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Group Title: Circular Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Title: Management of insects in lawns and other non-commercial turfgrass
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014564/00001
 Material Information
Title: Management of insects in lawns and other non-commercial turfgrass
Series Title: Circular Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Physical Description: 25 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Short, D. E ( Donald Eugene ), 1935-
Reinert, J. A ( James Arnold ), 1944-
Cromroy, Harvey L ( Harvey Leonard ), 1930-
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1985?
Subject: Insect pests -- Control -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Lawns -- Diseases and pests -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: Donald E. Short, James A. Reinert and Harvey L. Cromroy.
General Note: Cover title.
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Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA7027
ltuf - AEJ1653
oclc - 15204586
alephbibnum - 000883661
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Full Text
' 31o Circular 427

Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
John T. Woeste, Dean for Extension



Donald E. Short, James A. Reinert and Harvey L. Cromroy*

Several insects and related pests are common in lawns in
Florida. Southern chinch bugs, spittlebugs, grass scales and ber-
mudagrass mites suck plant juices. Mole crickets, white grubs, and
billbugs live in the soil and damage the grass roots. Others in-
cluding sod webworms, grass loopers, and armyworms, eat the
grass leaves. To these groups can be added insects and related pests
such as fleas, earwigs, millipedes, chiggers, sowbugs, and snails
that do not damage the lawn but may become nuisances because of
their biting people or crawling into houses, garages, or swimming
One group of insects often confused with these pests is actually
beneficial. This group includes big-eyed bugs, anthocorids, and
nabids that resemble chinch bugs but actually feed on chinch bugs'
eggs and nymphs. The Labidura earwig, ground beetles, and spiders
search through the grass and feed on chinch bugs, webworms, snd
several other lawn pests. The presence of these beneficial organisms
will often prevent the insect pests from reaching damaging levels. It
is necessary that a small population of pests be present to maintain
these beneficial organisms. Preventative treatments (pesticide ap-
plications every 4-8 weeks) may reduce these beneficial organisms
and actually contribute to a persistent chinch bug, sod webworm or
other pest problem. Apply pesticides only when damage is ap-
Studies throughout Florida the past several years have
demonstrated that the need for pesticide applications to control
chinch bugs, sod webworms, and armyworms can be drastically
reduced by following certain management practices.

Inspect the lawn weekly during the spring, summer and fall
months and biweekly during the winter months, as outlined in the
sections of this publication relating to the various pests to deter-
mine if damage is beginning to occur and if insects are the problem.

*Extension Entomologist, Professor of Entomology and Extension Acarologist,

Cultural Practices
Cultural practices can influence the susceptibility of lawn
grasses to chinch bugs and turf caterpillars. Attention to the follow-
ing practices will aid in a reduction of excessive fertilizer and
pesticide use which can result in energy conservation and less con-
tamination of the urban environment. Rapid succulent growth
resulting from frequent or high applications of water soluble in-
organic nitrogen fertilizers acts as an attractant and substantially
increases the chances of insect attack. Incidence of damage from
these pests can be greatly reduced with applications of minimum
amounts of slow release nitrogen fertilizers in combination with
other macro and minor nutrients. Contact your local Cooperative
Extension office for fertility recommendations and sources of slow
release nitrogen fertilizer for each of the turfgrass species in your
particular area of the state.
Improper mowing and excessive water or fertilization can cause
lawngrasses to develop a thick, spongy mat of runners and clippings
that have not decomposed above the soil surface. This spongy mat,
referred to as thatch, is an excellent habitat for chinch bugs and turf
caterpillars, and chemically ties up insecticides, therefore reducing
their effectiveness.
Proper mowing practices can make the grass more tolerant to
pests and greatly reduce thatch build-up. St. Augustinegrass
should be mowed at a height of 3 inches (4 inches in shaded areas),
centipedegrass 1/2-2 inches, common Bermudagrass /2-2 inches,
hybrid Bermudagrass -3A inches and bahiagrass 3 inches.
Likelihood of a thatch problem is reduced when not more than /-/3
inch of leaf tips are cut at each mowing. However, if the lawn is not
mowed frequently enough, excessive clippings can contribute to a
build-up of thatch. In this case, clippings should be removed with a
grass catcher on the mower, or by raking, sweeping or with a lawn
vacuum. When a serious thatch problem exists, it may be necessary
to remove the thatch mechanically (vertical mowing, power raking,
Insects are only a few of the many causes of yellowish or
brownish areas in grass. Diseases, nematodes, dry weather, and
nutritional disorders are sometimes responsible for such injury. It is
important that homeowners be sure of the cause so the proper treat-
ment can be applied as needed to correct the trouble without the
needless use of pesticides and extensive damage to the grass.
An effective way to survey for chinch bugs, lawn caterpillars,
mole crickets and beneficial insects is by the use of a soap mixture
applied with a 2 gallon sprinkling can. This mixture is not effective
in surveying for white grub or billbug larvae. Mix one fl. oz. of

