S20 Turf Pest Control

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S20 Turf Pest Control Powered By Docstoc

                 Category 3B

Turf Pest

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station
and Cooperative Extension Service
                                                                               Table of Contents
Introduction                                        4
Turf Diseases                                       7
  Other Causes of Poor Turf                        16
Turf Weeds                                        19
  Weed Control Methods                             24
  Herbicide Formulations                           26
  Liquid Application                               26
  Using Herbicides                                 27
  Herbicide Applicators                            32
Turf Insects                                      35
  Common Turf-Damaging Insects                     36
Calibration                                       48
  Application                                      51
  Area Measurements                                51
  Weights and Measures                             52
  Environmental Concerns                           52
Vertebrate Pests                                  56
Special Considerations with Pesticides            61

                                  Directions for Using this Manual
                                     This is a self-teaching manual. At the end of each major section is a list
                                  of study questions to check your understanding of the subject matter. By
                                  each question in parenthesis is the page number on which the answer to
                                  that question can be found. This will help you in checking your answers.
                                     These study questions are representative of the type that are on the
                                  certification examination. By reading this manual and answering the
                                  study questions, you should be able to gain sufficient knowledge to pass
                                  the Kansas Commercial Pesticide Applicators’ Certification examination.

                                                              Geographically, Kansas is in the
                                                           transition zone between the northern
                   The turfgrass industry in Kansas        cool-season grass range and the
               includes home lawns, institutional          southern warm-season grass range.
               and industrial grounds, sod produc-         Both kinds of grasses are grown in
               tion, golf courses, athletic fields and     Kansas, but neither is as well adapted
               other recreational turf, parks, road-       here as farther north or south.
               sides, airports and cemeteries. Home           Because Kansas grows both cool-
               lawns comprise by far the greatest          season grasses (bluegrass, tall fescue
               amount of turfgrass acreage.                and ryegrass) and warm-season
                   Turfgrass is maintained for beautifi-   grasses (bermudagrass, zoysiagrass
               cation, recreation, erosion control and     and buffalograss) the turfgrass man-
               general utility purposes. In general,       ager and pesticide applicator must be
               people appreciate and take pride in         able to accurately identify the various
               maintaining attractive and quality turf.    kinds of grasses and be familiar with
                   Turf must have proper care and          their management requirements. The
               management and timely pest control          management practices for cool-
               to be attractive, have good color and       season and warm-season grasses are
               density and be free of weeds, insects       distinctly different. Some problems
               and disease. Turfgrass management           are quite selective to the class or kind
               includes selecting the right grass,         of grass. Many chemicals are for use
               mowing, watering, fertilizing and           on warm-season turf or cool-season
               thatch control. These are the most          turf only.
               important factors in maintaining               Some problems arise from
               good turf and preventing problems.          improper selection of a turfgrass
                   Pesticides should be used as an aid     species or cultivar. The wrong grass
               in turf management but not as a sub-        for the wrong situation will result in
               stitute for good cultural practices.        continual problems that are difficult
               Do not use pesticides to offset the         to combat, even with good manage-
               effects from improper watering, fer-        ment and pesticide application. Prob-
               tilizing practices, mowing height and       lems develop when turfgrasses are
               frequency, thatch accumulation, poor        unable to withstand environmental
               soil or improper turfgrass species.         stress or when good management
                   The following factors affect            cannot offset the effects of environ-
               turfgrass growth: climate, soil, man-       mental stress. Then pesticides can be
               agement, pest control and selecting         a valuable aid to management.
               adapted species and cultivars.                 When diagnosing turfgrass
                   The climate of Kansas is often          problems:
               harsh for growing consistent quality         1. Determine the kind of grass or
               turfgrass. Temperature ranges from               grasses involved.
               summer to winter are extreme and             2. Find out why the problem
               limit the kinds of grasses that will             occurred.
               grow. Rainfall and soil pH vary con-         3. Determine if the problem is
               siderably from eastern to western                best corrected by management
               Kansas. The extreme, variable and                practices, soil modification, or
               unpredictable combinations of tem-               pesticides.
               perature, rainfall, humidity, sun            4. Check to see if a chemical is
               intensity, day length and wind often             labeled both for the turfgrass
               put considerable stress on turfgrasses           species and the problem.
               growing in Kansas. Only a few                5. Recommend good cultural prac-
               months of each year offer ideal grow-            tices that will assist in turfgrass
               ing conditions.                                  recovery.

Preventive                                       which develops between the
                                                 layer of green vegetation and the
Disease Control                                  soil surface. Too much thatch
   There is no magic formula for                 keeps water from penetrating the
producing a good lawn. Like all                  soil, makes some disease prob-
plants, lawn grasses need proper                 lems worse, and apparently pre-
amounts of light, moisture and                   vents the grass from putting
nutrients, and are subject to several            down a deep root system. Thatch
diseases much the same as other                  is often an ailment of good lawns.
plants. Not all lawns are affected               Grasses differ in their inclination
with the same disease; some areas                to develop thatch. Tall fescue and
are more disease-prone than others.              buffalograss are less likely to
Following are some facts about dis-              have a serious thatch problem
ease and general cultural practices              than Kentucky bluegrass, red
that help prevent them, reduce their             fescue, zoysiagrass, or
effects and foster plant recovery.               bermudagrass.
 1. Fungi and nematodes are the             5.   Do not mow upright grasses,
    cause of all serious infectious              such as Kentucky bluegrass and
    diseases in lawns in the Midwest.            fescues too closely—2 to 3 inches
    The fungi usually produce micro-             is recommended. Creeping
    scopic spores that are spread by             grasses such as bermudagrass
    wind, water, mowers or other                 and zoysia do best at 1 to 11⁄2 inch
    equipment, and infected grass                in a general lawn situation.
    clippings. Nematodes are micro-         6.   Mow grass frequently, so that
    scopic worms which survive in                no more than one-fourth to one-
    the soil or grass debris as eggs,            third of the leaf surface is removed
    cysts or larvae and feed on the              at any one time. Continue to mow
    roots of grass plants.                       the lawn throughout the fall until
 2. Fungus spores need proper mois-              the grass stops growing.
    ture and favorable temperatures         7.   Lawn areas where air movement
    to infect. Lawn diseases are most            is restricted can be problem
    common and damaging during                   spots. Thinning or removal of
    wet, humid seasons or with fre-              surrounding shrubs and trees
    quent light waterings during dry             allows sunlight to penetrate and
    periods.                                     increases air flow. This speeds
 3. Water properly. The more often               drying of the grass and aids
    grass is wet and the longer it               in disease control. Space land-
    remains wet, the greater the                 scape plants properly to allow
    chances of disease problems.                 adequate air movement and to
    During dry periods, enough                   avoid excessive shade.
    water should be applied at one          8.   Grass diseases may build up and
    time to provide adequate mois-               spread rapidly in pure stands of
    ture for several days to a week.             a susceptible variety because
    Ideally, the soil should be wetted           every plant is susceptible. Dis-
    slightly deeper than the depth of            ease severity is reduced in lawns
    root penetration.                            containing a compatible blend of
 4. Control thatch by core-aerating              two or more locally adapted,
    in early spring or early fall when           disease-resistant grass varieties
      ⁄2 inch or more has accumulated.           or a mixture of grass species.
    If 3⁄4 inch or more is present, use a        Increased awareness of the
    vertical mower, power rake or                destructive diseases is necessary
    similar equipment in addition to             when a single variety is grown.
    core-aerating. Thatch is a tightly           Adjust lawn care operations
    intermingled layer of decompos-              and regularly perform control
    ing stems and roots of grasses               measures.

                9. Provide good surface and sub-         13. Do not plant grasses that are not
                   surface drainage when estab-              adapted to your area. Be careful
                   lishing a new turfgrass area. Fill        of seed mixtures that may con-
                   in low spots where water may              tain some weed grasses; plant at
                   stand.                                    recommended rates. Additional
               10. Fertilize according to local rec-         information may be obtained by
                   ommendations and soil tests.              consulting your local county
                   Recommendations will vary with            Extension office or turfgrass spe-
                   the grasses grown and their use.          cialist at your state land-grant
                   Do not over fertilize to promote          university.
                   fast lush growth, especially in hot
                   humid weather, or early spring.       Pest Control Measures
                   Over fertilizing may accentuate          Pest control in turfgrass includes
                   disease development.                  good cultural practices and chemical
               11. Core-aerate compacted areas,          pest control.
                   using a hand corer or power              Turfgrass problems often result
                   machine. Coring is a form of          from causes other than pests; other
                   cultivation in which a hollow         causes include improper watering,
                   tine or spoon is used to remove       improper fertilization practices,
                   soil cores. This operation allevi-    injury from pesticides, accumulation
                   ates compaction and facilitates       of excessive thatch, improper selec-
                   oxygen and water movement to          tion of turfgrass species, improper
                   the root zone.                        mowing height, poor root systems,
               12. Follow suggested insect and           soil that is either too acidic or too
                   weed control programs for your        alkaline, or an accumulation of
                   area and grasses grown.               soluble salts in the soil.
                                                            Be sure to consider these factors
                                                         when diagnosing and treating
                                                         turfgrass problems.

                                                                                    Turf Diseases
                                          3. Look at soil structure and fertil-
                                             ity. Look for evidence of shallow
                                             soil, buried debris, compaction,
Diagnosis                                    soil layering, poor drainage or
   The first step in the control of any      other physical properties of the
turfgrass disease is accurate diag-          soil that may be contributing to
nosis. A wrong diagnosis, and ulti-          turfgrass decline. Many turf
mately the wrong control measures,           problems are also associated with
may serve only to compound the               nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus,
problem. Diagnosis requires knowl-           potassium, iron, others) excesses
edge of what normal or healthy               or deficiencies.
turfgrass looks like and the symp-        4. Review cultural and chemical
toms (expressions of disease on the          management practices: These
plant) of abnormal or diseased               treatments may influence the num-
plants. Some turfgrass diseases such         ber or severity of disease prob-
as powdery mildew and rust are               lems. Determine the frequency,
relatively easy to identify. Others,         amount and source of irrigation.
including most of the root and crown         Is there a possibility of contamina-
rot diseases, are more difficult to          tion (silt, pesticides)? Review
diagnose without considerable expe-          mowing practices (height and
rience. Nevertheless, a few simple           frequency) and examine thatch
questions and observation may help           buildup. Get a complete record of
you diagnose a turfgrass problem             any previous pesticide applica-
which at first glance appears hope-          tions to the turfgrass.
lessly complex. Try to obtain as much     5. Determine the overall distribu-
information as possible before mak-          tion of the problem. Is the dam-
ing the diagnosis. The extra few min-        age uniformly distributed across
utes you spend analyzing the                 the turfgrass or is it concentrated
problem is time well spent. The fol-         in one area? Does the problem
lowing is a suggested guideline for          occur in streaks, bands, straight
identifying turfgrass problems.              lines or perfect circles (environ-
 1. Identify the turfgrass species and       mental or chemical damage) or
     cultivar (if possible). Turfgrass       does it occur in clumps, patches,
     species and even cultivars within       arcs or rings? Are all of the turf-
     a species may vary in their sus-        grass plants within the damaged
     ceptibility to turfgrass diseases.      area dead, or is the plant injury
     Many turfgrass stands contain           more diffuse?
     more than one species. By            6. Observe symptoms on individual
     understanding which of the              plants. Look for the presence,
     turfgrasses is affected, you can        size and color of leaf spots,
     help narrow the possible causes         crown or root rotting. These help
     of the problem.                         identify the disease. Also look for
 2. Determine weather conditions             fungal fruiting structures on
     before and during disease devel-        dead plant tissue.
     opment. Turfgrass diseases are       7. Use reference materials. Match
     weather dependent. Some                 symptoms with those described
     develop during cool weather;            in reference books. If you are still
     others will only cause problems         unable to identify the problem,
     during hot, humid conditions.           collect a sample of sod (at least
     Knowledge of weather condi-             4 inches in diameter) from the
     tions will help you select the          margin of the damaged area and
     right disease. Certain turfgrass        submit it to the Plant Disease
     problems may be associated with         Diagnostic Lab.
     or caused by adverse weather
     (excessive rain, drought, heat,
     cold, etc.)

