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Pro Grass, Inc. - Insect Control

 

If you are a ProGrass customer on either a Premium or Estate Care Program, you will receive lawn insect control and pest control as part of your regularly scheduled lawn care visits.

We use a lawn insect control product derived from the chrysanthemum flower that controls not only fleas and ticks that may be a nuisance to people and pets, but also controls all other kinds of turf damaging insects that may be in your lawn.

Pro Grass Insect Control

For our Baltimore area customers on a Limited or Limited Plus lawn care program, lawn insect control and pest control are offered as optional services.

We typically apply our lawn insect controls with the early summer and late summer applications.

Grubs

Grubs can be a serious pest control problem in your lawn. Depending on the particular variety of grass you have, they can cause major damage in a very short period of time. We offer preventative grub control to all of our customers as an optional service. The treatment is applied in May or June, and will give you protection from grubs through the entire season.

Lawn Insects Common to the Baltimore Area

Armyworms
armyworms

Symptoms: Small patches of brown turf with grass blades eaten off in circular patches to the soil surface. Tiny fuzz-covered eggs on the grass.

Insect Appearance: The armyworm caterpillars are light tan to dark brown with yellow, orange, or dark brown stripes down the lengths of their backs. They are 3/4 inch to 2 inches long. Adult moths are tan or mottled gray with a wingspan of about 1 inch. They fly only at night or on overcast days. In daylight, they hide in the soil around grass roots.

Life Cycle: Moths appear in late spring to early summer and lay hundreds of eggs at a time on the grass. Larvae hatch from eggs within 10 days and begin feeding. You may see the larvae hanging from threads on the grass. In the south, there may be as many as six generations a year.

Damage Threshold:
More than five larvae per square yard indicate infestation and the need for lawn insect control.

 

Billbugs
bilbugs

Adult billbugs lay eggs in the stems of grass plants.

Symptoms: A small and distinct circular pattern becomes yellowish or brown when billbugs are feeding on the lawn. Since the larvae feed on roots, grass plants within the dead areas easily lift out of the soil. A white sawdust-like debris can be found on the ground around the affected plants.

Insect Appearance: Billbug larvae-which do most of the damage-are white, legless grubs about 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch long. Brownish-gray adults have long snouts used for burrowing and chewing off plants.

Life Cycle:
Overwintering adults emerge in mid-spring, when they often can be found crawling on sidewalks and driveways. Soon after emerging, they lay eggs on the stems of grass plants. Grubs generally emerge in May or June and then tunnel into the stems, from where they eventually will migrate into the root zone.

Damage Threshold: More than one grub per square foot of lawn indicates the need for lawn insect control.

 

Chinch Bugs
chinch bugs

Symptoms: Large, distinct, circular yellowing patches that appear brown in the center, generally occurring only in sunny areas of the lawn.

Insect Appearance: Adult chinch bugs are small, from 1/16 to 1/4 inch long, depending on the species. Most are black with white wings, each of which has a distinctive triangular black mark. Young chinch bugs are smaller wingless versions of their parents, but are red with a white back stripe.

Life Cycle: Adult chinch bugs over winter in both the North and South and emerge as early as March, from the rest of the growing season, they feed by sucking the juice from grass blades, injecting a poison that causes blades to turn brown and die. They are especially active during hot, dry weather.

Damage Threshold: To find chinch bugs, push a bottomless 2 pound coffee can into the affected lawn area, about 2 inches deep. Fill it with warm water. Any chinch bug present should float to the surface. If more than 20 chinch bugs appear, lawn insect control is warranted.


Cutworms
cut worm
Cutworms sometimes feed on grass blades.

Symptoms: As with armyworms, cutworms leave small, 1 to 2 inch wide patches of brown grass in newly seeded and established lawns; the plans are eaten off at soil level.

Insect Appearance: The larvae of cutworms are plump, smooth, and almost always curl up when disturbed. They can vary in color but are most often gray, brown or black; some are spotted or striped. They often grow to 2 inches long. The moths are dark and fly at night.

Life Cycle: Moths lay their eggs in late summer, and after hatching, cutworm larvae over winter in trash and clumps of grass. Larvae resume feeding early in the spring (and only at night). They mature into moths in July or August.

Damage Threshold: Use the pyrethrum test, to determine how pervasive these insects are. If you find more than 10 larvae per square foot, it's time to start lawn insect control. Cutworms don't seriously damage grass unless there is a severe infestation. More damage may be done by birds scratching at the turf to feed on the larvae.


Sod Webworms
sod webworms

Sod webworm adults lay eggs in turf, where larvae hatch and feed.

Symptoms: One to two-inch-wide dead patches with grass blades chewed off just above the thatch line. Usually prevalent in the hottest, driest areas of the lawn. Silky, white tubes found nestled in the root area.

Insect Appearance: Sod webworm larvae are slender, grayish, black-spotted caterpillars, approximately 3/4 inch long, and sluggish in their activity. They hide during the day in shelters constructed of bits of grass and debris. The buff-colored moths, which fly in zigzag patterns over the lawn at dusk, have two snout-like projections on their heads.

Life Cycle: Over-wintering larvae emerge and begin feeding (at night or on overcast days) in spring. They mature into moths in early summer. Throughout the summer, the moths fly over the grass and drop eggs, which hatch into larvae and repeat the feeding cycle on the grass. There may be as many as three generations per season.

Damage Threshold: Fifteen or more larvae per square foot indicate lawn insect control as necessary.

 

White Grub
white grub


White grubs feed primarily on the roots of cool-season grasses.

Symptoms: Irregularly shaped brown patches of turf, particularly in late spring or early fall. Dead patches of lawn roll back easily, like a section of carpet. Birds, moles, raccoons and skunks may damage a lawn looking for grubs.

Insect Appearance: White grubs have curled C-shaped bodies from1/4 to 3/4 inches long. They are creamy white with yellow or brown heads and dark hind patterns. Adults vary in appearance because white grubs are the larvae of scarab beetles, June bugs, rose chafers, Asiatic beetles, and others.

Life Cycle: Grubs over winter and begin feeding early in spring. Adult beetles appear around late spring or early summer. A second generation emerges in late summer and feeds in autumn.

Damage Threshold: Watering is recommended after lawn insect control application to carry pesticides down through the grass and thatch into the soil level where most of the grubs live.

 

Moles and Gophers

moles

Moles damage lawns as they search for insects on which to feed.

gophers

 

Moles and gophers are rodents that live underground. Moles feed on earthworms, grubs, and other insects; gophers eat plant roots or entire plants. Each causes damage to the lawn by severing grass roots, raising sod, and in the case of gophers, eating sections of the lawn.

Moles are 6 to 8 inches long with gray to black velvety fur. When moles are present, you will notice raised ridges, 3 to 5 inches wide that crisscross the lawn. These ridges sometimes turn brown because the tunnels have destroyed the grass roots.

Gophers are brown, with small eyes and ears and conspicuous pouches on either sides of their mouths. Gophers create crescent-shaped mounds of soil on the lawn. On close probing, you will find a hole underneath each mound. Gophers usually are found in the western United States.

Trapping or baiting is the best form of pest control to eliminate gophers from your yard. Moles are harder to control with traps or poisons because of the fragile, temporary nature of their tunnels. The best way to help rid your lawn of moles is to eliminate their favorite food - grubs.

 

 

 

 

 


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ProGrass Lawn Care, Inc. provides excellent lawn care services including lawn fertilization, lawn weed control, lawn insect control, lawn aeration, and lawn seeding. ProGrass serves Maryland residents in Baltimore County including Timonium, Harford County, and Carroll County as well as Southern Pennsylvania.


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