dishwashing liquid in a 2-gallon sprinkling can full of water and
drench four square feet with this solution. Observe the area for
about two minutes. If the above pests are present, they will emerge
to the grass surface and can be detected. If no insects are found in
the first area checked, examine at least three or four places in
suspected areas.

Mole Crickets
Two species of mole crickets (Fig. 1) are prevalent in Florida,
the southern and change (Puerto Rican). Adults are about 11/2
inches long, light brown in color, and have forelegs which are well
adapted for tunneling through the soil. Both species are now believed
to have been introduced about 1900 at the seaport of Brunswick,
Georgia in the ballast material of ships from the Atlantic Coast of
South America. They have become a serious state-wide turf pest in
recent years because they have few natural enemies, there are
millions of acres of their favorite host grasses, (bermuda and bahia),
and Florida's sandy soils favor their development and spread.

Figure 1. Mole Crickets. Two on left are southern and two on right are change.

Mole crickets damage turfgrass in several ways. They tunnel
through the soil near the surface and this tunneling action (Fig. 2)
loosens the soil so that the grass is often uprooted and dies due to
drying out of the root system. They feed on grass roots causing
thinning of the turf and eventually, completely bare soil.

Figure 2. Mole cricket tunnelling activity.

Mole crickets deposit their eggs in chambers hollowed out in the
soil. Most chambers are found in the upper 6 inches of soil but cool
temperatures and/or dry soil result in the chambers being con-
structed at a greater depth. An average female will excavate 3 to 5
egg chambers and deposit approximately 35 eggs per chamber.
In north and central Florida, oviposition usually begins in the
latter part of March with peak egg-laying in May through mid June.
Approximately 75% of the eggs are laid during these months.
However in south Florida, based upon recent studies in Ft. Lauder-
dale, egg laying continues throughout the year. Eggs deposited in
May and June require about 20 days to hatch; a longer time is re-
quired during cooler periods. Peak egg hatching normally occurs
during the first half of June in northern Florida and continues
through August in southern Florida. A lesser peak of egg hatching
occurs in late January to mid-February for the southern mole
cricket in south Florida. The young nymphs escape from the egg
chamber and burrow to the soil surface to begin feeding on roots,
organic material and on other small organisms including insects.
Most mole cricket feeding occurs at night after rain showers or
irrigation and during warm weather. Some surface feeding has been
noted when the soil is dry, but feeding is greatly reduced. All nym-
phal stages as well as adults come to the surface at night to search
for food. Tunneling of more than 20 feet per night has been ob-

served. During the day the mole crickets return to their permanent
burrows and may remain there for long periods of time when
weather conditions are unfavorable. Adult mole crickets are strongly
attracted to lights during their spring dispersal flights.
When mole crickets come to the soil surface they are subject to
predators including fire ants, ground beetles, Labidura earwigs, and
Lycosa spiders. Larger animals including raccoons, skunks, red
foxes, armadillos, and several toads also feed on mole crickets, but
often damage turf areas when searching for them. Research is
underway concerning the introduction of several insect parasites
from other countries. In Puerto Rico for example, a parasitic wasp
has apparently provided satisfactory control of mole crickets for a
number of years.
Late June or early July is the optimum time for controlling mole
crickets. At this time, the nymphs are small, to 1/2 inch, and visi-
ble damage will not usually be noticed due to their small size. To
determine if the mole crickets are present, use the soap flush as
described earlier in this circular. Check several places in the lawn
and if an average of 2 to 3 per square foot is detected a treatment
should be applied.

