Treating Your Yard To Eliminate Weeds And Bugs
Spring has sprung here in Minnesota and those pesky weeds and insects are soon to follow. As a homeowner, it is challenging to keep up with all the maintenance a home requires, especially when it comes to your lawn care.
Why Bother With Lawn Maintenance
Taking care of your lawn is important, not only can it increase your homes value by improving the curb appeal, it is also proven to enhance your families quality of life.
Investing in your yards landscaping and other lawn services may seem bothersome, but damaging insects and weeds can rapidly overtake your grass and other plants, causing significant damage to your lawn, creating even more work for you and making it harder to maintain.
Diseases, Weeds, and Pests, Oh My!
There are many things to consider when caring for and maintaining a healthy lawn in Minnesota, including pest control and weed control.
Many lawn diseases are often the results of a fungus that use your grass as its food source. This can lead to those ugly brown patches, shredded/shriveled grass blades, or stunted growth.
Invasive weed species are also a contributor to lawn damage, common weeds found in Minnesota are crabgrass, dandelions, creeping bentgrass, and much more.
Another common source of lawn damage in Minnesota are insects that eat away at grass or other leaves from shrubs or types of worms that may be destroying roots which leads to nutritional loss for your plants.
Treating Your Yard
Taking Good Care Of Your Lawn
Before you treat your lawn, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of success and discourage the bugs from coming back. Mow the grass to the maximum height recommended for its variety, but avoid mowing more than one-third of the grass height at a time.
The chinch bug is know to live in the thatch, which takes up about ¾ of an inch, builds up over time and is the layer of dead grass clippings that builds up on the soil. Remove thatch thats built up to more than 1/2 inch deep using a thatch rake. If your thatch isnt this thick, aerate the soil with a manual or automated aerator or by using spiked lawn aerating shoes. These tolls will easily get rid of the thatched keep the cinch bugs out.
After youve treated your lawn, use lawn care resources such as applying compost, aged manure or other organic matter to improve the soil conditions. Use a slow-release fertilizer to further strengthen your grass. Avoid over-fertilizing, especially with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. This can leave your grass soft and more vulnerable to insect attacks.
Mow often to keep grass clippings short so theyre less likely to build up. When the weathers hot, keep your lawn well watered but dont overwater. Water during the cooler times of the day, such as early morning or towards evening to avoid burning the grass. In the fall, aerate and fertilize the lawn again.
Getting Rid Of White Grubs
Before treating a lawn for white grubs, remove any thatch buildup, mow the grass and remove the clippings. This helps the insecticide reach the soil.
Apply a granular insecticide to the lawn with a fertilizer spreader and then irrigate the lawn, using the manufacturer’s instructions as a guide.
The inexpensive generic all-purpose insecticides work well when used as part of a year-round lawn maintenance schedule, unless the lawn has a heavy infestation. In that case, choose one of the insecticides designed specifically for subsurface pests. I have used BioAdvanced Grub Killer with success. It also kills other common central Florida lawn pests, such as mole crickets and chinch bugs.
Some homeowners have success using non-chemical methods such as introducing nematodes into the soil.
Southern Armyworm Moth
Read Also: Starter Rope Lowes
Chinch Bug Damage Damage Identification
A lawn infested with southern chinch bug will display discolored patches which are usually in a circular in pattern this is most often confused with brown patch fungus.
The injury typically will occur first in areas the are water stressed, along the edges of the lawn or grass growing in full sunlight.
In infested lawn southern chich bugs will distribute vertically from the turf thatch down into the upper organic layer of soil. When Southern chinch bug infetations are high, the chinch bugs can be seen running over the grass blades.
Southern chinch bug mainly feed in the area of the plant between the turf thatch and the organic soil level.
Large numbers of chinch bug nymphs and adults will gather at the base of one plant, as they feed, chinch bugs will drain the sap from the grass until it withers, turning from a healthy green color to a brown-yellow color, and finally dies Once the feeding group has killed one section of grass stolons, they move as a unit to the next adjacent stolon, continuing their destruction of the lawn.
Attack Them At The Lawn Grub Phase
You’re relaxing with a drink on your porch when, all of a sudden, you’re hit by a large flying insect. You look down and see that the culprit was a beetlemore specifically, a June bug. These beetles are easily recognizable: 1/2- to 1-inch-long reddish-brown bugs with wings that form a hard shell when the insect isn’t in flight. The beetles themselves don’t do any harm to people, though the sticky legs can give you a shiver if the bug clings to you, and the sensation of stepping on one is decidedly unpleasant.
Harmless though the beetles are to people, it’s a different matter when it comes to a lawn or landscape. June bugs are the adult phase of the various species of insects in the Phyllophaga genus. The insect most associated with the common name of “June bug” is Phyllophaga longispina, although there are several other species also known by that name.