Turf Diseases
                                        Winter Diseases                          Spring and Fall Diseases
                                        (Cold Temperatures 32 to 45°F)           (Cool Temperatures 45 to 75°F)
                                        Snow Molds (Pink and                     Drechslera Leaf Spot
                                        Gray Snow Molds)                         (Helminthosporium leaf spot)
                                           There are two major types of snow        One of the most troublesome of
                                        mold in the Midwest. Gray snow           the spring diseases of Kentucky blue-
                                        mold or Typhula blight requires long     grass and tall fescue is Drechslera
                                        periods of snow cover for develop-       leaf spot (often referred to as Helmin-
                                        ment. It is a serious problem on golf    thosporium leaf spot) caused by a
                                        courses in the upper Midwest, but it     fungus called Drechslera poae. The
                                        does not occur in Kansas and, there-     fungus overwinters in the thatch
                                        fore, will not be discussed here. A      layer or in small lesions on leaf
                                        second snow mold, called pink snow       blades. In spring, the fungus infects
                                        mold or Microdochium patch, caused       young succulent leaf tissue and
                                        by the fungus Microdochium nivale, is    causes small elliptical, purple spots.
                                        common on bentgrass putting greens,      The spots eventually turn light gray
                                        newly established ryegrass fairways      or tan but remain bordered by a dark
                                        and occasionally on Kentucky blue-       brown to purple margin. The leaf
Pink snow mold on creeping bentgrass.   grass and tall fescue in home lawns      spot phase of the disease usually
                                        in Kansas.                               does not damage the plant signifi-
                                           Pink snow mold results in round,      cantly. However, during continuous
                                        bleached-tan or whitish-gray to          cool, wet conditions, the fungus
                                        reddish-brown patches that are usu-      invades and girdles the leaf sheath.
                                        ally less than 6 to 8 inches in diam-    As daytime temperatures increase,
                                        eter. Occasionally, spots may coalesce   leaves on crown-infected plants
                                        to blight larger areas. During wet,      begin to turn light green or yellow,
                                        cool weather, the margins of the         similar to nitrogen-deficient turf.
                                        patches will have a pink tinge. Pink     Eventually these plants die and turn
                                        snow mold can occur anytime during       brown or straw colored. This is
                                        cool (below 60°F, optimal at 32 to       referred to as “melting-out.” Severe
                                        45°F), wet weather in fall, winter or    melting-out can result in irregular
                                        spring. The disease does not require a   patches of dead turf. Damaged lawns
                                        snow cover for development, but it       often appear thin or uneven and tend
                                        may be enhanced by it.                   to have weed problems.
                                        Control                                  Control
                                           Pink snow mold can be controlled         The most effective means of con-
Drechslera on tall fescue.
                                        by a combination of cultural practices   trolling melting out is to plant resis-
                                        and fungicide applications (golf         tant cultivars. Several varieties of
                                        course putting greens). Avoid            Kentucky bluegrass are available
                                        excessive use of fast-release nitrogen   with good resistance to this disease.
                                        fertilizer applications in late fall,    Use a blend of three or more resistant
                                        especially to fall-seeded turfgrasses.   cultivars. In lawns where susceptible
                                        Use slow release forms of nitrogen       varieties are present, consider an
                                        fertilizer and mow frequently until      overseeding program with resistant
                                        growth has stopped. For high main-       cultivars. Avoid excessive nitrogen
                                        tenance turf, apply a suggested fun-     fertilization in spring which favors
                                        gicide starting in the fall (November)   lush growth, but do not “starve” the
                                        when daytime temperatures remain         lawn of nitrogen during the spring.
                                        below 60°F and the weather is wet.       A well-balanced fertilization pro-
                                        Additional sprays may be needed          gram will reduce the severity of the
                                        during winter and spring when cool,      disease. Mow turf regularly at
                                        wet weather persists.                    heights of 2 to 21⁄2 inches. Thatch
                                                                                 reduction will also help reduce dis-
                                                                                 ease severity. Fungicide applications

                                                                                           Turf Diseases
may be required on lawns with a his-       August can effectively reduce rust
tory of leaf spot. One to two fungicide    severity, but generally are not needed
sprays should be made at two-              to control the disease in Kansas.
week intervals beginning in late April
or early May. The disease is very diffi-   Smuts
cult to control once the crown rot or         Smut diseases, caused by many
melting-out phase has begun.               different species of fungi, occur on all
                                           turfgrasses. However, stripe and flag
Rusts                                      smuts of Kentucky bluegrass are the
   Rust occurs to some extent on all       most common and damaging of the
turfgrasses grown in Kansas; how-          smut diseases in Kansas. Initial dam-
ever, this disease is generally most       age caused by stripe and flag smut
severe on susceptible cultivars of         may be subtle. Diseased bluegrass
Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue,           lawns gradually decline, and patches
perennial ryegrass and zoysiagrass.        or large areas of the lawn may appear
Rust fungi (Puccinia species) are host-    off-color (pale green to yellow) in the
specific; i.e., the rust that occurs on    spring and fall. Individual leaf blades
zoysiagrass is different than the one      may be curled and show black stripes
occurring on Kentucky bluegrass.           with black powdery spores that rub
Rust can occur in spring or fall, but      off from these stripes. The stripes run
normally appears in late August to         parallel with the leaf veins and are       Rust on zoysiagrass.
early September and continues              yellow-green when first developing.
through the fall months. Rust out-         Later they turn gray, then black, and
breaks are dependent on favorable          may or may not be continuous along
weather conditions and disease             the leaf blade. The leaf then twists,
severity may vary widely from one          curls and shreds from the tip down-
year to another.                           ward. Infected plants may die during
   From a distance, rust-infected turf     hot, dry conditions of mid-summer.
appears dull yellow or light brown.        The smut fungi grow throughout the
Individual plants may die and the turf     plant tissues (systemic infection) and
becomes noticeably thin. The disease       remain within the plant until it dies.
tends to be more severe in partially       Thus, all new buds and rhizomes
shaded areas such as under trees or        developing from an infected plant
along fences. Diseased plants initially    also will be diseased.
develop light yellow flecks on the         Control
leaves. As the spots enlarge, the sur-        Stripe and flag smuts are very
faces of the leaves rupture, exposing      difficult to control once they are
masses of powdery, brick-red fungal        established in the lawn. The best          Smut on Kentucky Bluegrass.
spores. The powdery substance easily       means of avoiding smut is to plant
rubs off. Continuous heavy infection       blends of resistant varieties of Ken-
causes many grass blades to turn           tucky bluegrass. Most of the newer
yellow, wither and die. Severely           varieties of Kentucky bluegrass have
rusted lawns may winter kill.              some tolerance to the disease. Con-
Control                                    trolling smut in lawns already
   Turfgrass provided with optimal         infected is very difficult. Certain sys-
levels of fertilizer and water are less    temic fungicides may be used to con-
likely to be damaged by rust. Water        trol smut fungi in bluegrass plants.
early in the morning rather than at        They should be applied as a soil
night and mow frequently. Regular          drench in early spring just as the turf
mowing severs infected leaf tips           breaks dormancy.
from the plant and helps reduce
rust levels. On the other hand, don’t      Powdery Mildew
mow less than 11⁄2 inches or scalp the        Powdery mildew, caused by the
turf; this slows turfgrass recovery.       fungus Blumeria graminis, is primarily
Fungicide applications in late July or     a problem of Kentucky bluegrass in
                                           Kansas. The disease is most common         Powdery mildew on Kentucky Bluegrass.

Turf Diseases
                                          in shaded areas of the lawn (under         thatch. In order to see the lesions, you
                                          trees or along fence rows) in late         must dig up the plant near the patch
                                          spring and early fall on nights when       border and look at the crown area near
                                          the relative humidity is high and          its attachment to the stolon. During
                                          temperatures are cool. Heavily             favorable weather, the disease progres-
                                          infected leaf blades appear as if          sively kills more shoots, resulting in
                                          dusted with flour or lime. Close           large, blighted patches of turfgrass
                                          examination reveals patches of a           with bright-orange margins. The dis-
                                          whitish, powdery-like fungal growth        ease is stopped by warm temperatures,
                                          on the leaf surface. Infected leaves       and zoysiagrass slowly refills the dam-
                                          often turn yellow and wither. Blue-        aged areas during the summer.
                                          grass lawns heavily infected with the      Control
                                          mildew fungus tend to be thin and             Since the large patch fungus does
                                          unthrifty. New plantings may be            not attack stolons or roots, it is rarely
                                          killed when mildew is severe.              responsible for killing large areas of
                                          Control                                    zoysiagrass. Nevertheless, the fungus
                                             To control powdery mildew, selec-       does damage a large percentage of
                                          tively prune trees and shrubs to           shoots within a diseased patch.
                                          allow for greater sunlight penetration     Recovery of the turf by formation
Rhizoctonia large patch of zoysiagrass.   and improve air movement. Keep             of new shoots may require several
                                          the lawn vigorous by adequate,             months. Therefore, damage from this
                                          proper fertilization and maintaining       disease may be unacceptable in high-
                                          adequate moisture in the soil. Avoid       traffic areas. Large patch may be
                                          excess nitrogen. Mow frequently at         suppressed by a combination of cul-
                                          the recommended height. Resistant          tural and chemical control practices.
                                          or tolerant Kentucky bluegrass vari-       Avoid overwatering, especially in the
                                          eties should be used in areas with a       fall or early spring. Poorly drained
                                          history of powdery mildew. Tall            areas are very susceptible to injury
                                          fescue varieties are immune to the         from large patch. Core aeration and/
                                          mildew fungus and are more shade           or vertislicing in June or July helps
                                          tolerant than Kentucky bluegrass.          reduce thatch accumulation and
                                                                                     invigorates the turfgrass. A reduction
                                          Rhizoctonia Large                          in the thatch layer should also help
                                          Patch of Zoysiagrass                       suppress large patch development.
                                             Rhizoctonia large patch disease of      Do not core aerate or slice in early
                                          zoysiagrass is caused by a soilborne       spring or at other times when patch
                                          fungus called Rhizoctonia solani.          symptoms are active. The fungus
Lesion on Zoysia leaf sheath.             Symptoms are most common in early          may be spread on infected turf cores
                                          spring and late fall as the turfgrass is   removed during aerification. Don’t
                                          entering or breaking winter dor-           fertilize when the disease is active.
                                          mancy, but may occur throughout            Begin fertilization only after large
                                          the growing season during relatively       patch activity has stopped. This is
                                          cool, wet weather. The disease results     usually sometime in late May or early
                                          in relatively large, roughly circular      June.
                                          patches (2 to 20 feet in diameter) with       Several fungicides will help sup-
                                          slightly matted areas of discolored        press large patch development, but
                                          turfgrass. Patch margins often have        the timing of application is critical to
                                          a bright-orange appearance. Some           good disease control. Preventive
                                          patches are seasonal, while others are     applications should be applied in
                                          perennial; i.e., they develop at the       mid- to late-September before large
                                          same location in both spring and fall      patch symptoms develop and as the
                                          for several years. Individual shoots       turf begins to enter winter dormancy.
                                          within the patch develop pinpoint,         A second fungicide application in
                                          reddish-brown to black lesions on          mid-April as the turf begins to break
                                          basal leaf sheaths embedded in             winter dormancy may be required.

