Insects and Lawn

Turf damaged caused by Sod Web Worms usually begins to appear in early Spring.  The damage shows up as small dead patches of grass around normally growing turf.  The damage will progress into general turf thinning or irregular dead patches in late June into early August.  Sod Web worm like turf hot and dry, your sunny areas , south facing banks, and will rarely be found in shaded turf.  The most severe damage will show up in July and August when it is hot and the grass is not actively growing.  Many times Sod Web Worm damage is mistaken for heat and drought stress.
Sod Web Worms have two generations per year.  The first generation finishes feeding in late May to early June.  They burrow into thatch or soil to pupate.  With in 14 day the adult emerge and lay eggs.  The larva feed on you turf grass. The second generation of adult moths appear in late July into early August.  Majority of damage will occur during Summer months.  These larva are feeding when the turf is actively growing in September and October and damage generally not as noticeable.
A surface feeding insect control treatment will reduce the population to avoid turf injury.  Properties are monitored and treated accordingly as with any pest issue.  This insect is actively feeding from Spring through the Fall.
Sod Web Worm
Japanese Beetles
Japanese beetles are probably one of the most devastating pests to your landscape plants.  Most insects have one stage of their life cycle that will severely damage your plant material.  Japanese Beetles life cycle allows the Larva stage to feed on turf grass roots and the adult to feed on your trees and shrubs.
Adults emerge from the soil in early July, feed, mate and lay eggs.  In July adults feed on Lindens, Roses, Vines and many other ornamentals.  Activity is intense over a 6-8 week period before the beetles die off. Over the two month period females can lay 60 eggs in turf grass areas.  Adults feed on the top of the plant first.  Odors emitted from the damaged leaves cause the beetles to gather in great numbers on host plants.  At dusk the females burrow 2-3 inches in the soil to lay eggs.  They return to feed on your trees and shrubs the next day.  The grubs grow quickly and by late September can be 1 inch long.  Most pass the Winter 2-6 inches below the surface, some may go as deep as 8-10 inches.
The best time to apply pesticides for the grubs in your turf is mid July until September.  Adults can be controlled with a foliar application of insecticide early to mid July.
Chinch Bugs
Chinch Bugs have a piercing-sucking mouth part and they feed on the sap of your turf grass.  They live in the thatch and they prefer to feed on the lower leaf sheath and crown areas.  This is their breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Chinch bugs spend the Winter as adults under shrubs or around the foundation of structures.  Warm weather inspires the adults to move to more open areas in your lawn where they begin to lay eggs.  15-20 eggs per day are deposited for two - three weeks.  The eggs hatch in one - two week depending on the temperature.  They like it hot and dry.  There are five nymph instars of chinch bugs ranging in size form 1mm - 3 mm.
It takes 30-90 days to reach adulthood.  There are two generations per year, with a partial third generation in unusually warm Summers.  The overlap of generations is large and any stage of the insects life can be found during the Summer.  They can do a lot of damage quickly.
A surface feeding insect control treatment will reduce the population to avoid turf injury.  Properties are monitored and treated accordingly as with any pest issue.  This insect is actively feeding from Spring through the Fall.
Bill Bugs
The most reliable timing of  insecticide application for New England appears to be June, targeting some small larvae. Several insecticides have shown reasonable activity against billbugs.
Billbugs begin their activity early in the Spring. They lay their eggs in the grass blades. The larva feed burrowing down the blade. The bluegrass billbug completes one generation per year. Billbugs can overwinter as adults in semi-protected areas (in surface litter around buildings, in leaf litter, or in hedgerows). Adults emerge during the first warm periods in the spring and begin to move to suitable turf sites. Adults can be observed crossing paved areas on sunny days in late May or early June.
The adult females lay eggs in June, which hatch into small larvae and feed within the grass stems for about two weeks. As they grow, they molt and move to the bases of plants, where they feed on the crowns. Eventually they also feed on roots and rhizomes. In areas where bluegrass billbug larvae have been feeding actively, there will be accumulations of "frass," or insect excrement, which is white and has the texture of fine sawdust. The "frass" serves as positive identification of bluegrass billbug damage. Feeding damage usually is evident along the edges of paved areas and may resemble salt damage (except that billbug damage appears in July). Eventually the damage may spread throughout the turfgrass expanse. Larvae continue to feed for most of the summer and then pass through a brief pupa ("resting") stage in the soil in late August. Young adults then emerge and seek out suitable overwintering sites during September and October. Thus the primary period for damage is in late July and most of August, while the larvae are feeding actively.
Lakeville MA
Mockingbird Hill
Tree and Lawn Care
Since 1987