Top Ten Troublemakers!

Pests and ailments are part of the trials and tribulations of gardening. This list identifies the most common problems found in lawns and gardens.

White Grubs

Symptom: Circular dead patches of lawn in spring and during hot spells. Turf flipped over or holes dug around the patches. You can pull up the turf easily. Cause: White Grub Damage. Flying insects lay their eggs in the lawn in mid July. Grubs eat the roots of the lawn causing it to die. Raccoons and skunks dig up these tasty morsels at night. Solution: Ant and Grub Killer, Diazinon Application: There is not much you can do about the larger animals other than reduce the grub population by applying a soil drench. Mix the chemicals at the recommended rate and water in for at least an hour after applying. You can apply in early spring to kill grubs when they first come up to feed. However, the best time is late July to September to kill newly hatched insects.

Chinch Bugs

Sympton: Large irregular dead patches in sunny areas and along walkways. Black or brown insects 1/8 to 1/4 inch long with white wings present. Cause: Chinch bugs. Both adults and nymphs suck the juices from the blades of grass, at the same time injecting a poison which kills the grass within a few days. Solution: Ant and Grub Killer, Diazinon Application: Water the lawn for at least one hour before applying insecticides to bring insects to the surface. Apply insecticide at the recommended rate on the container.

Sod Webworms

Sod  Webworms
Symptom: What is a webworm? Sounds like a person frequenting the internet but that’s not the right answer. Webworms are large irregular dead patches which occur in the driest sections of the lawn. Tiny silken rubes are found at the lawn’s base. In the early evening, tiny white moths fly in an erratic manner over the lawn. When they land, they fold their wings along their bodies rather than spreading them like other moths. Cause: Sod Webworms are the cause. This group of moths drop their eggs as they fly over the lawn. The larvae feed on the grass at night and during cloudy weather, hiding in the silken tubes during the day. Solution: Ant and Grub Killer, Diazinon Application: Rake out all the dead grass from the lawn and mow. Rake again and water the lawn for one hour before applying insecticide at the recommended rate, in the late afternoon or evening. Do not cut or water the lawn for at least four days after application.


Sympton: A flat, broad, coarse grass forms clumps within the lawn. Turns purple and dies in late summer leaving brown patches in lawn. Cause: Crabgrass is the cause. This annual grass grows from seed that is produced all season long. It is one of the first weeds to invade a lawn that is weak and has begun to thin out. Solution: Lawn Food with Crabgrass Control and as I stated earlier you must seed your lawn regularly. This will choke out any crabgrass and keep your grass lush and green. Application: This is one of the few grass-type weeds that can be controlled chemically. Apply with good effect from early spring until late May. The active ingredient Dimension is a preemergent herbicide which causes the seeds to fail to germinate. It will also kill the young seedlings up to the third leaf stage.

Black Spot

Symptom: Circular black spots appear on the top side of rose leaves. Leaves turn yellow and fall off, usually lower leaves first. Cause: Black Spot is the cause. This fungal disease is most prevalent during cool, damp weather. It is spread by water and germinates every fourteen days or so. Solution: Rose and Flower Dust, Rose Spray, Funginex, Lime Sulphur/Dormant Oil Spray (in spring). Application: Dust or spray roses every seven to ten days to prevent spread of infection. Water plants in the morning so that plants dry quickly. Avoid getting foliage wet. Remove all fallen leaves and infected canes in fall. Spray with Lime Sulphur/Dormant Oil in the spring before new growth begins.

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