                                                                                           Turf Diseases
Spring Dead Spot                           sulfate). Do not fertilize late in the
of Bermudagrass                            growing season (after mid-August).
    Spring dead spot, caused by the        Bermudagrass cultivars vary mark-
soil-borne fungi Ophiosphaerella herpo-    edly in susceptibility to spring dead
tricha, O. korrae, and Leptosphaeria       spot. Use cold-tolerant cultivars such
narmari, is the most common and            as Midiron, Midlawn, Midfield or
destructive disease of bermudagrass.       Guymon. Avoid using Arizona com-
The disease also occurs on buffalo-        mon bermudagrass, U-3, or other
grass. Spring dead spot may occur on       varieties adapted to the southeastern
bermudagrass lawns of all ages,            United States. Experimental fungicide
although it typically appears three to     applications in late summer and early
four years after the turf has been         fall have reduced severity of spring
established. The disease results in the    dead spot, but results from year to
formation of circular or arc-shaped        year have been erratic. Therefore,
patches of dead turf in early spring as    fungicide applications are not cur-
bermudagrass breaks winter dor-            rently recommended for routine con-
mancy. The dead patches, which are         trol of spring dead spot.
slightly depressed and straw-colored,      Fairy Ring
may range in size from several inches         Fairy Ring appears as a circular
to several feet in diameter and nor-       ring of fast-growing, dark green          Spring dead spot of bermudagrass.
mally are randomly distributed             grass, often with a ring of thin or
throughout the lawn. Roots and sto-        dead grass inside or outside. Some-
lons of affected plants are often dark     times the ring is not complete, giving
brown to black and are severely rotted.    the appearance of an arc or horse-
It may be necessary to dig up a piece      shoe. The rings may vary in size from
of sod near the margin of the dead         a few inches to 50 feet or more in
area and wash it in water to observe       diameter. The strip of thin or dead
this symptom. During the summer,           grass varies from 3 to 6 inches in
broadleaf weeds and other weedy            width. After rains or heavy watering,
grasses invade and colonize the bare       many mushrooms or puffballs may
soil, resulting in a clumpy or patchy      appear in the dark green. Occasion-
appearance to the lawn. Bermudagrass       ally the symptoms may appear as dry
slowly recolonizes spring dead spot        patches in lawns instead of a ring.
areas, and by late summer there may        Fairy rings may show up throughout
be little or no evidence of the disease.   the summer months but are most
Unfortunately, enlarged dead patches       common in May and June. All
reappear the following spring in the       turfgrasses are subject to invasion.
same locations. Over a number of                                                     Fairy ring.
                                           These fungi may prevent water from
years, the patches can become quite        penetrating the soil.
large, coalesce, and develop arc-like         Fairy Ring is caused by a number
patterns in the lawn. After seven to       of soil-inhabiting mushroom fungi
10 years, disease severity may begin to    which grow very extensively in the
decrease to the extent that spring dead    area of the ring. Growth usually
spot no longer occurs in the lawn.         starts with a germinating spore at a
Control                                    central point, and fungus hyphae
   Several cultural methods can            grow outward equally in all direc-
reduce the severity of spring dead         tions. Outward spread may occur at
spot. Lawns should be dethatched at        the rate of a few inches to 2 feet or
regular intervals (yearly) when the        more per year. The part of the fungus
bermudagrass is actively growing to        on the inner side of the circle dies as
promote good rooting. Avoid exces-         the fungus grows throughout the
sive nitrogen fertilization (>4 lb of      soil, forming a dense, white, thread-
active nitrogen/1000 sq. ft/season)        like growth sometimes to a depth of
and use acidifying forms (ammonium         8 inches or more.
                                                                                     Fairy ring.

Turf Diseases
                                     Control                                     where the disease has been a prob-
                                        The development of unsightly             lem. Alternatively, use other species
                                     fairy rings may be suppressed by            of turfgrass (tall fescue) that are
                                     fertilizing the lawn adequately with        immune to the disease. On estab-
                                     nitrogen several times a year; apply-       lished lawns with a history of
                                     ing large quantities of water 10 to         necrotic ringspot, eliminate plant
                                     24 inches deep into the soil at 1-foot      stresses that favor disease develop-
                                     intervals within the rings of dark          ment. Maintain adequate but not lush
                                     green and thin or dead grass using          plant growth with deep roots by
                                     a root feeder on a garden hose.             proper fertilization and irrigation.
                                     Repeat if rings reappear and grass          Core aerate compacted soils and
                                     starts to wilt. The fairy ring can be       maintain turf at the proper mowing
                                     physically removed by digging the           height. Preventive fungicide applica-
                                     sod within the ring to a depth of           tions in fall or early spring may be
                                     12 inches in an area 2 feet on either       effective in suppressing disease
                                     side of the ring. Certain fungicides        development.
                                     are labeled for suppression of fairy
                                     rings but are primarily used on golf        Damping-Off Seed Rot
                                     course putting greens.                         Numerous soil-borne fungi (espe-
                                                                                 cially Pythium and Rhizoctonia spp.)
Necrotic ring spot on Kentucky       Necrotic Ringspot                           may cause this disease. Attacks are
Bluegrass.                              Necrotic ringspot, caused by the         most severe during warm weather on
                                     soilborne fungus Ophiosphaerella            heavy, moist or water-logged soils
                                     korrae, is primarily a problem of Ken-      and where seedling rates have been
                                     tucky bluegrass, but may also be            excessive. Seeds may rot in the soil,
                                     found on red fescue and annual blue-        or young plants may wilt soon after
                                     grass. The disease was only recently        emergence. The grass stand is thin
                                     identified in Kansas and is not pres-       and weak in irregular patches. Seed-
                                     ently widespread. Symptoms of               lings are stunted and water-soaked
                                     necrotic ringspot usually appear in         and turn yellow to brown. Surviving
                                     late spring or early fall, but they may     plants are weakened. The stand is
                                     continue into the summer months.            slow to fill in, and affected areas are
                                     The disease is worse when wet               often heavily invaded by weeds.
                                     weather is followed by hot, dry con-        Control
                                     ditions. Necrotic ringspot results in          Sow top quality seed only at
                                     numerous circular to arc-shaped             suggested rates in a well-prepared,
                                     patches of dead or dying turfgrass          fertile seedbed. Provide for good
                                     roughly 6 inches to 2 feet in diameter.     surface and subsurface soil drainage
Dollar spot on tall fescue.
                                     The affected turf in the ring is slightly   when establishing a new lawn. Fill in
                                     matted, whereas the turfgrass in the        low spots. Avoid seeding cool-season
                                     middle of the “frogeye” remains             grasses in late spring or summer. In
                                     healthy and green. The disease often        areas where damping-off or seed rot
                                     shows up two years after sodding            has been a problem, consider using
                                     and may reappear in the same loca-          fungicide-treated seed.
                                     tion year after year. Affected plants
                                     exhibit extensive root discoloration        Dollar spot
                                     and rot. Necrotic ringspot symptoms            Dollar spot, caused by a soil-borne
                                     may be confused with other diseases,        fungus, is a common problem on all
                                     including fairy ring and summer             turfgrasses grown in Kansas. It is
                                     patch. Therefore, laboratory examina-       most severe in late spring and early
                                     tion is usually necessary for               fall, but it may appear throughout
                                     confirmation.                               the summer. The disease may occur
                                     Control                                     regardless of management or soil
                                        Several varieties of Kentucky blue-      fertility, although damage usually is
                                     grass show resistance to necrotic           most severe if there is a deficiency of
Dollar spot on creeping bentgrass.   ringspot and should be used in areas        nitrogen. Dollar spot results in the

                                                                                         Turf Diseases
formation of small, roughly circular,     and lush. The disease first develops
bleached patches in the lawn. The         as small, irregularly-shaped, water-
patches are more numerous in areas        soaked, greasy patches up to 4 inches
where there is poor air circulation or    in diameter. A cottony growth may
drainage. Most spots are only a few       be present early in the morning. The
inches in diameter; however, under        patches may merge and form streaks
favorable environmental conditions        since the fungus is spread by blowing
and mowing heights greater than           water and mowing. The disease may
2 inches, individual spots may exceed     spread very rapidly, killing large
6 inches in diameter. Affected plants     areas of turf overnight.
within the spots wilt and eventually      Control
turn tan or brown. On individual             Maintain a proper balance of
infected plants, leaves develop light     nutrients, avoiding an excess of nitro-
yellow to tan lesions with reddish-       gen that stimulates lush growth.
brown borders. In the early morning       Improving surface and sub-surface
when dew is still present on the turf-    soil drainage will aid greatly in con-
grass, small cottony strings of the       trolling Pythium blight. Proper air
fungus can sometimes be seen grow-        movement across the turfgrass is
ing from the diseased leaf blades.        essential for controlling Pythium
Control                                   blight; promote air movement by           Pythium blight on perennial ryegrass.
   The presence of dollar spot often      proper spacing and pruning of trees
signals an improper fertilization         and shrubs. Where feasible, delay
program, since the disease is more        seeding until weather is cool and dry.
severe in nitrogen-deficient turf.        Seed only at suggested rates. Do not
Therefore, maintain an adequate           overwater. For turfgrass with a his-
fertilization program. Avoid night        tory of Pythium blight, apply a rec-
watering or other irrigation practices    ommended fungicide when hot,
that allow the leaves to remain wet       rainy or foggy weather is forecast.
for long periods. Reduce compaction
by a regular aerification program.        Rhizoctonia Brown Patch
If needed, a fungicide can be applied        Rhizoctonia brown patch is the
at the first appearance of dollar spot.   most common and important disease
                                          of tall fescue in Kansas. The disease
Summer Diseases                           is also serious on bentgrasses and
(Hot Temperatures >75°F)                  perennial ryegrass, but is less com-
                                          mon on Kentucky bluegrass and
Pythium Blight                            warm-season turfgrasses. Brown
   Pythium blight, sometimes called       patch is a high temperature disease       Rhizoctonia brown patch on tall fescue.
cottony blight, is one of the most        and is favored by nighttime tempera-
destructive turfgrass diseases.           tures above 70°F, and by extended
Pythium blight is caused by several       periods of high relative humidity and
species of Pythium fungi, but the two     leaf wetness. It is also more severe on
most commonly associated with the         those turfgrasses under high man-
disease are Pythium aphanidermatum        agement, especially high nitrogen
and P. graminicola. Turfgrasses most      fertilization.
commonly affected are perennial              Brown patch appears as irregularly-
ryegrass and creeping bentgrass. Tall     shaped patches of blighted turfgrass
fescue is occasionally damaged, but       that range in size from a few inches to
injury to Kentucky bluegrass and          several feet in diameter. The blighted
warm-season turfgrasses is rare.          turf initially is purple-green but
Pythium blight is most active when        quickly fades to light brown. When
air temperatures are high (day tem-       the grass is wet, the diseased patches
peratures of 86 to 95°F with mini-        frequently have dark, purplish mar-
mum night temperature of 68°F) and        gins (smoke rings). When high mow-
the air is saturated, on heavy, poorly    ing is practiced (2 inches), the leaves
drained soils where grass is dense        wither and rapidly fade to a light        Rhizoctonia brown patch on tall fescue.