Chinch Bugs
The southern chinch bug is the most important insect pest of
St. Augustinegrass in Florida (Fig. 3). Adults are about inch long,
black and have white patches on the wings. The young (nymphs)
range from 1/20 inch long to nearly adult size. The small nymphs are
reddish with a white band across the back, but become black in color
as they near adult size. Sometimes adults hibernate in the winter in
northern Florida, but all stages are present year around in most of
the state. Eggs are laid in leaf sheaths or pushed into soft soil and
other protected places. In summer eggs hatch in 1-1 1/2 weeks and
the young develop to adults in 4-5 weeks. Chinch bugs pass through
3 generations per year in north Florida and 7 to 10 in south Florida.
Chinch bugs are seriously damaging only to St. Augustinegrass
but will feed on other grass species. This insect sucks the plant
juices through its needle-like beak and also apparently causes other
internal injury to the grass, resulting in yellowish to brownish
patches in lawns (Fig. 4). These injured areas frequently are first
noticed along edges or in water stressed areas where the grass is
growing in full sun. In south Florida chinch bugs may cause
economic damage from March through October; in north Florida,
usually April through September.
When chinch bugs are present in sufficient numbers to cause
yellow or brown areas in lawns, they can be found by parting the


^ *. ** -:

W., '. :


Figure 3. Chinch bug nymphs (bottom), adult (top).



Figure 4. Chinch bug damage.

grass runners in the yellowed areas and observing the soil surface.
All stages of chinch bugs will be seen moving through the loose duff
on the soil surface. In extremely heavy infestations some of the
chinch bugs can be seen crawling over grass blades, sidewalks, and
outside walls of houses.
If no chinch bugs are seen by this method, their presence or
absence can be confirmed by using the soap flush described earlier
or a metal can such as a 3-pound coffee can with both ends cut out.
Place one end of the can on the grass in an area where the grass is
yellow and declining. Cut the grass runners around the bottom edge
of the can with a knife. Twist and push the bottom end of the can an
inch or two into the soil. Fill the can with water; if chinch bugs are
present they will float to the surface within 5 minutes. It may be
necessary to add more water to keep the water level above the grass
during this 5-minute period. If no chinch bugs are found in the area
checked, examine at least 3 or 4 places in the suspected areas.

Resistant St. Augustinegrass Variety
A variety of St. Augustinegrass, "Floratam", is resistant to
chinch bug feeding. Most chinch bugs cannot complete their
development when attempting to feed on this grass. If a new lawn is
being established or an old one replaced, Floratam should be used.

In comparison studies with other established varieties (Bitterblue,
Roselawn, Scott's 1081, Raleigh, Seville and common St.
Augustinegrass), Floratam and Floratine showed very little
damage; however, adult chinch bug mortality on Floratam averaged
60% (even higher for nymphs) compared to less than 10% of the
chinch bugs on the other named varieties. Floratam exhibits true
antibiosis and is resistant to chinch bug injury, while Floratine is
only tolerant to low populations.

Lawn Caterpillars
(Sod Webworms, Armyworms, Cutworms and Grass Loopers)
Several kinds of caterpillars, which are the immature or larval
stage of moths, may cause damage to all turf grasses. Ber-
mudagrass is their favorite while bahiagrass is the least desirable.
The most damaging caterpillar is the tropical sod webworm (Fig. 5).
The larvae are greenish with many black spots. Adults are dingy
brown moths with a wingspread of about 3% inch. Eggs are
deposited on the grass blades and hatch in about 1 week. Larvae
feed on the grass blades and cause noticeable injury within 2 weeks.