While the adult flying beetles do cause some damage to plants by feeding on the leaves and stems, the real problem lies in the immature larval phase of these insects. Known as white grubs, these larvae can wreak serious damage on the roots of lawn turfgrasses and other plants. In addition to P. longispina, a number of other common beetles produce white grubs in their larval stage, including Japanese beetles . Fortunately, all of these beetles can be handled in much the same way.
Read Also: Honda Hrx217k5vka Lowes
How To Prevent June Bugs
The easy answer is that preventing June bugs is largely a matter of controlling the larvae: the white grubs that dwell under the surface of lawns and gardens. Aside from the control measures described above, reducing your use of fertilizers and spray chemicals can help increase the number of natural predators that will kill grubs. Regular lawn dethatching may also help reduce lawn grub populations.
A landscape that is friendly to birds will also help, as larger birds will eat adult June beetles, and some species may dig up and eat the grubs. Large bats are nocturnal feeders that often consume June bugs. Finally, the presence of small predatory creatures such as toads and snakes can help control June bugs.
- Do June bugs bite?
- Are June bugs attracted to light?
Like many night insects, June bugs are attracted to porch and yard lights. To reduce the number of insects, keep these light sources off during outdoor nighttime recreation.
- Do June bugs eat roses?
The common June bug, Phyllophaga longispina, does not feed on roses. However, the Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, can seriously disfigure roses as well as many other ornamental and edible plants. Japanese beetles also produce grubs in their juvenile phase, which can be controlled in much the same way as common white grubs.
Japanese grubs, unlike June bugs, are highly active during the day. A common method of control is to pick them by hand and drown them in a container of water.
Cost Of Diy Bed Bug Removal
To successfully terminate a bed bug infestation, you almost always need a professional. Professionals have the training to locate and identify bed bugs and have the necessary equipment to exterminate an entire infestation with nearly 100% effectiveness.
Do-it-yourself bed bug treatment is an option but not recommended. If you find signs of bed bugs around your mattress, one DIY option is to wash and dry your sheets in heat over 120 degrees. But while the heat will effectively kill the bed bug eggs and adults, the infestation could be in places other than your sheets, such as in your box spring, mattress, or furniture.
DIY bed bug treatment kits are also an option, along with using a steamer to heat the infested area.
The best way to tackle bed bugs yourself and save on treatment costs is to practice prevention techniques. If you practice good bed bug prevention methods on your own, youre less likely to have an infestation in your home.
Here are 11 ways to prevent bed bugs:
1. Dont store items under your bed you might unknowingly store an infested item close to your bed.
2. Store items in plastic bags or plastic containers. Bed bugs struggle to crawl on smooth surfaces. Storing your items in plastic containers can keep bed bugs from spreading.
3. Keep clutter off the floor. If a wandering bed bug happens to latch onto a toy or towel thats left on the ground, you risk infesting other areas of your home when you return the item to its rightful place.
Read Also: Violets Instead Of Grass
The Life Cycle Of The Southern Chinch Bug
An adult female chinch bug can deposit over 250 eggs on average in her lifecycle, she may lay as little as 4 eggs per day, but she will oviposit for many continuous weeks.
Female chinch bugs deposit there eggs in St. Augustine grass close to where the plant contacts the dirt.
During the summer months the eggs will hatch in 6 to 13 days, with the average period of incubation being 11 days. This process may last a month or more during the winter months.
The newly emerged southern chinch bug nymphs resemble smaller, wingless adults. In the first nymphal instar is yellow. The color changes to red with a pale white band across the abdomen and finally to black with a similar white band as the insect progresses through the five nymphal instars that the chinch bug goes through.
The adult southern chinch bug has a black body the wings are white with a black spot on the margins of the forewings.
There are two forms of southern chinch bug the long-winged form and the short-winged form.
The length of the adult chinch bug life span differ significantly with averages ranging from 10 to 70 days.
Lawn Bugs And How To Get Rid Of Them
Its important to learn about all the different pests and lawn bugs that can invade and damage your lawn. Its equally important to arm yourself with a plan for treating it and ensuring your grass stays healthy and gorgeous all year long. When its thick, beautiful, healthy and green, your lawn can be an inviting part of your landscape, and the first impression people get when visiting or driving by. However, if your lawn is brown and struggling to survive because of pest invasion, it doesnt take long for it to lose the appeal it once had.
Lets start by identifying all the common lawn bugs found in grass and learn the damage they can cause. The best method for controlling lawn pests is to know exactly which bug youre dealing with, knowing its life cycle, and treating the problem correctly and promptly.
Look for the common signs. Youll know that the lawn bugs have invaded when your grass has brown spots, dying patches, blades that wilt, blades with bite marks, and of course, visible insects crawling or flying in the turf layer. If you notice holes in the turf or can see very short roots, it is an indication that the pest is underground.