Turf Diseases
                                          brown. The patches tend to be more            has also been found in Kansas, but it
                                          diffuse and irregular, and the entire         does not appear to be as widely dis-
                                          lawn may look as if it is under drought       tributed as summer patch.
                                          stress. Individual plants may exhibit            Symptoms of summer patch,
                                          irregularly-shaped tan to gray leaf spots     caused by the soilborne fungus
                                          bordered by a dark-brown margin.              Magnaporthe poae, normally develop
                                          Control                                       in late June through August and
                                             Brown patch occurs less frequently         reappear in the same location year
                                          when the available nitrogen supply is         after year. Early stages of the disease
                                          adequate or low and phosphorus and            may be difficult to detect. Initially,
                                          potassium levels are adequate. Do not         small patches of turf, 2 to 6 inches in
                                          over fertilize, and apply a majority of       diameter, turn dull green. Eventually,
                                          the nitrogen fertilizer in the fall. Do not   foliage changes to a dull reddish-
                                          fertilize when brown patch is active.         brown, then tan, and finally a light-
                                          When seeding new areas, avoid seed-           straw color. The crowns and roots of
                                          ing rates greater than the recom-             blighted plants may show a slight
                                          mended rate. High seeding rates result        greenish-brown to black discolora-
                                          in an excess number of turfgrass plants       tion. In order to see the discoloration,
                                          and creates conditions favorable for the      plants should be gently pulled and
                                          brown patch fungus.                           washed in water to remove the soil.
Rhizoctonia brown patch on tall fescue.                                                 Small fungal strands, called runner
                                             Do not irrigate susceptible turf-
                                          grass in late afternoon or evenings if        hyphae, can sometimes be seen on
                                          possible. This extends the number of          the roots with a 10× hand lens. These
                                          hours the leaves remain wet and               runner hyphae are not necessarily
                                          increases the likelihood of brown             diagnostic for summer patch, since
                                          patch. Promote good air circulation           certain other fungi also produce simi-
                                          by proper pruning of trees and                lar strands on roots. In the final
                                          shrubs. None of the bentgrass or tall         stages of the disease, blighted areas
                                          fescue varieties are highly resistant to      of turf form throughout the lawn.
                                          brown patch, although certain culti-          These patches may form elongate
                                          vars of the turf-type tall fescues tend       streaks, crescents or circles 2 feet or
                                          to be more seriously damaged by the           more in diameter. Healthy grass may
                                          disease. A preventive fungicide spray         occur within the centers of patches of
                                          program is usually necessary to pre-          dead grass, giving a characteristic
                                          vent outbreaks of brown patch on              “frogeye” pattern. Symptoms of sum-
                                          golf course putting greens during             mer patch can easily be confused
                                          the summer months (June through               with insect damage (grubs, billbug),
Summer patch on Kentucky Bluegrass.
                                          August). Preventive sprays may also           herbicide injury, or drought stress.
                                          be needed on perennial ryegrass fair-         These possible causes should be
                                          ways and certain high maintenance             eliminated before a diagnosis of
                                          tall fescue lawns. In other cases, fun-       summer patch is made.
                                          gicide treatments may be applied at           Control
                                          the first appearance of symptoms.                Summer patch is an extremely
                                                                                        difficult disease to control. Certain
                                          Summer Patch                                  Kentucky bluegrass cultivars show
                                             Summer patch, previously called            some resistance to summer patch and
                                          Fusarium blight or frogeye patch, is a        should be seeded or sodded in new
                                          destructive, perennial disease of Ken-        locations or areas where the disease
                                          tucky bluegrass and annual blue-              has been a problem. Several cultural
                                          grass. The disease does not occur on          practices will help suppress disease
                                          tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, bent-        development. Turfgrass should be
                                          grass, bermudagrass or zoysiagrass.           maintained in a vigorous, but not
                                          A similar patch disease of Kentucky           over stimulated, growing condition.
Summer patch of annual bluegrass on       bluegrass called necrotic ring spot           A balanced fertilization program is
putting green. Note that the creeping                                                   important. Avoid excessive nitrogen
bentgrass is unaffected.                                                                fertilization during the summer
                                                                                          Turf Diseases
months. Maintain mowing heights           izer. Damaged roots may be swollen,
at 2 to 21⁄2 inches on home lawns.        shallow, stubby, bushy and dark in
Reduce thatch by yearly core aera-        color. The best way to identify nema-
tion. Summer patch may develop            tode problems is with a laboratory
even with optimal turf care, and cer-     examination of soil or plants.
tain cultural modifications may be        Control
necessary to save the turf. Seriously        High nematode populations may
diseased turf should be watered           cause significant damage to warm-
(syringed) daily in the early after-      season grasses in sandy soils or to
noon to cool the plants and provide       creeping bentgrass grown on high-
some moisture for the diseased roots.     sand content putting greens. They
   Preventive fungicide applications      are rarely a problem in most turf-
may be effective in suppressing           grass lawns in Kansas. Nematode
symptoms of summer patch. In Kan-         damage can sometimes be masked
sas, preventive sprays should be          or overcome by nitrogen fertilization.
made approximately one month              Amendments to raise the organic
before symptoms normally develop          matter content of the soil are also
(when soil temperatures at a 2-inch       helpful in suppressing nematode
depth reach 65°F). This varies with       damage. Nematicides may be used
geographic location, but generally        to reduce parasitic nematode popula-
the first fungicide application should                                              Nematode damage on zoysiagrass.
                                          tions on golf courses, but they are not
be made in late April to early May.       labeled for use in home landscapes.
Additional monthly applications
through July may be necessary.            Slime Molds
Summer patch is more difficult to            Slime molds are primitive, soil-
control with chemicals once symp-         inhabiting organisms (mostly Mucil-
toms have developed.                      ago spongiosa, Physarum cinereum, etc.)
                                          that utilize decaying organic material
Nematodes                                 and other microorganisms in the soil
   Nematodes are microscopic, slen-       as a food source. They are not para-
der roundworms (sometimes called          sitic on plants. In humid weather
eelworms or nemas). Most nematode         slime molds grow out of the soil and
types are harmless; they feed on          thatch onto whatever is available for
decomposing organic material and          support. A well-watered, well-
other soil organisms. A few are ben-      fertilized lawn provides an ideal
eficial to man since they are parasitic   environment for slime mold develop-
on plant-feeding nematodes. Never-        ment. Small, watery-white, gray,
theless, several plant parasitic nema-    cream or yellow slimy masses grow         Slime mold on tall fescue.
todes feed on the roots of turfgrasses    over the grass in round to irregular
and reduce their vigor. Heavily           patches, smothering or shading
nematode-infested turf lacks vigor        otherwise healthy grass. The masses
and often appears off-color, yellow,      dry and form unsightly bluish-gray,
bunchy and stunted. Grass blades          gray, black, white or yellow powdery
dying back from the tips may be           structures, the fruiting stage of the
interspersed with apparently healthy      organism. When crushed between the
leaves. Injured turf may thin out, wilt   fingers, they disintegrate into a pow-
and die in irregular areas. The sever-    dery mass that easily rubs free from
ity of symptoms varies with the type      the grass blade.
of plant-parasitic nematode popula-
tion feeding on and in the roots.         Control
Symptoms are easily confused with           These organisms frequently cause
soil-nutrient deficiencies, poor soil     considerable alarm as they suddenly
aeration, drought, insects, and other     appear in spring, summer or fall fol-
types of injury.                          lowing heavy rains or watering.
   Nematode-infested grass does not       Although they are unsightly, they do
respond normally to water and fertil-     not damage the grass and do not

Turf Diseases
                                            require any specific chemical controls.     stantly walked on. Water flows off
                                            They are easily removed by raking or        these areas, and plants may die of
                                            hosing off the affected turfgrass.          drought.
                                                                                           Correct such conditions by aerify-
                                            Other Causes of Poor Turf                   ing the soil with aerifier or installing
                                            Chemical Burn                               drainage tile for seriously water-
                                                Agricultural or household chemi-        logged soils. This allows water and
                                            cals (e.g., fertilizers, herbicides,        air, necessary for root growth, to
                                            petroleum products) may injure grass        penetrate into the soil. If necessary,
                                            if improperly applied. Burned areas         fertilize and reseed. Reduce foot traf-
                                            may occur in spots or streaks, or the       fic on the lawn by putting in a walk,
                                            entire lawn may be scorched. Prevent        patio or parking area; erect a fence;
                                            injury by following the directions          or plant a shrub or two.
                                            printed on the package label. Apply
                                                                                        Algae or Green Scum
                                            fertilizers evenly in recommended
                                                                                           A green to blackish scum may
                                            amounts when the grass is dry. Then
                                                                                        form on bare soil or thinned turf in
                                            water immediately. The use of a
                                                                                        low, wet, shaded or heavily used and
                                            calibrated lawn spreader is highly
                                                                                        compacted areas. The slimy mass of
                                                                                        algae (minute, single-celled, filamen-
Soil sterilant (herbicide) injury to tall   Chlorosis or Yellowing                      tous plants) dries to form a thin,
fescue.                                        Areas or all of the turf may become      black crust that later cracks and
                                            yellowed and stunted. Chlorosis             peels. Algae can be controlled by
                                            (yellowing) is usually caused by nitro-     maintaining a thick stand of turf-
                                            gen, iron deficiency or temporary           grass, reducing soil compaction, pro-
                                            waterlogging of the soil. Most lawn         viding adequate soil drainage, and
                                            fertilizers contain nitrogen. If a recom-   avoiding frequent irrigation. Certain
                                            mended fertility program is carried         fungicides will temporarily reduce
                                            out, this element is probably being         algal buildup, but cultural practices
                                            applied in sufficient amounts. If the       offer the best long-term solution to
                                            lawn continues to remain yellow after       the problem.
                                            nitrogen application followed by rain
                                            or watering, the cause is likely to be
                                                                                           Moss occurs in lawn areas low in
                                            iron deficiency. This is most likely if
                                                                                        fertility, with poor drainage, high
                                            the soil is alkaline. To control chloros-
                                                                                        soil acidity, excess shade, compaction
                                            ing, have a soil test made and follow
                                                                                        or a combination of these factors.
                                            directions in the report.
                                                                                        Remove moss by hand raking. Cor-
Dog urine injury.                           Buried Debris                               rect the unfavorable condition(s) by
                                               A thin layer of soil over buried         following cultural practices sug-
                                            rocks, lumber, bricks, plaster, con-        gested for algae control.
                                            crete, etc., dries out rapidly in dry
                                                                                        Dog Injury
                                            summer weather and may resemble
                                                                                           Injury from dog urine may
                                            disease. Control by digging up suspi-
                                                                                        resemble Rhizoctonia brown patch or
                                            cious areas, removing the cause and
                                                                                        Sclerotinia dollar spot. Affected areas
                                            adding good topsoil.
                                                                                        are often more or less round and
                                            Compacted Areas                             commonly up to a foot or more in
                                              Thin turf or bare spots appear in         diameter. These are usually bordered
                                            heavily used areas. Waterlogged and         by a ring of lush, dark green grass.
                                            heavy-textured soils become com-            Injured grass turns brown or straw-
                                            pacted and later bake hard if con-          colored and usually dies. Heavy
                                                                                        watering helps spots to recover.

Excessive thatch.

                                                                            Introduction and
Study Questions                                                             Turf Diseases
1. (4) What is included in              8. (8) Drechslera melting-out
   turfgrass management?                   disease is caused by a:
   a. proper grass selection               a. bacteria
   b. mowing                               b. virus
   c. thatch control                       c. fungus
   d. all of the above                     d. rodent
2. (4) An example of a cool sea-        9. (9) From a distance, rust-
   son grass is:                           infected turf appears:
   a. bluegrass                            a. dark green
   b. Bermuda grass                        b. dull yellow
   c. zoysia                               c. dark brown
   d. buffalo grass                        d. brick red
3. (5) What causes all serious         10. (9) The best means of avoiding
   infectious diseases in the              and controlling smut is to:
   midwest?                                a. spray fungicides weekly
   a. temperatures below 50°F              b. spray bactericide weekly
   b. lack of water                        c. water only in the evening
   c. fungi and nematodes                  d. plant smut resistant
   d. insects and viruses                     bluegrass varieties
4. (5) The following can be an aid     11. (10) To control powdery
   in disease control:                     mildew by:
   a. thin shrubs to allow more            a. frequent nitrogen
      sun and airflow around turf             applications
   b. maintain pure stands of one          b. pruning trees and shrubs to
      variety of grass                        increase sunlight
   c. use plenty of fertilizer             c. spray a bactericide weekly
      especially in early spring           d. spray a herbicide
   d. all of the above
                                       12. (10) In the control of large
5. (7) The first step in the control       patch fungus, it is important
   of any turfgrass disease is:            to:
   a. accurate diagnosis                   a. allow thatch buildup
   b. apply a fungicide                    b. core airate when patch
   c. apply a bactericide                      symptoms are active
   d. apply an inch of water               c. fertilize when the
                                               symptoms are active
6. (7) To diagnose turfgrass
                                           d. avoid overwintering in fall
   diseases, the following is
                                               and early spring
   a. review cultural and              13. (11) Spring dead spot is the
      chemical practices                   most common and destructive
   b. determining the overall              disease of
      distribution of the disease          a. bermudagrass
   c. observe symptoms on                  b. tall fescue
      individual plants                    c. zoysiagrass
   d. all the above                        d. Kentucky bluegrass
7. (8) The optimum temperature         14. (11) Fairy ring is caused by:
   for pink snow mold is:                  a. insects
   a. 80 to 70°F                           b. bacteria
   b. 65 to 50°F                           c. virus
    c. 45 to 32°F                          d. fungi
   d. 30 to 20°F

