Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wanted Dead or Alive-Grubs

Grub treatment time is coming.
Inspected a lawn today, found chinch bugs, leatherjackets and baby grubs. 
This guy was not the smallest one I found, but the one that stayed still enough to pose for his mug shot.

Although there was a fairly large patch of dead, brown lawn, I'm sure that the damage was due to the many chinch bugs crawling around. The white grubs are newly hatched. Yes, they may be starting to feed, but, I think it is unlikely that they have caused damage that started 2 weeks ago.

Nematodes should be applied to lawns where there are grubs or where the risks of grub infestation is high. Nematodes have to be applied when the grubs are present. The difficulty for lawn care operators is that, not all grubs will hatch at the same time. In the lawn above, the various grubs were different sized. A smaller one was half the size of the one pictured above. Treating too early means some grubs may be missed. 

Please call if you have a need for a grub treatment.


Why did I get Chinch Bugs?

Chinch bugs have spread out on lawns across this area. Chinch bugs thrive during hot summer weather. And, this year, we've had a lot of warm sunny days.
People wonder why the chinch bugs attack their lawn. Why don't they go after the guy 2 doors away who never cares for this lawn, has a pile of weeds and yet doesn't have any chinch bugs?
I believe the short answer is that chinch bugs like to eat at respectable lawns where the grass is green, the turf is tasty and the lawn is lush. If you were a chinch bug,where would you go for lunch?
The reality is that chinch bugs prefer lawns that are cared for. One of the risks of taking pride in your home and lawn is that you are more likely to get chinch bugs than the guy who doesn't care about his lawn.
The reason I say this is because of where I found the chinch bugs on a lawn with a septic bed. I was at a house in the summer, out in the country. I see the lawn with brown stripes running up and down the lawn, a few feet apart.
Definitely chinch bug, I said to myself. But, let's check.
So, I wondered as I walked to the lawn, "Will the chinch bugs be in the lawn that gets fed from the septic tank lines? Or, will the chinch bugs be in the grass in between the septic lines where the lawn is drier and generally grows less?"
Well, guess what, the chinch bugs liked the nice lawn that was getting nourished by the septic tank lines.
So that's why I think chinch bugs prefer lawns that are well cared for.

*Reminds me of that old story, where the art teacher looks at the students blank paper and asks Johnnie what he's drawing. "i'm drawing a picture of a cow eating grass, Ma'am." "Well, where's the grass?" "The cow ate it all up." "Then, where's the cow?" "You can't expect to find a cow where there's no grass, Ma'am."
When looking for chinch bugs, don't look in the dead grass, look in the green grass next to the dead grass.