Summit Turf Services lawn bugs
Read Also: How To Cut Lines In Grass
How To Treat Insects And Pests In A Yard
If the bugs in your yard are bugging you, don’t reach for commercial sprays. This seemingly easy solution adds toxins to your surroundings and may eventually be ignored by the bug population. Instead, use one of Mother Nature’s repellents or insecticides to deter and remove pesky pests all summer long.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the yard. This powdery substance can be applied to grass dry or mixed with water. When insects touch it, the powder pulls the water out of their bodies, causing severe dehydration and death. Use DE to control ticks, fleas, ants and other crawling bugs.
Grow basil and mint around the yard, especially in proximity to your patio and deck, to deter flies. Or keep containers of either herb on your outdoor tables for fly-free meals and entertaining.
Pour boiling water over ant hills and tunnels. This not only kills much of the colony, but can deter the pests from returning to rebuild.
Invite birds to your yard that will eat the insects provide food and water to lure them over to your yard. Trees and shrubs encourage birds to stay and nest. Place bird boxes or houses around the yard to roll out the welcome mat and get them to stay for the summer-long bug buffet.
Ward off mosquitoes with bowls of crushed herbs, such as mint, wormwood, marjoram, lemongrass, rosemary or catnip, placed strategically around the yard.
Lawn Pests And How To Fight Them
Having a perfect lawn is one of those American dreams that just about everyone strives for, even if it carves out a hefty chunk of time from our busy schedules.
While managing all the basics, including watering, mowing, landscaping and fertilizing, is fairly straight forward, theres one aspect of lawn care thats less easy to control the insects and wildlife that make it their home.
These pests are numerous and varied. Underground, your grass could become a meal for white grubs and billbugs. Other insects, including armyworms and fiery skipper caterpillars could attack the stalks of your favorite turf grass. You also have to watch out for the ants, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, snails and slugs that simply live in your lawn and make life difficult for you elsewhere. If all those bugs arent enough of a problem, then you also have to deal with the wildlife drawn to your yard by the presence of such tasty treats.
Through it all, though, you know that you want to address these problem pests as safely as possible. With that in mind, you can deal with many of these insects and animals by using OMRI Listed® products, which are listed as compliant for use in organic gardening. You can use these products with confidence, knowing they wont persist in the environment.
Wondering what pests may be the problem? Check out our list of 20 common lawn pests and solutions to get rid of them!
You May Like: Pre Emergent For Wild Violet
Keeping Chinch Bugs Away From Your Grass
After youve started diminishing the population slowly but surely, you can start to take measures to ensure that they dont come back and infest your lawn all over again.
The first thing you should do is to remove the layer of grass that lies on the soil. This is the layer thats often referred to as the thatch, which takes up about ¾ of an inch and builds up over time.
Chinch bugs like to take shelter here and getting rid of this layer will definitely help stop them from coming back again. You can use an aerator for lawn aerating shoes. These tools will easily get rid of the thatch and keep the chinch bugs out.
You should also practice good lawn care by making sure to keep the grass trimmed and apply compost, manure, and other supplements to help bring back the damaged areas.
Use a good quality fertilizer and aged manure to help bring your lawn back quickly from chinch bug damage.
Practice mowing your lawn at least once a week to keep the clippings short which will keep the thatch layer in check.
During the summer months, keep your lawn hydrated well but dont water too much or else youll easily attract more pets. Also, keep track of when you water- its best to do so during the evening to avoid shocking the lawn from burns.
Identifying Common Lawn Pests And The Damage They Cause
The best way to control lawn pests is to identify them correctly, get to know their life cycles and symptoms, and then treat them promptly and properly at optimal times.
Common signs that pests have invaded your turf include brown spots, dead and dying grass patches, wilting blades, bite marks on grass, and, of course, insects in the grass or turf layer. Signs of underground pest damage include thin or missing roots and holes in the soil.
The following pests can cause significant damage to your lawn:
Also Check: Does Home Depot Deliver Riding Mowers
How Do I Know If I Need Insecticide For Lawns
If you have a chafer grub infestation in your lawn, youll be able to see the grubs just below the surface after a quick visual check. Leatherjackets are a little trickier to spot than chafer grubs, as when the grubs are evident in your lawn, it may be too late to treat, as they need catching in the very early stages of maturity. Look out for crane flies, as they will indicate the laying of their eggs which will eventually become leatherjackets.
Worried about an infestation? Talk to Greensleeves about our insecticide treatments.
Its important to identify an insect infestation as early as possible to prevent any lifelong damage to your lawn. If youre worried about a potential infestation, or you have already begun to see grubs on your lawn, then get in touch with Greensleeves today on 0808 100 1413 or chat to a member of the team through our live web chat.
For more information on how to tackle leatherjackets and chafer grubs, visit our advice page.