Introduction and
Turf Diseases      Study Questions
                   15. (12) Necrotic ring spot symp-   20. (14) Summer patch is:
                       toms may be confused with           a. controlled by high nitrogen
                       summer patch and                       application
                       __________.                         b. extremely difficult to
                       a. Rhizoctonia large patch             control
                       b. rust                             c. easily controlled by one
                       c. fairy ring                          application of fungicide
                       d. powdery mildew                   d. easily controlled by proper
                   16. (12) Damping-off seed rot is
                       caused by:                      21. (15) Nematodes are:
                       a. fungi                            a. harmless
                       b. bacteria                         b. beneficial
                       c. virus                            c. plant parasitic
                       d. nematodes                        d. all the above
                   17. (13) Under favorable environ-   22. (15) Slime molds are ________
                       mental conditions and mow-          parasitic on plants.
                       ing heights greater than            a. seldom
                       __________ inches, dollar           b. not
                       spots may exceed 6 inches in        c. always
                       diameter.                           d. usually
                       a. 2
                                                       23. (16) Chlorosis is when the turf
                       b. 3
                                                           becomes __________ in color.
                       c. 4
                                                           a. purplish
                       d. 5
                                                           b. brownish
                   18. (13) Rhizoctonia brown              c. yellowish
                       patch is the most common            d. reddish
                       and important disease on
                                                       24. (16) Moss occurs in lawns with:
                                                           a. low fertility, high acidity
                       a. tall fescue
                                                           b. poor drainage, compaction
                       b. bermuda grass
                                                           c. excess shade
                       c. Kentucky bluegrass
                                                           d. combinations of the above
                       d. zoysiagrass
                   19. (14) In the control of brown
                       patch __________ is important
                       a. proper fertilization
                       b. proper irrigation
                       c. proper air circulation
                       d. all the above

                                                                                        Turf Weeds
                                             plantain               quackgrass
                                             mouse-ear chickweed    nimblewill
  Any plant can be considered a              curly dock          windmill grass
weed if it is growing where it is not        Weed Control
wanted. Bentgrass, for example,
                                                The presence of weeds in turfgrass
would be a weed in a bluegrass lawn.
                                             does not always require the use of
To plan a good weed control pro-
                                             herbicides. In areas that contain sen-
gram, you must:
                                             sitive plants, it may be better to avoid
s identify the desirable turfgrass.
                                             the use of herbicides than to risk
s identify the existing weeds.
                                             injury. In some locations, any kind of
s combine pest control with good
                                             plant cover may be better than dead
  management practices.
                                             plants or bare ground.
Annual Weeds                                    Granular formulations are effective
                                             for preemergence herbicides. Sprays
   Annual weeds complete their life
                                             are better for postemergence control
cycle in less than one year. Because
                                             where foliar coverage is needed.
climatic conditions influence the tim-
                                                Broadleaf Weeds—Several post-
ing of the life cycle, the correct time
                                             emergence herbicides are used to
for control varies from place to place,
                                             selectively control annual, biennial
year to year and from one species to
                                             and perennial broadleaf weeds in
another. In established turfgrass, the
                                             turfgrasses. They can be used alone
chemical control of summer annual
                                             or as combinations of more than one
weeds after midsummer may not be
                                             active ingredient. Spring and fall
necessary or desirable.
                                             applications of postemergence herbi-
   Examples of summer annual
                                             cides normally give satisfactory con-
weeds common to turfgrass are:
                                             trol and reduce the possibility of
Broadleaf Weeds             Grass Weeds      damage to nontarget plants. Young
knotweed                       crabgrass     weeds are usually more susceptible
spurge                        goosegrass     to herbicides. Spot treatments are
purslane                  barnyardgrass      best for scattered weed populations.
                                   foxtail   Weather conditions affect control
   Winter annuals are common in              results.
new turfgrass. After the first year,            Grass Weeds—Control of annual
good management and dense turf-              grasses is best achieved with pre-
grass usually provide satisfactory           emergence herbicides for general
control. Examples are:                       infestations and spot treatment with
Broadleaf Weeds             Grass Weeds      postemergence herbicides for local-
common chickweed           downy brome       ized infestations.
shephardspurse          annual bluegrass        Few herbicides are safe for use on
henbit                                       newly seeded turfgrass. Some pre-
                                             emergence herbicides applied in the
Biennial Weeds                               spring may adversely affect germina-
   Biennial weeds normally occur at          tion of turfgrasses seeded in the fall.
the same time as perennial broadleaf         Certain varieties of turfgrasses are
weeds. Controls are similar. Examples        more prone to injury by herbicides.
are: roundleaf mallow and wild carrot.       Check labels for precautions.
                                                Perennial grass weeds are the most
Perennial Weeds                              difficult to control. No herbicides are
  Perennials, both broadleaf and             available which will control these
grasses, occur widely as turfgrass           weeds without damaging cool-season
weeds. Examples are:                         turfgrass. Some will selectively con-
Broadleaf Weeds          Grass Weeds         trol them in warm-season turfgrass.
dandelion              Bermudagrass          Soil fumigants and nonselective her-
wild garlic                  bentgrass       bicides are sometimes used.

Turf Weeds
                         Management in                              Common Kansas
                         Weed Control                               Turfgrass Weeds
                             The presence of weeds in turfgrass        Before selecting a control method,
                         does not always require the use of         identify the weed.
                         herbicides. Proper management can
                         do much to encourage lawn grasses          Barnyardgrass
                         and discourage weeds.                      (Echinochloa crusgalli L.)
                             Mowing at a height of 2 to 3 inches       A coarse warm-season annual
                         shades the soil and protects cool-         grass with a flattened stem especially
                         season grass roots from damaging           near the base. Lower portion of the
                         effects of summer heat. High mowing        plant tends to be reddish purple. The
                         is an excellent deterrent to the germi-    seed head branches into six to eight
                         nation and growth of many annual           short compact segments. Ligule and
                         weed species. However, bermuda-            auricles absent.
                         grass and zoysiagrass perform best
                         when mowed less than 2 inches.
                             Feeding programs that furnish lawn     (Cynodon dactylon L.)
                         grasses with necessary plant food             Warm season perennial producing
                         elements throughout the growing            both rhizomes and stolons which lay
Barnyardgrass            season tend to discourage weeds            flat and creep across an area rooting
                         through competition furnished by           at the nodes. Flowering culms flat-
                         more vigorous turf. Fertilize cool-        tened erect or ascending 4 to 15 inches
                         season grasses primarily in the fall,      tall, ligule a conspicuous ring of white
                         secondarily in the spring and only         hairs. A serious pest of cool-season
                         sparingly during the summer months.        grasses.
                             Withhold spring fertilization of       Bindweed, field
                         warm-season zoysia, buffalo, and
                                                                    (Convolvulus arvensis L.)
                         Bermuda until mid-May; do not fer-
                                                                        A deep-rooted perennial vine com-
                         tilize them after mid-August.
                                                                    mon throughout most of the region. It
                             Watering will help grass survive
                                                                    is one of the more difficult weeds to
                         drought periods. Water as soon as
                                                                    control. The spade-shaped leaves have
Spreading Bermudagrass   the grass develops a blue-green cast.
                                                                    rounded tips and vary in size. The
                         Application of water before moisture
                                                                    funnel shaped flowers vary from
                         shortage symptoms appear is desir-
                                                                    white to light pink and are about the
                         able. Soak the soil slightly deeper
                                                                    size of a nickel. The plants readily
                         than the depth of root penetration.
                                                                    climb over shrubs and other ornamen-
                         Avoid light, frequent sprinklings.
                                                                    tals. It spreads by both seed and roots.
                             Seed and sod free of weed seed
                                                                        Other common names: Creeping
                         and off-type grasses is one of the first
                                                                    jenny; perennial morning glory.
                         steps in weed control. Many lawns
                         contain undesirable coarse grasses         Bluegrass, annual
                         and weeds because they were present        (Poa annua L.)
                         in the sod or seed. If you buy grass          A low-growing, compact, tufted
Field Bindweed           seed, study the label to make certain      winter annual. Some flattened stems
                         undesirable weeds and grasses              may lie close to the ground. It does
                         are not present. Cultivated sod,           not have rhizomes. Leaves are soft,
                         inspected and treated to reduce            light-green and boat-shaped at the
                         weeds, is becoming more plentiful.         tip. Starts growth from seed in early
                                                                    fall and often grows throughout win-
                                                                    ter. Can produce seed heads when
                                                                    mowed at 3⁄16 inch. May die suddenly
                                                                    during summer months.
                                                                       Other names: Poa annua.

Field Bindweed
                                                                                          Turf Weeds
Carpetweed                               Dandelion (Taraxacum spp.)
(Mollugo verticillata L.)                   Cool-season perennial common
   A late-starting, rapidly growing      throughout the region. The yellow
summer annual. The green, smooth         flowers occur from early spring to
stems branch along the ground in all     late fall. The thick fleshy taproot,
directions from the root forming a       often branched, can give rise to new
flat circular mat on the soil surface.   shoots. Seedlings may appear
The light-green, smooth, tongue-         throughout the spring and summer
like leaves are grouped five to six      and are often abundant in the fall.
together forming whorls at each joint
                                         Dock (Rumex spp.)
on the stem. Flowers are small, white,
                                            Dock seldom flowers when grow-
with several at each joint.
                                         ing in lawns. The plant forms a large
Chickweed, common                        rosette. Curly dock (Rumex crispus L.)
(Stellaria media L.)                     is most common. The leaves have
   A hardy, low growing annual or        crinkled edges. They are often tinted
winter annual with creeping stems        with red or purple color. Pale dock,
that root at the nodes. It has a deli-   also known as tall dock (Rumex
cate appearance and is found in          altissimus Wood.), has leaves that tend
green form most of the year in milder    to be more flat and broad. Both spe-
                                         cies have flowering stalks that may         Carpetweed
climates. The small, opposite leaves
are oval-shaped and smooth. The          reach a height of 2 to 3 feet.
small star-like flowers are white.       Fescue, tall
Common chickweed is most often
                                         (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.)
found in the shade of trees and
                                            A very coarse cool-season peren-
shrubs and especially on the north
                                         nial bunch grass. Scattered clumps
side of buildings.
                                         are objectionable in fine textured turf
Clover, white                            grasses. Leaf veins are strongly
(Trifolium repens L.)                    fibrous. When mowed, fibers show
   A cool-season perennial legume        on the cut edge, especially if mowers
that spreads by underground and          are not well sharpened. Mature leaf
                                         blades may be 1⁄2 inch wide, ribbed         White Clover
above ground stems. May or may not
be objectionable in lawns, depending     above and shiny smooth below. The
on individual preference. Flowers        lower portions of the stems are red-
white, sometimes with a tinge of         dish purple, particularly in the spring
pink. Seeds will live for 20 or more     and fall.
years in the soil.                          A similar grass, meadow fescue,
   Other common names: White             (Festuca elatior L.) also is a frequent
Dutch clover.                            weed in bluegrass lawns.

