This time of year, we have clients call several times a week about cinch bug infestions in their lawn. The call usually goes something similar to this:
"I have a chinch bug problem in my St. Augustine lawn. I bought the granular pesticide from Lowe's that guaratees to kill chinch bugs, but it either is not working or the treatment isn't working fast enough because my brown spot is still growing. I don't want to resod just because of lawn pests. What should I do?"
Chinch bugs are the most destructive lawn pests we have and are also the most difficult to control - especially without the right equipment. The heat of summer really brings them out. They damage the grass by sucking the plant's juices. Normally, we first see the damage to the grass in the hottest and driest areas of the lawn first - many times near the
When we have record-breaking rain in Gainesville, Florida we usually find that a few things really like the conditions. This summer it has been nutsedge which must love the flooding rains because we’re seeing a large crop of it in lawns this year. It is so prolific that our phones are ringing with people asking what it is and how to they get rid of it. Perhaps you’ve seen some in your lawn this year?
Nutsedge is a dark-green leafed weed that looks a lot like grass that is sticking straight up. Typically, it grows taller than most Gainesville lawn trufgrasses so it becomes very obvious a couple days after mowing. But nutsedge isn’t a grass, even though it can be mistaken for a grassy weed. This often confuses other lawn pest control technicians because they treat it with a grassy weed product instead of a sedge control product. If you look closely at, or feel nutsedge, you’ll notice the leaf isn’t flat, its triangular – that’s what makes it...
Weeds are simply defined as plants out of place, or anything growing where it wasn't wanted. Technically, St. Augustine grass can be a weed in a Zoysia lawn, or vice versa. Here is a list of the most common Gainesville lawn weeds that can be found in our area.
Yellow Woodsorrel – Oxalis stricta
Annual to short-lived perennial, upright, with a single taproot, spreads by seed. Leaves of three, heart-shaped, pale green and bitter to taste due to the presence of oxalic acid. Bright yellow flowers have five petals. Prolific seed producer, pods will scatter seed for several feet when touched.
Bull Thistle – Cirsium vulgare
This time of year our phones are ringing off the hook and when those calls are about a client's lawn, there are two questions I hear all of the time. The first is "What can I do about the weeds taking over my lawn?" and second, "Why isn't my lawn as healthy as the others in my neighborhood?".
While I wish I had a quick and easy answer to these common concerns the truth is that are a myriad of factors from the type of turf and mowing height to micronutients in the soil and drainage that need to be taken into consideration. There are, however, some common themes I find when a client's lawn isn't where they would like it to be. In simplest terms the health of your lawn comes down to its most basic needs being met - Sun, water, and ...
I have had a couple people call this week and ask me about why their lawn has purple tips, seems to have yellowing, or is discolored this past week, so I thought it would be a great topic for this newsletter. There are a few different likely causes, based on the color and size of the discolored area in your lawn, that could be creating the concern. Some are harmless and others need immediate attention. Read on to learn how to identify what’s going on in your Gainesville lawn.
If you have St. Augustine grass in your lawn you might be surprised to see the tips of blades turning dark purple. This purple color is the lawn's natural reaction to cold weather stress, and is most prominent in Classic and Bitterblue St. Augustine varieties common in Haile Plantation and other Gainesville communities. This is common in our...
Part of caring for your Gainesville lawn is creating an environment that’s pleasing to the human eye, yet unattractive to pests. The good news is you don’t have to be a Gainesville lawn pest control expert to have a decent looking lawn. You just have to invest the right time, preparation, materials, and money to make sure your lawn stays protected - especially in the fall.
By preparing lawns in the late summer and early fall, you help strengthen lawns and prevent the growth of unwanted weeds and uninvited critters that like to pop up throughout fall and spring. .
Pests of concern
- White grubs: Grubs eat the roots near the surface of the soil, causing your lawn to die. The presence of white grubs often attracts birds, armadillos, and moles to dig up your Gainesville Landscape as well searching for food..
- Chinch bugs: In Gainesville Chinch ...
Sod webworms begin to show in Gainesville, Florida lawns around August and don't stop eating until the first frost. They can occasionally show up earlier though, if certain weather patterns occur. This pest feeds on all types of warm season turf, and the only way to protect from them is to be on a Gaineville Lawn Fertilization Program that includes a mixture of residual insecticide with proper nutrients that keep your lawn healthy and less suceptible to webworm invasion.
Above is a photo of a local Haile Plantation lawn with sodworm damage. Take notice of the chewed leaf blades and damaged turf from the little insects. Another way to be aware if you have webworms early are if you see moths flying up in the moring as you walk through your landscape.
The caterpillar is 1/25" when hatched and grows to ¾" in maturity and are usually light green with black spots. It takes 12 weeks to mature to...
Gainesville lawn Chinch bugs love the heat of the Florida climate and prefer dry sunny areas of St. Augustine grass, which is we have seen so many active colonies of Lawn pests these past few weeks around Alachua County.
Chich bugs damage grass by feeding on the plant juices through a needle-shaped beak causing lawns to develop yellow and brown patches that resemble drought stress. Chinch bug eggs begin to hatch in Florida during early spring and multiply continuing well into summer when they start to be seen in 1 out of every 3 Gainesville lawns that aren't on a Lawn Pest Prevenative Program.
Their eggs hatch in 10 days and the young develop into adults in as little as 3 weeks. Although chinch bugs are most commonly found feeding on St. Augustine grass, they will infest other grass species. They rarely...
One of the most frequently asked questions I am asked on an initial consultation with a potential client is, "Why isn't my grass as green as the other people in my neighborhood?" My response always starts the same way, that a lawn has three relatively basic needs for long-term health: Food, Water, and Sunlight. In the past two articles, we've discussed the right amount of water and sunlight, so that leaves the last tip of the series to be about food, also known as lawn fertilization.
Many homeowners in our area use the ‘feast or famine’ method fertilizing once or twice a...
One of my constant talking points is that a Gainesville lawn needs 3 main ingredients to thrive: water, food, and sun. If it has all three, grass will grow on concrete (not forever, but if it didn’t, we wouldn’t need edgers). If you’re missing one of those three things the lawn won’t get any better regardless of what you do. Today, I want to discuss the importance of water, or more importantly how you can tell if your lawn problem is water-related.
If your lawn developed brown spots last spring in the sunny areas, I’d venture to guess that your problem is water-related. Most of the lawn issues we see in May and June are from the dry spells we experience. These brown spots during droughts are...