Common Pest & Fungus Information
AssureGreen Property Services wants to help you have a beautiful property. One of the first steps when it comes to controlling pests and fungus in your property is to have a basic understanding of what you are dealing with. Healthy lawn and landscapes can be teaming with insect life, but very few insects qualify as actual pests.
Once you discover a pest or fungus the last thing you want to do is start spraying harmful chemicals all over your property. The fact of the matter is that broad spectrum insecticides kill most insects, both good and bad. Once you discover a pest or fungus and have determined that it is causing damage please call us at AssureGreen. We may already be coming out or will do a free service call.
Below are some of the more common turf and plant damaging pests. If for some reason you should see one of these please call us and we will come out and treat accordingly. These pests are very controllable and a lot of them even have certain times of the year they pop up so we can take care of them effectively.
Lawns affected by chinch bugs are often confused with lawns suffering from drought. Chinch bugs use their piercing mouthparts to suck moisture from grass blades, then inject a poison into the blades that interrupts water movement within the grass, causing the grass to die. One way to tell if you have chinch bugs and not drought is if the grass does not green up after it has been watered. If your grass remains dead, you might have chinch bugs.
Fire ant mounds can grow up to 61 cm in diameter and 18 cm high. Fire ants are difficult to control for several reasons: the colonies are often very large and extend under the ground a great distance. Colonies often have multiple queens, so they can recover if a part of the colony and a queen or two have been killed, and they often occur in large numbers, so that when you have eliminated one colony another will likely move in to the space.
White grubs are the immature larvae of several species of scarab beetles. These extremely destructive turf pests feed on grass roots just below the soil surface, severing roots and causing lawn grasses to brown and die. Japanese beetle larvae and masked chafer beetle larvae present the most serious grub threats. In their adult form, Japanese beetles also cause extensive damage to edible and ornamental plants, from vegetables to shrubs and trees.
Mealybugs are very small, soft-bodied, oval-shaped insects that are covered with a white, powdery wax coating. These pests will attack a wide range of vegetation, including fruit trees, gardenias, African violets, and more. Mealybugs hide beneath leaves and flower petals, making them even harder to spot. People with houseplants, gardens, and flower beds often encounter these pests. They thrive during the warm months of spring and summer.
Mole crickets are highly destructive, sub-surface pests that cause extensive damage to turf. Damage begins in early spring when overwintering mole crickets emerge from soil to mate and lay eggs. Newly hatched nymphs go through several stages from spring through summer, becoming larger and more destructive as they mature. Mole cricket damage often goes unnoticed until late summer, when dead and dying grass reveals their work.
Scale insects get their name from protective scale-like coverings they produce, which are not part of the pest itself. They fall into two main categories: armored or soft. Armored scales produce a hard covering, while soft scale coverings are waxy and soft. Both types of scales damage plants, from lawn grasses to shrubs and fruits. Effective scale control targets nymphs, before they develop a protective covering, along with mature pests.
Sod Web Worms
Sod webworm moths do not damage turf. Larvae feed at night on grass leaves and stems near the soil surface, and hide during the day within burrows lined with silk webbing (hence the name “webworms”) which penetrate through the thatch layer and into the soil. One of the first signs of webworm infestation is small, ragged brown spots in the turf. Upon closer inspection, these areas will have a grazed or scalped appearance.
Spider mites, almost too small to be seen, pass into our gardens without notice. Leaves first show patterns of tiny spots or stipplings. They may change color, curl and fall off. The mites activity is visible in the tight webs that are formed under leaves and along stems. Mites are also known to develop quick resistance to various pesticides. For these reasons, it’s important to control mites with effective methods.
Black Sooty Mold
Sooty mold is a type of plant mold that grows in the honeydew or secretion of many common plant pests, such as aphids or scale. It looks a lot like the name implies. Your plant’s twigs, branches or leaves will be covered in a grimy, black soot. Most plants affected by this mold growth have some sort of pest problem. At the first sign of sooty mold, find the pest that is producing the honeydew and eliminate it.
Large patch is caused by a species of fungus called Rhizoctonia. In cooler climates It can be particularly harmful to tall fescue and ryegrass. The damage isn’t as extensive in Kentucky Bluegrass or fine fescues. When it comes to climates similar Tampa it can affect St. Augustine grass and Zoysia grass. The best way to deal with the large patch is to avoid it by being on a sound lawn care regimen.
Leaf spot infected plants have brown or black water-soaked spots on the foliage, sometimes with a yellow halo, usually uniform in size. The spots enlarge and will run together under wet conditions. Under dry conditions the spots have a speckled appearance. As more spots appear, entire leaves may yellow and drop. There is no cure for plants infected with bacterial leaf spot. AssureGreen can help you avoid leaf spot.
Root rot is a condition that can kill plants. Because the first symptoms of root rot occur beneath the soil, homeowners are often not aware of the problem until it is advanced. When plants start showing symptoms of root rot, such as yellow leaves or stunted growth, take action immediately to resolve the problem. Treating the problem as soon as symptoms occur greatly increases the chances of saving affected plants.
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