Figure 5. Armyworm (bottom), sod webworm (center), grass looper (top).

There may be rather extensive damage within the next 1-1 /2 weeks
until pupation. Adults appear about 1 week later. They complete
their life cycle in 5-6 weeks and have several generations each year.
Other sod webworms species, fall armyworms, cutworms, and grass
loopers are also damaging to turfgrasses in Florida (Fig. 5). Ar-
myworm, cutworms, and looper larvae are brown to greenish in col-
or and have stripes along their sides. Sod webworms are usually not
present in sufficient numbers to damage grass before June in south
Florida, July in central Florida and August in north Florida. Ar-
myworms and loopers may be present any time during the spring,
summer or fall.
Sod webworms differ from armyworms and loopers in size and
feeding habits. The webworms feed primarily at night and remain in
a curled position on or near the soil surface during the day. This
habit makes them difficult to find. Newly hatched caterpillars cause
very little visible damage to grass. It is not until they are almost
full grown "worms" nearly inch long that their feeding becomes
noticeable, and then it appears to show up almost overnight. This,
along with their night feeding habit, explains how extensive damage
may occur before it is noticed.
Injured grass has notches chewed along the sides of the blades,
which are also eaten back unevenly. The foliage may be almost com-
pletely stripped off in patches, and these close-cropped areas soon
become yellowish to brownish.
The soap flush technique (described earlier) is a good way to
detect sod webworms. They may also be found by parting the grass
and looking for the small green "worms" curled up on the soil surface
and for small green pellets of frass or excrement. A flashlight used
at night will reveal the caterpillars feeding in the grass foliage.
Armyworms, cutworms and loopers grow to about 12 inches in
length, or about twice the length of the full grown sod webworm. Ar-
myworms and loopers feed during the day and do not rest in a curled
position while cutworms feed during the night and remain concealed
during the day like webworms.

Billbugs and White Grubs
Like mole crickets, these insects are soil dwellers. The hunting
billbug sometimes causes severe injury to grass in Florida, especially
zoysiagrass and bermudagrass. As the name suggests, the adult
beetle has a bill or snout and is dark brown and about 3/8 inch long.
The larva or grub, which is legless and grows to about 3/s inch in
length, is white with a yellowish brown head (Fig. 6). This stage
causes most of the damage to grass by feeding on the roots and
causing dead areas in lawns and other turf.

Figure 6. Billbug larvae.

r^ ; - .. ... -. ..

Figure 6. Billbug larvae.

Several species of white grubs damage grass. These pests are
the larval stage of beetles such as June beetles Phyllophaga sp. and
masked chafers Cyclocephala sp. Unlike billbug larvae, white grubs
have three pairs of small legs near the head. They are white, with
brown heads and a dark area at the rear of the abdomen. They rest
in a C-shaped position (Fig. 7). Depending on the species, one to four


Figure 7. White grub larvae.

years is required to complete their life cycle. Grubs damage the
grass by feeding on the roots. Yellowish areas develop in the turf
and grass can be killed (Fig. 8). In severe cases roots are pruned to
the extent that the turf mat can be rolled back like a carpet. Adult
beetles do not damage grass but usually feed on flowers and foliage
of ornamental plants upon emergence in the spring. They are
generally distributed in Florida and have become more of a problem
in recent years.
If grass consistently wilts in an area of the turf even though
adequate water is available, an infestation of root-feeding grubs or
billbugs should be considered. To check for grubs and billbugs, use a
spade to cut three sides of a one foot square piece of sod about two
inches deep at the edge of one of the off-color or yellowed areas in
the lawn. Force the spade under the sod and lay it back. See if the
grass roots are chewed off and sift through the soil looking for the
larvae. Replace the strip of sod. Check several places in the turf
area. As a rule of thumb, if an average of 3 to 5 grubs or 10 billbugs
are found per square foot, apply an insecticide.