Crabgrass (Digitaria spp.)               Foxtail (Setaria spp.)
   Crabgrass is one of the most com-        Foxtails are warm-season annuals.
mon warm-season annual grassy            Yellow foxtail (Setaria glauca L.) has
weeds. The stems grow mostly pros-       flattened stems that are often reddish      Foxtail Crabgrass
trate, branch freely and send down       colored on the lower portion. The
roots where each joint comes into        stems of green foxtail (Setaria viridis
contact with the soil or moist grass.    L.) are round. The seed of yellow
Seed head is divided into several        foxtail is four times as large as green
finger-like segments. Two principal      foxtail. Giant foxtail (Setaria faberili)
species are (1) large crabgrass          may be found in some lawns.
(Digitaria sanguinalis L.) sometimes     Garlic, wild (Alluim vineale L.)
known as hairy crabgrass and               The slender, smooth leaves are
(2) smooth crabgrass (Digitaria          hollow and attached to the lower
ischaemum Schreb.). Smooth crabgrass     portion of the waxy stems. Both
tends to be smaller, less hairy, and     bulbs and bulblets are produced
has purplish color on the stems.                                                     Dandelion
Turf Weeds
              underground. Green to purple              Nimblewill (Muhlenbergia
              flowers are often replaced with bulb-     schreberi J.F.)
              lets. There is a characteristic onion-       A warm-season perennial grass.
              garlic odor.                              The wiry fine stems root at the nodes;
                 Wild onion is similar to wild          root system is shallow and fibrous;
              garlic but does not produce under         forms circular patches or may be
              ground bulblets and the leaves are        distributed throughout lawn. Objec-
              not hollow.                               tionable in cool-season lawns because
              Goosegrass (Eleusine indica L.)           of delayed spring growth and early
                  A decidedly warm-season annual        dormancy in the fall.
              most often found growing where            Nutsedge, yellow
              cool-season grass stands are thin.
                                                        (Cyperus esculentus L.)
              Germinates later than crabgrass. The
                                                           Warm-season perennial. Triangu-
              stems tend to be flattened and near
                                                        lar stems of sedges produce three-
              the base are whitish in color. Flower
                                                        ranked leaves from near the ground.
              heads are thicker and more robust
                                                        Leaves are light yellow-green. Lower
              than on common crabgrass. The
                                                        portion of plant is fibrous and brown.
              extensive fibrous root system makes
                                                        Roots often terminate with small
              it difficult to pull.
                                                        nutlets, about the size of a kernel of
Curly Dock
              Henbit                                    popcorn. Seed heads appear burlike.
              (Lamium amplexicaule L.)                  Plants grow rapidly in spring and
                 A winter annual that starts growth     early summer. Several species of
              in September. Stems are squarish;         sedge are common to our region but
              plants usually upright. Flowers are       this one is most prevalent in lawns.
              lavender to blue. Leaves are opposite.    Plantain, Blackseed
              A few plants may bloom in the fall but
                                                        and broadleaf
              the majority blossom in early spring.
                                                           Cool-season perennials that form
              Knotweed, prostrate                       rosettes with prominently veined
              (Polygonum aviculare L.)                  leaves. The leaves of blackseed (Plan-
                 An annual that thrives from early      tago rugelii Denc.) are oval shaped
Wild Garlic
              spring to late fall. Germination occurs   and 2 to 3 inches across with purplish
              in very early spring. Grows flat from a   stalks. Broadleaf plantain (Plantago
              long white taproot. Individual plants     major L.) has smaller leaves without
              may have a spread of 2 feet or more.      purplish coloration. Both species
              Stems wiry, very leafy; at each leaf      have rat-tail like seed heads that are
              node there is a thin papery sheath.       several inches long.
              Leaves often have a bluish cast. Seeds    Plantain, buckhorn
              are three-cornered, light-brown early
                                                        (Plantago Ianceolata L.)
              and shiny black at maturity.
                                                           Perennial. Has slender, narrow
              Mallow, Purple Poppy                      leaves that are about one inch across
              (Callirhoa involucrata                    with three to five prominent veins.
Goosegrass                                              The seed head is a short cylindrical
              T&G Gray)
                 Perennial spreading by seed and
              underground root. Reddish-purple          Poison Ivy (Rhus radicans L.)
              flowers borne in clusters have five          Woody perennial reproducing by
              petals. Leaves alternate, two to three    seed and root. Found principally in
              inches long, lobed with large oval-       woods and shady places. Leaves
              shaped stipules at the base of each       divided into three ovate leaflets.
              leaf. Lawns started with pasture sod      Seeds borne in white berries. All
              or soil may be infested.                  plant parts contain a toxic substance
                                                        which may be irritating to people.
                                                        Usually not a problem in turf except
Henbit                                                  as it occurs in natural areas.
                                                                                            Turf Weeds
Puncturevine                                Speedwell (Veronica spp.)
(Tribulus terrestris L.)                       Several weedy species exist, most
   A prostrate freely branching             being winter or early-spring annuals.
warm-season annual. Plants slightly         Plants very low growing; leaf shapes
hairy. Some stems may be 4 or 5 feet        vary with species but generally are
long. Taproot. Leaflets bright green.       small and numerous; flowers are light
Flowers yellow. Seeds angled, each          blue with white throats. Seed pods are
with two stout spines that give a           divided and almost heart-shaped.
Texas longhorn appearance.
                                            Spurge, prostrate
Purslane, common                            (Euphoribia supina, Raf.)
(Portulaca oleracea L.)                        A prostrate growing warm-season
   A warm-season annual. Leaves             annual. Most prominent in July,
and stems fleshy or succulent, red-         August and September. Milky sap;
dish in color. Grows prostrate. Root        leaves with or without reddish
system tends to be fibrous; stems root      brown spots. Seeds are borne in
wherever they touch the ground,             three’s in a capsule.
particularly if the main root has been         Other common names: Milk
destroyed. Flowers small, yellow.           spurge.
Seeds very small, black.
                                            Thistle (Thistle sp. L.)                   Henbit
Quackgrass (Agropyron                          Biennial or perennial; reproducing
repens L.)                                  by seed or fleshy root system.
   A cool-season perennial wheat-           Leaves vary from 2 to 6 inches long,
grass that spreads extensively by           dark green or white in color with a
long white rhizomes (underground            spiny margin. May occur in turf as
stems). Leaf blades are twice the           a rosette.
width of bluegrass and tend to be           Violets (Viola spp.)
rough in texture. A claw-like protru-          Cool-season perennials that are
sion of the leaf called an auricle          among the first plants to bloom in the
clasps the stem. The lower leaf sheath      spring. Prefer at least partial shade.
of the stem is hairy.                       Flower color varies from very light        Prostrate Knotweed
   Other common names:                      blue to deep purple. Occasionally
Crouchgrass.                                become troublesome in lawns.
Sandbur (Cenchrus spp.)                     Numerous species common to our
   A warm-season annual grass most          region.
often found in sandy turf areas that        Windmill Grass
have been on low maintenance pro-
                                            (Chloris verticillata Nutt.)
grams. Stems are flattened and
                                                 Perennial. Leaf sheath flattened
branched; may be confused with
                                            and keeled, leaf blade grayish-green,
yellow foxtail before the formation of      1
                                             ⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch wide. Panicles of two or
the spiny burs.
                                            three whorls, stiff, wide spreading
Shepherdspurse                              spikes. Primarily occurring in range       Yellow Nutsedge
(Capsella bursa-pastoris L.)                and pasture areas. Lawns started with
   A winter annual. The deeply lobed        pasture sod or topsoil may be infested.
leaves form rosettes in the fall that may   Woodsorrel, yellow
be confused with dandelions; however,
                                            (Oxalis stricta L.)
the leaves lack the milky sap. Blooms
                                               Classified as a perennial but more
in very early spring. White flowers
                                            often performs as a warm-season
develop into triangular seed pods filled
                                            annual. Stems branch from the base.
with numerous tiny reddish brown
                                            The leaves are palmately divided
seeds. Individual seed pods held by
                                            into three leaflets giving a cloverlike
their small stems resemble the purse
                                            appearance. Funnel-form flowers are
once carried by shepherds.
                                            yellow (in some species violet). The       Broadleaf Plantain
Turf Weeds
                    seedpod is cylindrical, five-sided and        tainer. Distribute evenly. Double
                    pointed. The plants contain soluble           coverage at half rate in two direc-
                    oxalates that give it a rather pleasing       tions assures more even distribu-
                    sour taste.                                   tion than a full rate applied in a
                    Yarrow, common                                single application.
                                                               3. After application, water the lawn.
                    (Achillea millefoluim L.)                     Watering moves the chemical
                       Perennial. May grow 1 or 2 feet
                                                                  into the soil where it can perform
                    tall. Leaves are soft, finely divided,
                                                                  the intended job on germinating
                    fern-like. Stems and leaves are cov-
                                                                  weed seeds.
                    ered with grayish-green fine hairs.
                                                                 The table on page 31 shows the
                    Flowers are mostly white forming a
                                                              most effective times of application.
                    flat flower cluster. Entire plant is
                                                              In general, preemergence applica-
                    rather strongly scented.
                                                              tions are made in the very early
                    Western yarrow (Achillea lanulosa         spring for the control of cool-season
                    Nutt.) also is common in the region.      weeds and in mid-spring for warm-
                                                              season annuals.
                    Weed Control Methods                         Products designed for preemer-
                    Mechanical Control                        gence weed control may be labeled
                       Digging and pulling are simple,        “Preemergence,” Preemergent,” or
Buckhorn Plantain   effective ways of controlling a few       “Preventer.” Most preemergence
                    scattered weeds. Dandelions should        herbicides sold for home-lawn use
                    be cut 2 to 4 inches below the crown      are bought as granules ready for
                    to reduce regrowth. Pulling of most       application.
                    species works best following a heavy
                                                              Read Carefully
                    rain or after deep watering.
                                                                 The following herbicides labeled
                       Undercut and cut around small
                                                              for use on lawns and other turf were
                    patches of undesirable grass with a
                                                              registered with the Environmental
                    sharp spade. Lift the undesirable
                                                              Protection Agency (EPA) at the time
                    patch and use it as a pattern to cut
                                                              of publication. The registration status
                    out a placement piece the same thick-
                                                              of herbicides and other pesticides is
                    ness from an inconspicuous place
Poison Ivy                                                    continuously reviewed by manufac-
                    elsewhere in the lawn. Make certain
                                                              turers and EPA and is subject to
                    the replacement sod is firmed into
                                                              change. Read the product label before
                    place and well watered until it
                                                              purchasing to make certain it is regis-
                    becomes established.
                                                              tered for your needs. Most farm and
                    Preemergence Weed Control                 ranch herbicides are not labeled for
                       Chemicals applied to the soil to       use on turf. Such products applied to
                    stop growth of seed are preemer-          turf would be inconsistent with the
                    gence herbicides. They work best          labelling and a violation of the Federal
                    on annuals and also control some          Environmental Pesticide Control Act.
                    perennials starting from seed. Most          Some products are sold under
                    preemergence products have little         several trade names, thus this list is
Puncturevine        effect on emerged seedlings.              not all-inclusive. Common names are
                       Proper lawn preparation is essen-      given in parentheses. These products
                    tial for optimum performance of           are primarily for annual grass control
                    preemergence products. Preparation        unless otherwise noted. Some prod-
                    for preemergence chemicals includes       ucts also control certain annual
                    three simple steps:                       broadleaf species. Products have
                     1. Remove trash, leaves and excess       varying residuals and seeding must
                         dead grass from the lawn. If         be delayed for several months after
                         power raking is planned, do it       applying. Check the label.
                         as part of the lawn preparation         Barricade (prodiamine). Can be
                         for preemergence chemicals.          used on most species grown in Kan-
                     2. Apply the preemergence product        sas. Season-long control is possible
Common Purslane          as directed on the bag or con-       with a single application.
                                                                                        Turf Weeds
   Betasan (bensulide). Can be used       some plants by upsetting delicate
on cool-season grasses including          hormone balances. These imbalances
bentgrass greens; also bermudagrass       result in distorted growth and rup-
and zoysiagrass.                          tured cells. Food movement is
   Divrinol (napropamide). For use        impaired and eventually death
on tall fescue and bermudagrass only.     results. Control is most likely if the
   Demension (dithiopyr). Safe for all    herbicides are applied when the
species grown in Kansas, including        weedy plants are young.
bentgrass greens. Season-long control        Hormone-type herbicides, if not
is possible with a single application.    properly used, can cause injury or
   Gallery (isoxaben). This product is    kill desirable flowers, shrubs, trees
primarily designed to control annual      and gardens.
broadleaf weeds. It will also prevent        Ester formulations should be used
dandelion seed from germinating. It is    cautiously because they are highly
not effective on crabgrass.               volatile and may damage non-target
   Kerb (pronamide). For use on           plants nearby.
bermudagrass only.                           Some common postemergence
   Pendimethalin. Can be used on all      broadleaf herbicides include (com-
Kansas lawn species, except bentgrass.    mon names in parentheses where
   Princep (simazine). Labeled for        applicable):
use on zoysia and bermuda only.              2,4-D. A growth regulating phe-       Field Sandbur
   Prograss (ethofumesate). Prima-        noxy herbicide that acts like a hor-
rily used for pre- and post-emergence     mone. Formulated principally as
annual bluegrass control on peren-        amine salts and esters and sold under
nial ryegrass golf course fairway turf.   a wide variety of trade names. It is
   Ronstar (oxadiazon). Not for use       available in liquid or granular form.
on home lawns. Particularly effective     Very effective against dandelions and
against goosegrass. Can be used           many other broadleaf weeds.
safely on newly sprigged or plugged          2,4-DP. A phenoxy herbicide simi-
warm-season turfgrass.                    lar in chemistry to 2,4-D.
   Surflan (oryzalin). For use on tall       Dicamba. A very effective non-
fescue and warm-season grasses only.      phenoxy broad-spectrum herbicide.
   Team (benefin + trifluralin). For      Should be used with caution around
use on all Kansas species, except         landscape plants as it can be taken up
bentgrass and buffalograss.               through their roots. Do not use inside
   Tupersan (siduron). Can be used        the drip-line of trees.
at time of seeding to control crab-          MCPA. A phenoxy herbicide usu-
grass and foxtail in the seedbed. Not     ally formulated in combination with
for use on warm-season grasses.           other herbicides to increase the spec-
   XL (benefin + oryzalin). For use       trum of control.
on tall fescue and warm-season               MCPP. A phenoxy herbicide, often
grasses only.                             formulated in combination with
