There are few things more frustrating or discouraging than working hard to create something beautiful and then find that it is being destroyed. Anybody who gardens in Mt. Pleasant has probably had this experience due to chinch bugs, beetles, grubs, deer or other pests.
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Knowing your enemy is empowering, so here are a few things to watch for:
The southern chinch bug, Blissus insularis, is a common turf grass pest in the southeast. Although Chinch bugs are very small and hard to see, they are very devastating to lawns and grasses. St. Augustine seems to be the grass that they like the most, however, they will feed on other types of grasses including, zoysia, bermuda and centipede.
Adult and immature chinch bugs suck sap from the host plant. As they feed, a toxin is injected into the grass causing it to turn yellow and eventually die. Chinch bugs are most common on lush, heavily fertilized grass and on grass with a heavy thatch layer.
There are signs that are the first tell-tell marker of chinch bug infestation. First, the area will look like a spot in the lawn that is not getting enough water. This spot often starts near the pavement or sidewalk areas. The grass looks brown shriveled up and it may run along the road or concrete because the yard is warmer along the concrete area thus giving them a better environment.
You can test this brown area for chinch bugs by filling a bucket full of water. With a shovel remove some green grass and dirt from around the area that borders the brown grass. Drop the soil/grass sample into the water and any insects inside that area will float to the top. The chinch bugs will look like black fleas with a white stripe mark on their back. You may want to treat your yard with a liquid insecticide that gets down into the root zone. In severe cases, you may need to go back and apply a second application.
You may want to treat your yard with a liquid insecticide that gets down into the root zone. In severe cases, you may need to go back and apply a second application.
Call us now. 843-886-9314.
Grubs are the larval stage of beetles. Turf grass, in South Carolina, can be attacked by Japanese beetles, masked chafers, green June beetles, or by May/June beetles. All of these beetles have a one–year life cycle except the May and June beetles that have 2-3 year life cycle. And all of these pests go through four distinct forms during the life cycle: egg, grub (larva), pupa, and adult. Eggs are laid in the soil during the summer and the adult beetles emerge from the soil the next spring or summer.
They feed on over 300 different kinds of plants, including ornamentals, vegetables, and field crops and can cause considerable damage. The female beetle lays eggs in the top 2-3 inches of soil. Eggs hatch in 10-14 days into 0.1–inch grubs, which are nearly translucent. These tiny grubs begin feeding on grass roots. Feeding continues through the fall until the beginning of winter. At this time the grubs move deeper into the soil. In March/April the grubs move back into the root zone, feed for a short time, and pupate. After 1-3 weeks the adults emerge from the soil, mate, feed, and start the cycle again by laying eggs.
Grubs feed on the roots of grasses, so lawns will show wilting and browning of irregular shaped areas. Certainly there could be many reasons for lawns browning, especially in late summer when most grub damage occurs. Always check the root zone of affected areas for the white, c-shaped grubs. Carefully pull back the sod in suspect areas, in particular the marginal areas where brown grass meets green grass, and look for the grubs. Usually a population of about 10 or more grubs per square foot will lead to browning of the lawn.
Pesticide Used for Grubs
A preventative pesticide should be used to kill grubs over a long period of time – those that are present at the time of treatment, as well as those that hatch during the season of application. Because a preventative pesticide contains nitrogen fertilizer, it's important to keep lawns irrigated after application to avoid burning grass in summer heat. Watering after pesticide application moves the pesticide down into the soil and also encourages moisture-loving grubs to move upward.
Grub control takes time! Treatment against these pests should be done a few times a year so that you don't get any returning larva.
Pleasant Landscapes experts know exactly how to identify and eradicate these and other pests that have a devastating effect on property. If you suspect that your property has any unwanted visitors, don't let it bug you, give us a call!
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