Application Lasts All Season
Covers All Turf Damaging Pests
Pollinator & Earthworm Safe
Additionally, this product does not have a signal word on its label because of the results of required acute toxicity studies conducted on the formulation. In other words, this product is as safe as it gets without being fully organic.
- No Signal Word - The product used in this program.
- Caution - Products like Cascade, Comet, Lemon Pledge, and Tide all carry this Signal Word.
- Danger Poison
What Are Grubs? Grubs are the thick, white worm larval stage of beetles such as the June-bug. Annual white grubs are the most common pest species, producing one generation every year. Eggs hatch by the end of June/July producing small larvae that begin feeding in the root zone. Large larvae are present by September, but the damage may appear anytime between August and November. Larvae migrate down into the soil to spend the winter. Larvae migrate back up into the root zone to feed again in the spring before pupation and damage to turf may also occur during this time.
Do they Cause Damage? White grub larvae are capable of causing severe damage to turfgrass and adults can even be pests of ornamental plants. Their feeding damages plant roots, causing the turf to wilt and die. Early indications of grub damage may include patchy areas of wilting, discolored or stressed turf that does not respond to irrigation. Turf eventually collapses resulting in dead or extremely thin patches that may range in size from a few meters to large contiguous areas. This kind of damage, called primary damage, may result in sod that easily pulls-up or becomes dislodged from the soil, revealing the white grubs beneath. Damage may either be a direct result of white grub feeding (primary damage) or a result of animals destroying the turf while foraging for the grubs (secondary damage).
Why We Recommend Prevention Rather than Curative Control. Curative control is often referred to as a rescue strategy because it targets white grubs after the damage has been noticed. Options for curative control are somewhat limited because they must kill, or cause the grubs to stop feeding relatively quickly. Ideally, insecticides used in this capacity will provide an opportunity for the turf to recover and resume growth before winter, but the efficacy of late curative applications will be significantly reduced if grubs have stopped feeding or moved deeper into the soil to overwinter.
Animals Digging for Grubs. As previously mentioned, animals foraging for white grubs can be a serious concern for lawns because of the damage caused as they dig for the grubs. Animals such as moles, raccoons, skunks, and armadillos routinely forage for and consume white grubs that infest turfgrass. Although trapping these foraging animals may provide a long-term solution, such activities can be time-consuming and are not always compatible with kids and pets. One recent study suggests the use of organic fertilizer can deter foraging animals, substantially reducing secondary damage to turf.
What are Armyworms? Fall armyworm caterpillars range in color from shades of brown to gray, green or yellow-green. Their most distinguishing characteristic is a whitish inverted Y between the eyes, and three whitish stripes on the pronotal shield behind the head. The name ‘armyworm’ originates from agriculture, where infestations sometimes resemble an army as they move across large agriculture fields. The same behavior can sometimes occur in turf, where areas as large as a football field can be consumed in 2-3 days.
Do They Cause Damage? The larval stage of armyworms can cause rapid, significant loss of leaf tissue in turfgrass. They feed primarily on bermudagrass but can be found in zoysiagrass. The fall armyworm is the most common cause of damaged turfgrass on golf courses, athletic fields, and home landscapes. Damage may initially resemble drought stress but will progress to complete loss of foliage if numbers are sufficient, and the turfgrass is left untreated. There may also be a distinct line between damaged and undamaged areas. Healthy and actively growing bermudagrass typically recovers after infestation and defoliation due to its aggressive growth habit. However, newly established grasses, such as zoysia, may be stunted or killed by armyworm feeding. Damage by fall armyworm caterpillars (larvae) initially appears at the tips of the grass blades where they appear transparent due to the plant cells being eaten. If left uncontrolled, caterpillars may continue feeding, stripping tissue from turfgrass leaves and leaving brown areas adjacent to green turf. Caterpillars feed throughout the day but are typically most active in the early morning and late evening hours where they can often be easily observed.
What are Billbugs? Billbugs are a specialized group of weevils or snout beetles. Several species of billbugs attack turf. In Arkansas, one of the primary pests of bermudagrass is the hunting billbug. Adult billbugs are gray, black or brown, and measure 3/8 inch long. They have a beak-like snout and the snout, head, and thorax are about as long as the wing covers. Billbug grubs are white and legless with a somewhat curved body and measure about 3/8 inch long when fully grown. Grubs have a brown head capsule and can usually be found in grass stems or thatch.
What damage do they cause? Adult billbugs chew holes in grass stems, usually just above the crown to create an egg-laying site. Larvae begin to tunnel within the stem upon hatching, then burrow into the crown or exit and infest another stem. Older larvae will feed on the crown and can kill plants. Injury symptoms are often mistaken for disease or winter kill. The dead turf will not respond to watering and can be pulled easily from the soil. Closer inspection will reveal signs of billbug feeding, including hollowed out stems and sawdust.
What grasses do they effect? The hunting billbug infests zoysiagrass and hybrid bermudagrass but will also feed on centipedegrass and St. Augustine grass. Bermudagrass seems to be less susceptible than zoysiagrass to severe injury from hunting billbug. However, improved strains of hybrid bermudagrass are most susceptible to this pest. Texas researchers report that varieties of Zoysia japonica, which includes “Meyer,” are very susceptible to billbug infestation. Varieties of Zoysia matrella, which include “Royal” and “Diamond,” are somewhat tolerant.
What is their lifecycle? In spring, billbug adults become active in infested areas and can be seen crawling over paved areas that are near infested turf. Billbugs overwinter primarily as adults, but some larvae also overwinter. Adult billbugs overwinter in thatch, soil crevices, under bark mulch or leaf litter, or other sheltered places. Adults become active in spring and wander to find suitable host plants where they mate and begin to lay eggs. Females lay from 2-5 eggs per day, placed singly in small, chewed cavities of grass stems. Oviposition is usually complete by mid-July, but some eggs are probably laid all summer continuously.
What are Spittlebugs? Adult two-lined spittlebugs resemble robust, black leafhoppers with two red stripes across the back. The wings are held over the back in an inverted "V." Adults are about 1⁄3 inch long. The eyes are bright red. The abdomen is bright red and shows conspicuously when in flight. Nymphs resemble the adults, but are smaller and lack wings. Nymphs are yellow, white or orange, but have red eyes and brown heads. The most unusual characteristic of this stage is the spittlemass. The white, frothy spittlemass envelopes the nymph and protects from desiccation and predators.
What kind of damage do they cause? Spittlebug nymphs are particularly damaging because as they feed by sucking plant juices from the turfgrass, they must remove enough fluids to form the protective spittlemass. The needlelike mouthparts do little damage, but the fluid removal leads to weakened, stressed grass that may turn yellow and then brown. Severe infestations can even kill the turfgrass. In addition to feeding damage, the spittlemasses themselves can become a nuisance and can give the turf an unsightly appearance. Heavy infestations of two-lined spittlebugs can produce so much spittle that the lawn squishes when walked on.
Why we use a preventative strategy? The only accurate way to assess the need to treat is to search through the turf down near the soil line and find the spittlebugs. This requires some time and effort. The turfgrass must be scrutinized by parting the grass and looking for the spittlemasses that surround the nymphs. After control is obtained, the area should be periodically rechecked as reinfestation can occur quickly since the two-lined spittlebug has at least two generations per year.