                                          other herbicides, but sometimes for-
Postemergence                             mulated alone. More effective on
Chemical Control                          clover than 2,4-D.
   The application of weed killers to        Turflon (triclopyr). A non-
unwanted emerged plants is referred       phenoxy herbicide with broad-
to as postemergence weed control.         spectrum control.
2,4-D is an example of a selective           Confront (triclopyr + clopyralid).
postemergence herbicide. These herbi-     A very effective non-phenoxy broad-
cides selectively control either broad-   spectrum herbicide. Excellent against
leaf or grassy weeds and have little or   clover.
no effect on desirable lawn grasses.         Some common postemergence
   Many selective herbicides are          grassy herbicides include (common
growth regulators. They interfere         names in parentheses where
with the normal processes within          applicable):                             Prostrate Spurge
Turf Weeds
                         Acclaim (fenoxaprop). Very effec-     action with no soil residual. Usually
                     tive control of annual grasses. Not       takes seven to 10 days to see visual
                     for use on bentgrass or bermuda-          effects.
                     grass. In fact, Acclaim will suppress
                     bermudagrass that has invaded other       Herbicide Formulations
                     lawn species. May temporarily dis-          Postemergence herbicides may be
                     color desirable lawn grasses, espe-       applied as liquids or granules.
                     cially Kentucky bluegrass and
                                                               Liquids—Esters and Salts
                     zoysiagrass, however recovery nor-
                                                                   Liquids of the hormone type are
                     mally occurs in 10 to 14 days.
                                                               normally esters or amine salts. Ester
                         Fusilade II (fluazifop). Can be
                                                               formulations may be low-volatile or
                     used for bermudagrass suppression
                                                               high-volatile. Low-volatile esters
                     in tall fescue or zoysiagrass lawns.
                                                               release a minimum amount of fumes
                     Control may be possibly achieved
                                                               at temperatures below 85°F; high-
                     with several repeat treatments. Desir-
                                                               volatile esters give off fumes at lower
                     able grasses will likely be tempo-
                                                               temperatures. Air temperatures can
                     rarily discolored.
                                                               be misleading since temperatures
                         MSMA, DSMA. Organic arseni-
                                                               at the lawn surface may be 20 to
                     cals, or arsenates, used to control
                                                               40 degrees higher. Salt formulations
                     annual grassy weeds. Repeat treat-
Thistle                                                        —lithium and amine—are less haz-
                     ments are usually necessary for con-
                                                               ardous because they do not give off
                     trol and desirable lawn species will
                                                               damaging fumes.
                     likely be temporarily discolored.
                                                                   No ester formulation is safe to use
                     These products work mainly by con-
                                                               around ornamentals because of vola-
                     tact. Somewhat effective against nut-
                                                               tilization or vapor hazards.
                     sedge. These products are not to be
                                                                   Wind movement of spray particles
                     confused with the more toxic inor-
                                                               is equal on both esters and amine salts.
                     ganic arsenicals such as sodium arsen-
                                                                   Carefully read labels and select the
                     ite, lead arsenate or calcium arsenate.
                                                               very safest formulations and prod-
                     Nutsedge control:                         ucts available. Proper use begins with
                        Basagran (bentazon). Labeled for       selection of the correct weed killer
Windmillgrass        use on most turf species but severly      and a safe formulation.
                     burns perennial ryegrass. Repeat              Under no circumstance should it be
                     applications may be necessary.            necessary for a homeowner to control
                        Manage (halosulfuron). Very            weeds with highly toxic products.
                     effective product that can be used on     Such products bear the word “Dan-
                     all Kansas turfgrasses except             ger” on the label. Avoid their use.
                        MSMA, DSMA. See description in
                                                                  Solid formulations are most com-
                     previous section.
                                                               monly formulated as granules. These
                     Non-selective control                     formulations provide effective weed
                     (total vegetation control):               control and reduce risk to desirable
Oxalis                  Diquat. Works strictly by contact;     ornamentals and vegetable gardens.
                     treated plants will be desiccated but        Granular formulations work most
                     will eventually regrow from the           satisfactorily when applied in late
                     crown or other growing points.            evening or early morning, when weed
                        Finale (glufosinate-ammonium).         species are damp. Sprinkling with
                     For non-selective weed control of         water before application also provides
                     emerged weeds. No soil residual.          the necessary conditions for granular
                     Works both by contact and systemi-        adherence and effective control.
                     cally. Effects show up somewhat           Liquid Application
                     sooner than with glyphosate.
                                                                  Liquid applicators can be classi-
                        Roundup (glyphosate). The indus-
                                                               fied into two groups—gravity flow
                     try standard for total vegetation con-
Common Yarrowgrass                                             and pressure.
                     trol since the early 1970s. Systemic
                                                                                          Turf Weeds
Gravity Flow                                  Misuse of pressure-type applica-
   Gravity flow liquid applicators are     tors accounts for a considerable share
most desirable for the average home-       of the weed-killer spray drift injury
owner. They are simple to operate,         that occurs in urban neighborhoods.
low in upkeep and initial cost, and        When using pressure sprayers, oper-
eliminate drift of fine droplets of        ate the equipment with as low a pres-
spray which could cause damage to          sure as possible. Lower pressure
ornamentals, fruits and vegetables.        increases spray droplet size and
   The simplest and least expensive        thereby reduces the possibility of
gravity flow applicator is a plastic       drift. Never operate pressure spray
sprinkle nozzle that fits into a gallon    equipment in urban areas when wind
jug. The jug is filled with the proper     movement is greater than 5 mph.
mixture of water and weed killer.             The application of herbicides with
When inverted, the mixture comes           hose-end units is difficult to control.
out in a uniform spray. Precision          Wrestling with the water hose and
application can be obtained by first       lack of precision placement with
making a test run with water to            hose-end applicators makes for
determine the area covered at the          misapplication. Save hose-end units
normal walking speed.                      for the applicator of insecticides,
   Cane tubes equipped with a push-        fungicides and liquid fertilizers.
type dispenser on the bottom end are
popular for treating a few scattered
                                           Using Herbicides
weeds. Cane tubes are usually about           Weed control using a given herbi-
30 inches long. They are filled with       cide may vary in effectiveness from
water and herbicide. When the cane         year to year or area to area. Factors
tube is pressed down on a plant, the       influencing weed control with soil-
dispenser releases a squirt of weed        applied herbicides include:
killer mixture. Premeasured weed           s Kinds of weeds
killer tablets are available for use in    s Application rates
cane tubes; however, liquid formula-       s Uniformity of application
tions will serve just as satisfactorily.   s Solubility of herbicide
   Liquid spreaders work on the same       s Volatility of herbicide
principle as granular applicators. The     s Rainfall
most successful type employs a whirl-      s Soil type
ing disc which throws the weed killer      s Organic matter
mixture in a precision pattern.               Factors influencing weed control
   Brush and can systems are conve-        using foliage-applied herbicide
                                           include:                                  Chickweed
nient methods for treating small
patches or a few individual plants.        s Kinds of weeds
The herbicide mixture is simply            s Application rates
painted or daubed on plants marked         s Uniformity of application
for elimination. The brush and can         s Spray additives
method works well for spot treating        s Stage and rate of weed or crop
unwanted clumps or patches of                 growth
grass. Use an inexpensive paint brush      s Loss due to rain or degradation by
or a cloth or sponge dauber.                  sunlight
                                           s Retention on leaves
Pressure Systems                              Understanding factors that influ-
   Pressure applicators are of two         ence herbicide effectiveness helps
types—air pressure and water pres-         select herbicides for different weeds.
sure. Air pressure sprayers require a         Get additional information from
sealed tank, pump and nozzle. Water        the label, the dealer or your county
pressure sprayers are commonly             Extension agent.
known as hose-end sprayers. They
use water pressure to force distribu-
tion of the material.
Turf Weeds
             Proper Use of Herbicides                 4. Application Rates:
                Herbicides control weeds more            Apply at the rate recommended
             effectively when growing conditions         for your soil or for the stage of
             are favorable, but they also may            crop and(or) weed growth. Do
             cause more crop damage. Effects on a        not exceed the recommended
             weed and on a crop plant usually            amount. Apply uniformly over
             vary with different herbicides. A           the treated area. Equipment must
             thorough understanding of a herbi-          be calibrated to attain the recom-
             cide is necessary to use it properly.       mended application rate.
             Safe, proper use requires consider-      5. Spray Drift:
             ation of the following guidelines:          Minimize drift and possible
              1. Selection:                              damage to susceptible plants
                 Selecting a herbicide depends on        by applying chemicals when the
                 the crop being grown—such as            wind is blowing lightly (less
                 potatoes, strawberries, annual          than 10 mph). Apply spray at
                 flowers or turf. The choice also        low pressure, not more than
                 depends on the expected weed            25 to 30 pounds per square inch
                 infestation, length of                  for boom sprayers.
                 weed control desired, cropping       6. 2,4-D and Other Phenoxy
                 sequence and cost.                      Herbicides:
              2. Registered Uses:                        Horticultural crops and numer-
                 Use only a herbicide that has           ous other economic plants fre-
                 been registered for use on the          quently are damaged by careless
                 crop to be grown. Herbicides            or indiscriminate use of phenoxy
                 named in this publication (as of        herbicides. Each year profes-
                 printing date) have been regis-         sional horticulturists, herbicide
                 tered for uses suggested. Uses          specialists and county Extension
                 described on current container          agents receive many questions
                 labels also are registered.             and complaints about twisted
              3. Labels on Herbicide Containers:         and distorted plants. Misuse of
                 READ AND FOLLOW ALL                     2,4-D or other phenoxy herbi-
                 LABEL DIRECTIONS AND                    cides can cause much damage.
                 PRECAUTIONS. Labels on                  Prevent damage to your own or
                 herbicide containers are written        your neighbors’ susceptible
                 with great care to give needed          plants from phenoxy herbicides
                 information. Herbicides sold in         by following these rules:
                 interstate commerce must be regis-      • Use a phenoxy herbicide only
                 tered by the Environmental Pro-           when specifically needed. In
                 tection Agency (EPA). Pesticides          some cases use of other herbi-
                 used on raw agricultural products         cides that are less hazardous
                 also must have a residue tolerance        can effectively control broad-
                 established by the Environmental          leaf weeds.
                 Protection Agency. The label of a       • Use the amine salt formulation
                 registered herbicide must carry           when possible and when
                 the following information: brand          temperatures are expected to
                 name or product name, ingredient          exceed 80°F. If the ester formu-
                 statement giving the name and             lation must be used, apply a
                 percentage of each active ingredi-        low volatile ester formulation
                 ent, warning or caution statement         when air temperatures are
                 on toxicity of the chemical, and          expected to be below 85°F for
                 directions for use including rates        several hours. High-volatile
                 and time to apply. The label also         ester formulations, especially
                 contains a statement of net weight        2,4-D and similar herbicides,
                 or measure of content, name and           rapidly release vapors or fumes
                 address of manufacturer and EPA           at about 80°F; low-volatile ester
                 registration numbers.                     formulations, at about 90°F.
                                                                                      Turf Weeds
   • Apply all formulations when               designed specifically for band
      winds are less than 10 mph.              application—those that apply
      Spray drift from 2,4-D can               a uniform spray pattern across
      injure susceptible plants a sig-         a band. Standard, flat-spray
      nificant distance downwind.              nozzle tips should not be used;
   • Use low spray pressure to                 they give a feathered pattern at
      minimize spray drift.                    the edges and an uneven applica-
   • Use a separate sprayer for phe-           tion across the band.
      noxy herbicides and use               9. Storage:
      another sprayer for other pesti-         Store unused herbicides in a
      cides unless the sprayer can be          locked room or cabinet, or at
      thoroughly cleaned.                      least out of the reach of children,
7. Cleaning Sprayers:                          pets and livestock. Do not store
   Immediately clean spraying                  near seed, feed or fertilizer.
   equipment after use. For greatest           Never store herbicides in hot
   safety with susceptible crops,              houses or greenhouses. Store all
   apply pesticides with equipment             herbicides in original labeled
   that has not been used previously           containers. Store volatile herbi-
   for phenoxy herbicides. Sprayers            cides in vapor-tight containers.
   previously used for herbicides              Be sure liquid formulations do
   must be thoroughly cleaned before           not freeze.
   they are used for insecticides or       10. Disposal:
   fungicides on susceptible plants.           Pesticide wastes are toxic.
   To clean sprayers contaminated              Improper disposal of unused pes-
   with a herbicide, first drain the           ticide, spray mixture, or rinsate is
   sprayer, hoses and boom. Then               a violation of Federal and State
   run water through the hoses and             laws. Triple rinse plastic and
   boom. Wash down the spray tank              metal containers and recycle them
   and then drain it. Repeat the               if possible. Otherwise, puncture
   rinsing procedure several times.            them and dispose of them (along
   Follow label directions for                 with paper containers) in a sani-
   sprayer clean-up procedures.                tary landfill, or by other appropri-
   If the sprayer has been contami-            ate methods (see label).
   nated with phenoxy herbicides,
   fill the tank to near capacity with     Herbicide Residues
   water, add 1 quart of ammonia           in Soils
   for each 25 gallons of water               Some herbicides may remain in
   (3 tablespoons per gallon). Pump        the soil for a few days, while others
   enough spray to fill hoses and          remain much longer. Persistence of a
   nozzles, fill the tank, close and let   herbicide depends on decomposition
   the sprayer soak for 24 hours.          and leaching characteristics of the
   Drain and rinse tank and hoses          chemical, soil type, rainfall, soil tem-
   with water. Finally, fill the tank      perature, soil microorganisms and
   with water and drain just before        application rate.
   using. NOTE: This is time-                 Injury to future crops and sur-
   consuming but the only alterna-         rounding plants will depend on the
   tive is to have a separate sprayer      persistence of the herbicide and sus-
   for phenoxy herbicides.                 ceptibility of the plants. Check and
8. Sprayer Nozzle Tips:                    follow precautions on labels for limi-
   Use the correct nozzle tips for the     tations, if any, before you select a
   sprayer. Tips vary in amounts of        herbicide. Plan a planting sequence
   material they discharge and             and herbicide program that will
   spray patterns they produce.            avoid soil residues that could
   When applying a herbicide in            adversely affect susceptible crops
   a band, use only nozzle tips            in the sequence.