Figure 8. White grub damage.

Bermudagrass Mite
The bermudagrass mite is sometimes a serious pest of ber-
mudagrass throughout Florida. Generally speaking, the most
severe damage occurs to the coarser varieties of bermudagrass like
Common and Ormond. The mites are extremely small, only about
1/130th of an inch long, yellowish-white and somewhat wormlike in
shape. A microscope is needed to find them on infested grass. They
multiply very rapidly, requiring only about 7 days to complete their
life cycle.
Since the bermudagrass mite is so small and remains hidden
beneath the leaf sheath, it can more easily be identified by symp-
toms of damage to the grass. The mite causes a characteristic type
of damage (Fig. 9). The grass blades turn light green and curl abnor-
mally. The internodes shorten, tissues swell, and the grass becomes
tufted so that small clumps are noticed. The grass loses its vigor,
thins out, and may die. Injury is more pronounced during dry
weather and especially when the grass is stressed due to poor

Figure 9. Bermudagrass mite damage.

Banks Grass Mite
This spider mite has previously been reported as an economic
pest of wheat, corn, sorghum, sugarcane, bluegrass and ber-
mudagrass in other states. However, in Florida, it has become a
pest of St. Augustinegrass. These are small spider mites (less than
1/50th of an inch) and deep green in adult stage. The mite's color and
small size makes it difficult to detect in St. Augustinegrass. The
length of their life cycle varies from 8 to 25 days depending on the
temperature. Damage appears as leaf stippling which then turns
yellow. The stippling effect is also produced by mildew and SAD
virus, so if there is question, samples of grass should be sent to an
Extension specialist. The mite has currently been reported from the
central area of Florida and southeastern coast.Research is currently
underway to determine the best acaricide for control.

Ground Pearls
These are mealybugs that live in the soil and suck juices from
grass roots. They are spherical and range in size from a grain of
sand to about Vs inch diameter. They are yellowish-purple in color
and look very much like pearls (Fig. 10). Eggs are laid in the soil
from March to June. The life cycle from egg to adult requires at
least one year and possibly two. They most commonly infest cen-
tipedegrass in north and northwest Florida, but they will infest all
turf grasses throughout Florida. Severely infested grass turns
yellow, then brown.

Figure 10. Ground pearls.

Grass Scales
The rhodesgrass mealybug (Fig. 11) has been the most fre-
quently encountered scale, but the bermudagrass scale (Fig. 12)
may occasionally be found, especially on bermudagrass. Both scales
may be found on several grass species. The body of the rhodesgrass
mealybug is roughly spherical, dark but covered with a white cot-
tony secretion, and about the size of a BB. The bermudagrass scale
is oval or nearly circular in outline, and is 1/25 to 1/15 inch in
diameter (often bermudagrass scales and bermudagrass mites are
found infesting the same turf area). Scale insects suck plant juices
and the infested grass turns yellow and thins out. The grass may be
killed if scales are not controlled.

Figure 11. Rhodesgrass mealybug.

Figure 12. Bermudagrass scale.

Figure 13. Spittle mass produced by spittlebug nymph.

Spittlebugs are an occasional pest of turf grasses. The nymphs
are white and live within a white frothy mass or "spittle" (Fig. 13).
They feed by sucking juices from the grass. Infested grass will have
spittle masses present, and tips of the grass will turn yellow, follow-
ed by browning and curling.

Predators and Parasites
Several predatory and parasitic insects are often associated
with chinch bugs and webworms. The most prominent predator of
chinch bugs is the big-eyed bug (Fig. 14). One of the earwigs
Labidura (Fig. 15), is a very good predator of both chinch bugs and
webworm larvae and several other turfgrass insects. It has been
observed to eat as many as 50 adult chinch bugs in one night.
Spiders (Fig. 16) and ground beetles are efficient predators of
several harmful lawn insects and are considered extremely
beneficial. An ichneumonid wasp is also a very common parasite of
the webworm larvae and can be seen hovering over grass infested by
webworms. Big-eyed bugs, some lygaeids (Fig. 17), and anthocorids
(another group of predators) are about the same size as chinch bugs
and are often confused with them. Quite often these beneficial in-
sects are misidentified as being harmful and a pesticide is applied
when it is not needed.

