Early Summer Turfgrass Insect Pest Situation
by Rick Brandenburg
A lot takes place relative to insect pests in turf during the early summer. Beetles such as Japanese beetles, green June beetles and other beetles that lay eggs and lead to white grubs in turf are all over many of your plants such as roses, cannas, peach trees, and crape myrtles. They eat, mate and lay eggs; by early July small white grubs may be present. This is why we recommend that most white grub insecticide application occur in early July.
Hot weather leads to chinch bugs, especially in St. Augustinegrass, but also in zoysiagrass during extreme periods of heat and drought. We have already observed some serious chinch bug injury in the Sandhills area (such as in picture above).
No predictions yet on fall armyworms, but they will let us know of their presence soon enough. Mole cricket egg hatch went off on schedule in late May. Despite the very warm December and March, insect activity occurred close to normal for timing.
The hot weather of the summer means insect pest infestations can change rapidly. Stay tuned to Turf Alerts for updates as the summer moves forward.