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Turf Damaging Bugs

 
Chinch Bugs

The southern chinch bug is our most predominant turf damaging bug.  Nymphs (baby chinch bugs) and adults feed on the St. Augustine grass and systematically kill it off causing thinning and weed invasion.  Chinch bugs will continue doing damage year round and have several generations.  They need to be controlled by applying insecticide to the infested areas.  The easiest way to check for chinch bugs is to part the grass where the green grass buts up to the brown grass.  They typically like to start damage in sunny areas along sidewalks or driveways.  Our technicians are trained to identify early chinch infestation and treat accordingly.  Our integrated pest management program offers a preventative approach to turf damaging bugs.  Adult Chinch bugs are about the size of an ant and their wings create a gray X on the back.  The nymphs are no bigger than a pen head and are bright red.

SouthernChinchBug1

Mole Crickets

Mole crickets are one of the tougher turf damaging bugs to locate because they are under ground and feed at night.  They cause damage by tunneling through the soil and destroying the roots.  They prefer Bermuda, centipede or bahaia grass but will go after St. Augustine too.  Although damage  doesn’t occur often your technician will be able to detect mole cricket activity and treat accordingly.

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Sod Web Worms

Typically around June we see moths flying around, which are the female adult sod web worms that last until about the end of August.  The moths do not cause damage to the lawn and cannot be killed because they fly away.  The moths tend to reside in the shrubs and other sheltered areas.  When they are out flying around they lay the eggs, which turn into larvae, which is the turf damaging sod web worm.  The sod web worm causes mainly cosmetic damage as it just takes bites out of the leaf blade.  If left untreated they will chew down to the crown of the grass blade and then it can take several weeks to get grass to recover.  Sod Web Worms cause damage fast but it’s mainly cosmetic and grows back and they are easy to kill.

sod-webworm-larva

Grubs

White grubs are immature beetles.  When grubs feed on the grass roots it causes yellowing, thinning and eventually die off.   When the roots of the grass are eaten the grass is no longer able to uptake water or nutrients.  Grubs can cause significant damage to St. Augustine grass in a relatively short time depending on how bad the infestation.  By digging up a section of turf we can determine just how bad the infestation is and treat accordingly.  Grub worms are cyclical and will come and go at certain times of the year.

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