Lawn Care Tips

As a lawn care provider for 20+ years, my aim here is to provide some helpful hints, tips and advice to those who want to increase the health and appearance of the lawn they care for. Whether you are new to lawn care or an old hand, you will find information here that will save you time, money and wasted effort. Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, April 16, 2005

One Indicator That You May Have An Insect Problem In Your Lawn

The sooner a homeowner realizes that a potential insect problem exists in his lawn, the sooner he can take action to mitigate any possible damage.

Certain insects, such as grubs, do their damage unseen while chewing on grass roots. Another insect - Sod Webworm - may go unnoticed until the homeowner mows their lawn. Fortunately Mother Nature can often provide the alert homeowner with an early warning system that there may be an impending insect problem. This early warning system involves birds.

If you notice more birds than usual on your lawn, and they seem to be sticking their beaks down into the lawn, they can very well be going after grubs. If you walk out to the area where all the birds were pecking and you notice small openings down to the soil below in a concentrated area of your lawn, that’s a pretty good indication of a grub problem. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about an occasional bird, pecking here and there. I’m talking about several birds in one area of your lawn with behavior as noted above. In other words, if you occasionally see a robin searching for worms, you have no reason for concern. Also, if you suspect a grub problem due to increased bird activity, you can always cut into your sod and take a peek underneath. If you see more than two or three grubs per square foot underneath your sod, you may want to consider treating affected areas with milky spore disease.

Another example of birds giving a homeowner an early warning of an insect problem is the gathering of small birds (such as sparrows) in large numbers on your lawn. If you notice these birds just standing around, not really doing much of anything, spend a few minutes watching them very closely. These birds may be watching for mature Sod Webworm moths to flutter up out of your lawn, flutter off a few feet and then drop back into the lawn. Apparently, when there is a large population of Sod Webworm moths in a lawn, rather than seeking out the moths while they’re in the lawn, these small birds prefer to wait until the moth is airborne and then chase after it in the hopes of it providing a meal. So if you notice small birds chasing small moths on your lawn, you should investigate further to determine whether or not you have an infestation of sod webworm. If you take the back side of a leaf rake and gently brush the top of the lawn in the areas with the heaviest bird activity, and you notice several lawn moths fluttering up, you may want to apply liquid dish soap in a hose end sprayer. (See previous post, “Your Lawn Loves A Good Lather”.)

And finally, I’d like to suggest that if you notice large numbers of birds on your lawn, that you not scare them off or discourage them. After all, they are preying on insects that will cause harm to your lawn.

NEXT TIME: Defining A Weed

Photo Author: kittenpuff1


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