Ulf's A

Figure 14. Black big-eyed bug.

Figure 15. Labidura earwig.



Figure 16. Lycosa spider.

Figure 17. A lygaeid bug. Resembles a chinch bug but not a pest.

I 7


Figure 18. Lawn hose-on attachment.

Notes on Control
Apply insecticides properly. Read and understand all directions
on the container label regarding dosage rates, application informa-
tion, and precautions. When a spray is applied for controlling in-
sects listed in this circular, it is important to apply the insecticide in
a large amount of water. The jar attachment to a garden hose is the
suggested lawn sprayer for homeowners (Fig. 18). The type that re-
quires 15 to 20 gallons of water passing through the hose to empty
the quart size jar is recommended. Put the amount of insecticide in
the jar as directed on the label for 500 square feet. Fill the jar the
rest of the way with water. Spray the contents over 500 square feet.
To insure even coverage, spray back and forth across the measured
area; then, turn at right angles and spray back and forth across the
same area.
When spraying for control of soil insects (mole crickets, white
grubs, and billbugs), the turf should be moist at the time of applica-
tion. Immediately after spraying the insecticide, irrigate with about
1/2 inch water to leach the insecticide into the soil where the insects
are feeding. For control of surface feeders chinchh bugs, lawn cater-
pillars, bermudagrass mites, grass scales, and spittlebugs) do not ir-
rigate after application.

7"~Ei~E.h'7r.iZ;iI:'-'~ 'Erc:r

Granule formulations of the recommended insecticides may be
substituted for sprays in controlling chinch bugs, webworms, mole
crickets, white grubs, or billbugs. If applied for soil insects (mole
crickets, white grubs, or billbugs) irrigate with about 34 inch of
water immediately after applying.
To help avoid unnecessary environmental contamination and
reduction of beneficial insects, spot treatments can be applied when
infestations are first noticed and the damaged area is small. Treat
the off-color area and about a 10 foot buffer area surrounding it. If
damage is widespread over the yard or if many infested areas are
detected, the entire yard should be treated. Inspect the area 2 to 3
times at bi-weekly intervals to determine if the infestation is under
If a bait is used for mole crickets, irrigate before application but
in the afternoon if possible. It is very important to scatter the bait
thinly and evenly over the soil surface. A few particles should fall on
every square inch of the infested area.

Insecticides are poisons and should be handled as such. Read the
manufacturer's label carefully before opening the container and
observe all instructions and precautions. Wear rubber gloves when
handling and applying insecticides. Do not spill sprays on skin or
clothing. Do not breathe mists or fumes. Wash exposed parts of the
body with soap and water immediately after using insecticides.
Store pesticides under lock in original labeled containers out of
reach of children. Rinse empty containers and put rinsings in spray
tank. Dispose of empty containers (one gallon or smaller) by wrap-
ping in newspaper, crush or puncture to prevent re-use, and put in
garbage can for disposal in an approved sanitary land fill.


Lawn Insect Management Recommendations
(See Notes on Control in Text)

Attention to cultural practices outlined below will substantially reduce pest problems, especially damage from chinch
bugs and sod webworms. Following these cultural practices will aid in alleviating excessive fertilizer and pesticide
usage, resulting in energy conservation and less environmental contamination in our urban areas. When damage is
evident and a pesticide is required, carefully follow all directions and precautions on the container label. Be sure the
formulation of pesticide you use is labeled for use on residential lawn grasses.


Mole Crickets In order for grass to better tolerate damage do not
mow shorter than recommended heights: bahia 3 ", St.
Augustine 3", centipede 2", Bermuda 3/16-1/2 ",
depending on variety. Keep mower blade sharp. Don't
allow turf to dry out excessively.

