Optional Services

White Grubs - Time to Lime - Gypsum
Fungus Disease - Fleas, Ticks, and Chiggers
Gallery - Winter Grain Mites - Aerate your Lawn

White Grubs

These short, fat, soil inhabiting white worms can cause severe damage to all of the varieties of lawn grasses found in our area. Although open, sunny lawns are the most likely to attract this pest, partially shaded areas have been exhibiting more damage in recent years.

The cause of this problem is the larval stage of a particular 'June Bug' whose life cycle is completed in one year. The adults are small, brown beetles that appear during the evenings in June and early July. Since the adults are attracted to light, they often converge on porch lights, patio lights or uncovered windows. You may hear them bumping into the glass panes of storm doors or windows as they seek the light source. In our area the peak of the adult activity usually occurs around the first week of July.

After mating, the female beetle flies over a lawn, selects the 'right' spot and deposits her eggs in the soil. Depending on soil conditions, these eggs hatch from late July through August. As they begin feeding on the roots of grass plants, the 'baby' grubs grow rapidly in size. Most damage becomes obvious during August and September when the full-sized grubs are feeding to store up reserves for winter survival. As the soil temperature drops during the fall, the grubs move deeper into the soil to wait out the winter below the frost line.
The following Spring brings rising soil temperatures; the grubs return to the root zone, feed briefly (causing very little, if any, additional damage), pupate and emerge as adult beetles in June to begin a new cycle.

A few grubs do not cause any lawn problems. However, a high grub population can kill large areas of turf by destroying most of the root structure. The visible symptoms of grub damage may seem to indicate a lack of water. The initial response of many homeowners is to water the 'dry' areas but the grass does not recover. If you were to grab a handful of the affected grass and pull up, you would easily lift the sod off the soil because it is not rooted down. It is almost like a brown rug lying on the soil. Beneath the damaged turf, you would observe a layer of soft pulverized soil containing the White Grubs. They would be easy to find in the soft soil unless it was very dry or very hot. Under these conditions, the larvae temporarily would move deeper into the soil and would be more difficult to locate.

Certain birds, such as Starlings, have an uncanny ability to detect the presence of lawn insects. If you see numerous small 'peck holes' in certain areas of the lawn, these may indicate the presence of insects such as Sodwebworms or White Grubs.

Also, some nocturnal animals like skunks, opossum, etc., love to feed on grubs and will cause significant damage to lawns as they rip up the turf to get at the grubs. Moles, which feed on soil inhabitants such as earthworms and grubs, may be attracted to areas with high grub populations.
Fortunately, the White Grub problem is easily prevented by a timely application of the appropriate control agent. The newer controls are quite effective and require only one application per year.



Time to Lime

Winter is an excellent time to apply granular limestone to the lawn in order to neutralize excess soil acids. You may know that most of our soils are acidic and tend to become more so with time. Too much acid in the soil will create problems for the lawn and will retard the growth of the grass. Liming reestablishes the proper acidic balance and promotes thatch breakdown.

Instead of waiting for the acid level to build up to the point of creating difficulties, our approach is to stay ahead of the problem by applying lime every 2-3 years. If your lawn has not been limed in the past two years, you may want to have us make an application of granular limestone.


Gypsum

Winter is an ideal time to apply granular gypsum to the lawn. This product reportedly loosens up clay soils which, in turn, promotes improved root growth and better soil penetration of nutrients and moisture. The overall result is improved plant health and hardiness. In addition gypsum supplies two major nutrients, Calcium and Sulfur, which benefit the turf growth environment.

Gypsum also facilitates the removal of excess salt away from the turfgrass root zone. Excess salt creates growth problems along the edges of curbs, sidewalks and driveways where it has been used for melting snow and ice. Gypsum should be applied at a heavier rate in those areas.


Fungus Disease

Most Fungus disease problems increase during hot summer weather. Thick, thatchy lawns that are not mowed or watered properly are likely candidates for disease. Damage usually shows up as discrete small spots of discolored turf. The sunniest areas of the lawn are usually the first to show damage. As the disease progresses, the spots enlarge and coalesce to form large patches. If left unchecked, large areas may be killed out.

Some fungi are easier to control than others. In any case, it is important to use the correct fungicide for a particular disease. If a fungicide is needed, we can recommend the one you should use, or, we can quote a price for Lawn Pro to make the application. Please note that these products are expensive and may require repeat treatments. Also, they do not always provide 100% control. These are good reasons for maintaining correct watering and mowing practices.


Fleas, Ticks and Chiggers

These mean little pests reside in the lawn and can be a serious nuisance to pets and people. Some ticks may carry Lyme Disease which can infect both pets and persons. These pests are active during the warm season - Spring through Fall.
If you've had problems with these critters, you could apply appropriate control agents several times during the season. Lawn Pro offers a three treatment program which includes special applications made along with our regular Late Spring, Summer and Fall services.


Gallery - An effective Broadleaf Weed Control

While we have good preemergent products for annual grassy weed control, the standard control for Broadleaf weeds has always been post-emergent applications, that is, treatments applied after the Broadleaf weeds appear.

A new product, Gallery, has become available in granular form. It appears to offer good preemergent control for Broadleaf weeds. Although costly, our experience to date shows that the product is quite effective for almost a full year. We would like to apply Gallery with the Winterizer Service for customers interested in obtaining excellent Broadleaf weed control and in helping us continue our evaluation of this product.


Winter Grain Mites

This very tiny pest is becomes more of a problem as its numbers increase. In some instances, they may reach several thousand mites per square foot! Their life cycle is unusual in that the eggs hatch in October and the new mites feed on the turf throughout the winter - even beneath the snow. The mites tend to congregate and do more damage beneath litter, such as fallen leaves. The damage becomes evident in the Spring when the infested areas fail to green up. By late Spring, the mite is gone. Bluegrass, Tall Fescue and Ryegrass lawns are most vulnerable.

Clover mites may cause similar problems in the early spring. We recommend a preventive treatment during the Winter that will control both mite populations.


Aerate that Lawn

Late Summer through Fall is the best time to aerate lawns and we again recommend Core Aeration to all of our customers. University studies indicate that an annual core aeration promotes improvement in the overall health of the lawn - improvements that can be obtained by no other means! Periodic core aeration reduces soil compaction and helps retard thatch buildup. Root growth is stimulated and a thicker, healthier lawn is the result! We will go over your lawn twice to ensure adequate aeration!

Overseeding: An excellent time to overseed is following core aeration. This will accelerate turf improvement, especially in thin areas.