considering the options, and making a decision to treat or not to treat at the appropriate time.  Don’t let your lawn get eaten underneath your feet!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare

Grubs are eating your lawn right now!

Grub damage in a lawn

Grubs love a sunny lawn with warm soil

 

 

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!

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestShare
© Copyright 2009-2014 Chippers, Inc. All Rights Reserved.