TURF DAMAGING INSECTS
Most turf grass injury can be avoided by regular inspection and timely corrective action. Insect damage is frequently misdiagnosis by the homeowner as disease damage or lack of adequate irrigation.
Good control depends on identification of the pest, knowledge of its lifecycle and behavior, and the environmental conditions that affect the insect populations. Most pest thrive in our hot dry summer conditions. There are some simple signs to watch for as a homeowner. Moths flying up when you mow the lawn, or moths flying over the turf areas at dusk. Birds looking for insects in the lawns. Damage caused by skunks or raccoons digging in the lawn is a good indicator that grubs are present.
Poorly kept turf shows pest injury sooner and recovers more slowly than vigorous well kept turf. A thick healthy lawn can withstand a certain level of insect activity without showing any signs of damage. Thick thatch is another contributing factor to insect activity and damage. It provides an ideal environment for the insects leading to higher population levels, and inhibits insecticide applications from reaching the soil.
New turf is extremely susceptible to insect damage while it is trying to establish a root system. Cutworms are usually the culprit in newly soded lawns. Controlling weeds in new turf installations will encourage turf growth and reduce some of the insect problems.