LAWN PESTS & PROBLEMS

Chinch Bug
Southern Chinch Bug
The southern chinch bug, Blissus insularis Barber, is a pest of St. Augustine grass, Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze, a turf and pasture grass grown mosty in the southern United States. This tiny pest, rarely reaching over 6 mm in length, causes millions of dollars in damage per year, as homeowners try to control chinch bugs by applying insecticides and replacing damaged grass. Much research is focused on the development of an economic and effective mode of control, while pesticide application remains the most popular method today.

Annual white grubs (Cyclocephala spp.), Pupa: Length varies from 20 to 24 mm long. The pupa is colored white, faint yellow, or dark brown.

Egg: Eggs are usually 1.5 to 3 mm in diameter and found within soil masses. They are small, spherical, pearly white eggs that darken just before hatching.
White Grub


 Drought

Turf grasses react best with enough regular irrigation during the summer to keep them green and healthy.

Turf grasses do much better under semi-dry conditions than wet or drenched conditions. Turf grass latency is a survival mechanism allowing survival  up to 5-8 weeks without irrigation/precipitation  free from serious thinning upon recovery from dormancy. This would be under ideal conditions of no traffic, good soil, moderate temperatures, no shade, minimum thatch, etc.

Survival is affected by species, age, shade, maintenance (low mowing and/or scalping, too much nitrogen fertilizer in spring, not enough in fall), traffic, heat, etc.; so optimum survival may not occur on your particular area.


Weeds are simply defined as unwanted plants  growing out of place. The proper identification of weeds and understanding of how and why weeds are present in a lawn are important in selecting the best control strategy.

Knowledge of whether or not weeds were present before in a certain area will also help the homeowner prepare for control procedures in the future. Weed control should be a carefully planned and coordinated program instead of a hit-or-miss operation.
 Weeds

 Damaged Lawn

Effects from vehicles or foot traffic can cause injury to turfgrass in two ways. The first site of injury is grass shoot tissue, where physical damage to leaf blades is obvious. This injury results in death of the leaves and a reduction in photosynthetic capacity.

The second site of damage from traffic is the root system. Damage to the root system results from soil compaction due to weight of the traffic. Root growth and vigor is greatly reduced, resulting in less room for roots to seek out water or nutrients. Rates of recovery of the grass vary based on: a) the capacity of the grass to tolerate traffic injury; b) growth rate of the turf, which will determine how long it will take the grass to grow out of the injury; and c) degree of severity of the injury.

In addition, there are specific management and maintenance practices that will improve the wear tolerance of your turfgrass.


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Army Worm
 CREDITS: J.L. Castner UF/IFAS
Army Worm

 

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Weeds

 

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