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Category : managing lawn pests

Mole Prevention and Eradication

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Few things are more destructive to a gently rolling landscape than moles. These voracious pests dig tunnels through the ground (often at speeds of up to a foot per minute) to seek out grubs, worms, ants, and the other insects that make up the bulk of their diet. In the United States, they are often cited as one of the most common backyard pest problems—and one look at a yard…

Beneficial Insects

Beneficial Insects

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Creating an environment hostile to pests includes enlisting the help of beneficial insects.  These insects keep undesirable pest populations in check through their feeding, as either predators or parasites.  Both the adult and immature stages of predators actively search out and consume prey.  Parasites help by depositing eggs in or on the host.  When they hatch, the host becomes their food source. What can you do to encourage helpful insects? …

Common lawn weeds

Aboveground Pests

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Chinch Bugs Chinch bugs are the premier pest on St. Augustinegrass lawns, and will attack other grasses except those in the coldest climates.  Black, winged, and 1/5-inch long, they live and lay eggs in the thatch layer at the root line. Most damaging are the tiny red nymphs, which thrive on sap sucked from grass stems. The adult chinch bug is the scourge of southern grasses. The chinch bug nymph sucks on…

Underground pests - Japanese Beetle

Underground Pests

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White Grubs These root-eating larvae of the scarab beetle family include Japanese beetles, June bugs, rose chafers, and the black turfgrass ataenius.  Grub size and characteristics vary, but grubs are generally plump, whitish gray and C-shaped with brown heads, and three pairs of legs.  In the summer, you can identify adult Japanese beetles, metallic green with copper wings, and June bugs, reddish brown nocturnal fliers. Look for: Wilted, bluish-gray grass…

Identifying Clues

Visible Clues to Insects

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Knowing your local pests and their life cycles is the key to determining whether lawn damage is due to insects.  The rest is a matter of keeping your eyes open.  Most insects are large enough to be visible, so do not wait for your grass to start dying to find out there is a problem. The presence of sod webworms may become apparent one evening, when you see their adult…