NOTE: On the basis of University of Florida experiments,
mid-May is the optimum time to apply Oftanol.
Oftanol provides 3-5 months control dependent
upon weather conditions and soil type. The
remaining sprays and granules do not have the
residual control of Oftanol and should be applied
during early and mid-June. Application of baits
should be made when damage first appears.
Insecticides can be applied later in the year (Aug.,
Sept.) but more damage will have occurred and the
crickets are more difficult to control. Fertilizers
may be purchased containing Oftanol.

Sprays: Baygon
Oftanol 2

Granules: Oftanol 1.5G
Oftanol 5G
Mocap 10G
(Oftanol 2, Mocap 10G
and Oftanol 5G are to be
applied only by certified pest
control operators.)

Baits: Baygon

Lawn Insect Management Recommendations
(See Notes on Control in Text)


Chinch Bugs Inspect lawn once a week during spring, summer, and Aspon
fall as outlined previously. Consult local county Baygon
Cooperative Extension office for minimal fertility Diazinon
recommendations for St. Augustinegrass. Reduced Dursban
amounts of nitrogen result in fewer chinch bug
problems. Also, less damage occurs when water
insoluble nitrogen is applied as opposed to water
soluble sources. St. Augustinegrass should be mowed
at a height of 3". Keep mower blade sharp. Control of
thatch will reduce chinch bug numbers and pesticides
10 will be more effective if they are required where
thatch is not allowed to buildup. If St. Augustine is
being established or replaced, use the Floratam

NOTE: Several areas of organophosphate insecticide-
resistant chinch bugs have occurred in south
Florida. If one of the listed organic phosphates
does not control, apply a carbamate insecticide

Lawn Insect Management Recommendations
(See Notes on Control in Text)


Lawn Caterpillars
(sod webworms,
armyworms, grass
loopers, and

Same applies for these caterpillars as with chinch bugs
above on all turf grasses. See correct mowing heights
under mole crickets (Floratam recommendations are
for chinch bug control only).

Bacillus thuringiensis
Dylox or


White Grubs

NOTE: Sod webworms may reinfest the lawn within one
to three weeks after treatment. Continue to
examine the lawn and reapply as required.
Bacillus thuringiensis not recommended for
armyworm or cutworm control.


Sprays: Diazinon
Dylox or Proxol
Oftanol 2
Granules: Oftanol 1.5G
Oftanol 5G
(Oftanol 5G and Oftanol 2 to
be applied only by certified
pest control operators.)
Fertilizer may be purchased containing

Lawn Insect Management Recommendations
(See Notes on Control in Text)


Bermudagrass Mite Collect Grass clippings and destroy to help avoid Diazinon
dispersing mites. In general, as mowing height is
decreased, mite infestations are decreased. Keep all
areas of bermudagrass mowed as close as practical.
Infestations usually develop in the taller grass (along
canals, fence rows, etc.)

Ground Pearls All approved practices regarding fertilization, mowing No effective insecticidal
heights, and irrigation should be carried out to keep recommendation at the
the grass growing ahead of the damage. present time.

Grass Scales Collect grass clippings and destroy Malathion
(Rhodesgrass Summer Oil (80-90%)
Mealybug, add to Malathion sprays
Bermudagrass Scale)

Spittlebugs Diazinon

*Pesticides are sold under many different trade names. Be sure each contains the recommended pesticide by reading the
label and ingredient statement.



This publication was promulgated at a cost of $3,399.25, or 20
cents per copy, to inform the general public concerning insect
management in lawns. 2-17M-85

K. R. Tefertiller, director, in cooperation with the United States I pr
Department of Agriculture, publishes this Information to further the
purpose of the May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and is
authorized to provide research, educational Information and other
services only to individuals and Institutions that function without regard to race, color,
sex or national origin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth
publications) are available free to Florida residents from County Extension Offices.
Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers is available from C. M.
Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida,
Gainesville, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this publication, editors should contact
this address to determine availability.

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