Checking the Lawn for Bugs
Checking the lawn for bugs may is not as easy as scouting for plant problems, often lawn bugs are out of site and out of mind, untill that is half of our lawn is to far gone. Frequent scouting of the lawn and landscape help us see problems before they become major time and money issues.
Checking for Mole Crickets | Chinch bugs | Lawn Caterpillars | Beneficial Insects
Soap Soaking a 4 quare Foot Area
The best way to check your damaged sod for the presence of insects is to take a 2 empty milk jugs with with 1 oz each of dishwashing detergent such as Dawn and fill with water. Slowly drench about a 4 ft area near the edge of where the damaged grass meets the good grass and watch carefully for the next few minutes to see what surfaces. Repeat this process in a few areas throughout the lawn.
Float checking for bugs
I like to use an old coffee can or large 5 gallon plastic bucket and cut the bottom out. Drive the cut out can that you have now made into a tube into the soil 3 -5 inches deep using a mallet or hammer, the objective is to get the can as deep as the grass roots. Then flood the can with a few inches of soapy water mixture, s it keeps soaking into the grass beneath keep adding water to keep a few inches of soapy water in the can at all times. Watch for the next 5 minutes to see what surfaces. I like to use this method because although testing a smaller area, insects can not just tunnel into untreated soil they will hit the side of the can and have nowhere to go but up. Repeat this process several times throughout the yard to check for insect populations.
Checking for Billbugs | White Grubs
The best way to check your damaged sod for the presence of these root chewing insects is to take a spade and cut 3 sides of a square with the edge of the spade. Then push the spade on the cut side under the turf and towards the uncut section of the square making a “ flap” of grass that you can fold back and check for the presence of the billbug and other beetle larvae known as white grubs in the soil feeding on sod roots. Replace the flap and check several sections of lawn grass.