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Pests & Disease

Some Pests of Garden (Hairy Bugs)

Some Pests of Garden

Some Pests of Garden
Some Pests of Garden

White Worms

White grubs are larvae of common chafer, European chafer, and Japanese beetles. They measure between 1 and 4 cm long and are curved in a “C” shape. These larvae live in the soil and feed on the roots of the grass. Damaged areas turn yellow or brown and can be raised like a carpet. Damage is most visible in the spring and fall. White grubs are appreciated by skunks, raccoons, and other small mammals that dig holes in the lawn to feed on them.

Solutions:

-Limit outdoor lighting during the nesting period (June, July) because light attracts the chafer.
-Apply entomopathogenic nematodes, which parasitize white grubs, between mid-August and mid-September. Read the label of the product.
-Renovate damaged areas of the lawn in case of serious infestation. Scrape the dead turf, work the soil and collect the larvae and nymphs (stage of development of the insect before the adult stage). Reseed or sod on a plate.

Hairy bugs

Hairy Bugs is a small insect (3 to 5 mm long in the adult stage) damage the lawn by perforating the leaves and stems of grasses to suck the sap. The affected areas turn yellow and brown, but the dead grass remains well anchored to the ground. The first signs of infestation usually appear between mid-July and mid-August. Lawns in sandy soil and in full sun are particularly vulnerable. Since drought causes much of the same damage, take the following test to see if the brown patches are really caused by hairy bugs.

Flotation test:

open a large tin at both ends and push it 3 to 5 centimeters into the soil at the edge of the damaged area. Fill the container with water and scrape the grass inside the box. If your lawn is infested with hairy bugs, small red (nymph) or black (adult) insects will float on the surface of the water after a few minutes. Repeat the test a few times in the different affected areas.

Solutions:

-Reset the lawn with grass grasses enriched with endophytes (fungi that repel or kill hairy bugs). Also sow clover that is not part of the bedbug diet.
-Put a commercial vacuum (“Shop Vac” style) on the damaged area and on a perimeter of 60 cm width around it. In case of infestation during the previous year, start the aspiration at the end of May to catch the females before laying.
-Replace grass with ground cover or flower beds in heavily affected areas.

Ants

The ants present in the lawn are very useful. They ventilate the soil and feed on the eggs of harmful insects (especially those of the June beetles). However, by forming mounds of sand in the lawn, they can destroy the grass locally. If their presence annoys you, here are some tips to reduce their numbers.
-Dry the mounds of sand with a rake.
-Take boiling water or lemon juice directly on the nests, and repeatedly.
-Use, as a last resort, a low-impact pesticide whose active ingredient is borax or boric acid; apply it near the nests. Read the label of the product.

Diseases

Lawn diseases can manifest themselves in many ways: grass stains, powdery white down, brown patches, and so on. However, their appearance is uncommon on lawns that enjoy good growing conditions and adequate maintenance. In case of infection, consult a specialist to identify the disease and to find appropriate solutions. In these situations, it is recommended that clippings be picked up to limit the spread of the infection.

The unwanted weeds

-Maintain the dense and vigorous lawn by applying the principles of ecological maintenance. This will limit the spread of unwanted weeds,
-Arrange weeds by hand or with a dandelion puller as soon as they appear. Try to remove the entire root. Grubbing will be facilitated if the soil is wet.
-Wet the unwanted weeds on the pavement or along a sidewalk. You can also burn them with a propane torch.
-Use corn gluten meal as needed to control unwanted weeds in the lawn. This product prevents seeds from germinating but has no effect on already established weeds. Products offered in garden centers contain either corn gluten meal or a mixture of flour and fertilizer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Precaution of use:

corn gluten meal inhibits the germination of all seeds. Do not use it if you plan to re-seed your lawn. Since the flour contains nitrogen (about 10%), this must be taken into account at the time of fertilization.
-Use, as a last resort, a low-impact pesticide whose active ingredient is acetic acid or the mixture of capric and pelargonic acids. Apply the herbicide only to unwanted weeds. Read the label of the product.

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