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October 22, 2016 10:05 am

How to Rid Your Lawn of Pesky Pesks


Well-maintained lawns add curb appeal to any home. That is why proper upkeep should be done regularly.  Part of your upkeep regimen is ensuring your lawns are free from pesky pests.  Here is a step-by-step guide from testing to treatment.

lawnmower-384589_640Do Once-a-week Checks

Before running your mower, do a quick check on your lawn.  One way of checking is to monitor if there are birds or other insect-eating animals digging on your lawn.  It is a sign that they are feeding on insects found in your area.  However, it is possible that they are only preying on harmless organisms instead of the harmful ones.

Use Drench Test or Root Inspection

If you have suspicions about the presence of pests, start a drench test or root inspection. The drench test will help identify caterpillars and chinch bugs while inspecting roots and crowns will help detect grubs and beetles.

sunflower-1738487_640Find Out if Treatment is Needed

The presence of pests does not fully justify the use of pesticides.  Even healthy lawns may have a few.  Treatment is
employed when the standard threshold is exceeded.  A threshold is the level of the population where the total number of organisms feeding surpass the capacity of a healthy lawn to endure any harm they may induce. For instance, if the number of cutworms and armyworms per square yard is beyond five, a treatment is warranted.  Population thresholds can be tested on several sites to come up with realistic estimates (You may refer to threshold guides in the succeeding pages).


Choose Less Toxic Treatments

If  treatment is warranted, it is wise to choose products that have low toxicity levels. This will ensure that helpful organisms on your lawn won’t be harmed.  Products that are IPM-compatible like those extracted from Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) as well as insecticides like entomopathogenic nematodes do not contain ingredients harmful to beneficial organisms that you do not wish to eradicate.  Insecticides like pyrethrins also produce lower risk for beneficial organisms.

Remember that pesticide products are targeted at specific organisms.  To maximize efficacy, proper timing of application must be practiced.

Start Treatment Process

First, cut excess thatch of grass.  A little above half inch will do. Water the grass blades and allow to dry.  Once the grass is dry, start applying insecticides on organisms feeding on your grass.

After applying insecticides, ensure the treated lawn remains dry for at least two days.  This will ensure they remain on the grass’ surface for a longer time.  When eradicating white grubs and organisms that feed on the roots, apply insecticide first before watering your lawn.  This ensures treatment reaches the root feeders.

Decide if you are better off doing the treatment yourself or hiring a service company to do it for you.  Review your budget and your options.  If you so decide to hire a lawn service, ask all the information you need and communicate your needs well.

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