Identifying Problem Ohio Lawn Insects

Many insects are beneficial to the turf in that they aid in the decomposition of organic matter, improve soil structure and soil aeration and some are predators of other, more harmful organisms. Nonetheless, many insects present problems for the homeowner and care should be taken to monitor their activities before they cause extensive damage.

Here in Ohio, we have several turf damaging insects that can create problems.

White grubs are the larval stage of beetles, such as the Japanese beetle and June Bug. They can cause extensive damage when their numbers reach a significant number in the soil.

Mature beetles lay 100s of eggs in the soil in June and July. The eggs hatch into a small grub that is lives just below the soils surface. They immediately begin feeding on the roots of the grass plants. As they mature, the grubs become larger with larger appetites. By early fall, with heavy infestations, dead patches in the lawn will start appearing in the lawn. By late fall the grubs begin burrowing down deeper into the soil where they hibernate over the winter months to reemerge the following year as a beetle.

We can control grubs before they can cause damage. The time to control them is when they hatch. Our grub control program will destroy them without harming other insects in the soil.

Chinch bugs, unlike grubs, are surface feeding insects that actually attack a blade of grass near the soil. They don’t actually eat the grass, but puncture a hole in the leaf stem that causes the blade to die. Chinch bug control is a little more difficult to control and care must be taken to insure that chinchbugs are causing the problem. They are difficult to identify since they feed only at night.

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