Turf Weeds

                                          Weed Response to Herbicides
                       Preemergence                                 Postemergence control
  Weed                    control                         1st choice                   2nd choice
Barnyardgrass              Yes                           Acclaim                     MSMA, DSMA
Bellflower, creeping       No                            Dicamba                     2,4-D+MCPP+
Bindweed, field            No                            2,4-D, MCPP+                Dicamba
Bluegrass, annual          Yes, but difficult            Prograss
                           especially on golf courses.
Carpetweed                 Some                          2,4-D                       Dicamba
Chickweed, common          Some                          Dicamba                     MCPP
Chickweed, mouseear        Some                          Dicamba                     MCPP
Clover, white              No                            Confront                    MCPP, Dicamba
Crabgrass                  Yes                           Acclaim                     MSMA, DSMA
Dandelion                  Seedlings only                2,4-D, MCPP,
                                                         Dicamba, Confrort
Deadnettle                 Some                          Dicamba
Dock                       No                            Dicamba                     2,4-D
Fescue, tall               No                            Roundup, Finale
                                                         (spot treat)
Foxtail                    Yes                           Acclaim
Garlic, wild               No                            Dicamba                     2,4-D
Goosegrass                 Yes                           Acclaim                     MSMA
Henbit                     Some                          Dicamba                     MCPP
Ivy, ground                No                            Dicamba                     2,4-DP
Knotweed, prostrate        Yes                           Dicamba                     2,4-DP
Kochia                     No                            Confront                    2,4-D (early)
Mallow                     No                            Dicamba                     MCPP, 2,4-DP
Medic, black               No                            Dicamba                     2,4-DP
Moss                       No                            CuSo4
Nimblewill                 No                            Roundup, Finale
                                                         (spot treat)
Nutsedge, yellow           No                            Manage                      Basagran, MSMA
Pigweed, prostrate         Some                          2,4-D, MCPP, Dicamba
Plantain                   No                            2,4-D
Puncturevine               No                            Dicamba (early)             2,4-D (early)
Purslane, common           Yes                           Dicamba                     2,4-D
Quackgrass                 No                            Roundup, Finale
                                                         (spot treat)
Sandbur                    Yes                           Acclaim                     MSMA, DSMA
Shepherdspurse             Some                          2,4-D, Dicamba
Sorrel, red                No                            Dicamba, MCPP
Speedwell                  Some                                                      Dicamba
Spurge, prostrate          Yes                           Dicamba                     MCPP
Thistle, Canada            No                            Dicamba                     2,4-D
Thistle, musk              No                            Dicamba                     2,4-D
Violet                     No                            Dicamba
Woodsorrel, yellow         Some                                                      Dicamba
Yarrow                     No                            Dicamba

                                                                                                    Turf Weeds

                                             Growth and treatment periods

                                       SPRING                      SUMMER                          FALL                  WINTER

    Weed                       Early     Mid       Late      Early     Mid       Late      Early    Mid   Late   Early    Mid     Late

Bellflower, creeping
Bindweed, field
Bluegrass, annual
Chickweed, common
Chickweed, mouse-ear
Clover, white
Fescue, tall
Garlic, wild
Ivy, ground
Knotweed, prostrate
Medic, black
Nutsedge, yellow
Pigweed, prostrate
Purslane, common
Sorrel, red
Spurge, prostrate
Thistle, Canada
Thistle, musk
Woodsorrel, yellow
            = Active period of plant growth. Varies from year to year and from north to south.

            = Apply preemergence chemicals.

            = Apply postemergence treatments. Approximate periods may vary two weeks from season to season.

Turf Weeds
             Herbicide Applicators                         High- and low-pressure sprayers
                                                       are similar in design, but high-
             Low-Pressure Sprayers
                                                       pressure sprayers have piston or
                Low-pressure sprayers are the
                                                       diaphragm pumps. The pumps typi-
             most commonly used equipment for
                                                       cally deliver up to 50 gallons per
             pesticide applications to turf. They
                                                       minute at pressure up to 800 psi. All
             are used to apply pesticides to con-
                                                       components must be designed for
             trol weeds, insects and diseases.
                                                       high pressure. Consequently, they
             Low-pressure sprayers may be
                                                       are heavier and more expensive than
             tractor- or truck-mounted, pull-type
                                                       low-pressure units.
             or self-propelled. Each type is avail-
                                                           Handguns that can handle pres-
             able in many models.
                                                       sures up to 1,000 psi are available
                All sprayers are composed of sev-
                                                       for high-pressure sprayers. These
             eral basic components including a
                                                       guns have a range from a low rate
             pump, a tank, an agitation system, a
                                                       with a wide cone spray pattern to a
             flow-control assembly and a distribu-
                                                       high flow rate with a straight stream
             tion system with adequate controls.
             High-Pressure Sprayers                        Handguns are not normally
                High-pressure sprayers, primarily      recommended for spraying turf areas
             used to spray trees for disease and       such as lawn or golf greens. It is very
             insect control, are capable of develop-   difficult to constantly obtain uniform
             ing pressure up to 800 psi, which         coverage from a handgun on turf
             drives the spray through heavy foli-      areas. A hand or walking boom with
             age or to the tops of tall trees. When    conventional nozzles should be used
             equipped with a boom and proper           if it is not possible to use a conven-
             pressure regulators, high-pressure        tional sprayer with a boom. If a
             sprayers can do any work usually          handgun must be used because of
             done by low-pressure sprayers.            rough or very irregularly shaped
             When equipped with handguns, they         areas, you must be aware of the diffi-
             can also be used for spot treatments,     culty in obtaining a uniform spray in
             for spraying fence rows, roadsides,       the correct amount over the area.
             ornamentals, turf and washing

                                                                             Turf Weeds
Study Questions
1. (19) Knotweed and spurge are      7. (22) __________ is a warm
   examples of:                         season grass found frequently
   a. herbicides                        in thin bluegrass stands; it has
   b. broadleaf summer annual           flattened stems which are
      weeds                             whitish near the base and a
   c. winter annual grasses             very fibrous root system that is
   d. perennials                        hard to pull.
                                        a. goosegrass
2. (19) __________ are the most
                                        b. deadnettle
   difficult weeds to control in
                                        c. dandelion
                                        d. fescue
   a. perennial broadleaf weeds
   b. summer annual broadleaf        8. (22) Henbit:
      weeds                             a. usually blossoms in the
   c. biennials                            early spring
   d. perennial grass weeds             b. is a perennial
                                        c. starts growing in early
3. (20) When should warm
   season grasses be fertilized?
                                        d. has white flowers
   a. between mid-May and
      mid-August                     9. (23) __________is a winter
   b. early spring                      annual and may be confused
   c. August through September          with dandelions since the
   d. anytime                           leaves form a rosette in the fall.
                                        a. common purslane
4. (20) __________ is a low grow-
                                        b. red sorrel
   ing, compact, tufted winter
                                        c. shepherdspurse
   annual that does not have
                                        d. puncturevine
   rhizomes and has leaves that
   are soft light green and boat-   10. (23) The thistle is a:
   shaped at the tip.                   a. perennial
   a. barnyardgrass                     b. biennial
   b. annual bluegrass                  c. summer annual
   c. foxtail                           d. a or b
   d. crabgrass
                                    11. (24) The common yarrow is:
5. (21) Common chickweed:               a. a low growing, ground
   a. is a perennial                       cover type weed
   b. is found frequently in the        b. a biennial
      shade                             c. an annual weed
   c. is the same as mouse-ear          d. strongly scented
                                    12. (24) A preemergence herbicide:
   d. is a legume
                                        a. is applied to the soil
6. (21) __________forms a large         b. works best on annuals
   rosette with the leaves often        c. stops growth of the seed
   tinted reddish colored with          d. all of the above
   crinkled edges; it does not
   usually flower when growing
   in lawns.
   a. goosegrass
   b. common chickweed
   c. curly dock
   d. white clover

Turf Weeds
             Study Questions
             13. (25) 2,4-D is an example of a:    18. (28) A common factor influ-
                 a. preemergence herbicides            encing weed control with soil-
                 b. selective postemergence            applied herbicides and
                    herbicide                          foliage-applied herbicides is:
                 c. herbicides which control           a. stage and rate of weed or
                    grassy weeds                          crop growth
                 d. usually harmful to desirable       b. spray additives
                    lawn grasses                       c. uniformity of application
                                                       d. organic matter
             14. (25) Why is it dangerous to
                 apply ester formulations          19. (28) How can spray drift and
                 around ornamentals?                   possible damage to nontarget
                 a. translocation of herbicide         plants be minimized?
                    caused root injury                 a. apply spray at high
                 b. volatilization or vapor               pressures
                    hazards                            b. apply spray when wind is
                 c. persistent residues in soil           less than 10 miles per hour
                    kill plants nearby                 c. use high concentrations of
                 d. the ornamental plants will            chemicals
                    become poisonous to                d. all of the above
                                                   20. (29) Spraying equipment used
             15. (26) When are granular                for phenoxy herbicides:
                 formulations of post-                 a. can be used for other
                 emergence herbicides more                pesticides without cleaning
                 effective?                            b. should be cleaned monthly
                 a. when weeds are damp                c. should not be used for
                 b. when applied during                   other pesticides unless
                    mid-day                               thoroughly cleaned
                 c. when applied in late               d. a and b
                    evening or early morning
                                                   21. (29) Where should pesticides
                 d. a and c
                                                       not be stored?
             16. (27) The following is true            a. in a locked room
                 concerning gravity flow liquid        b. in greenhouses
                 applicators:                          c. in original labeled
                 a. difficult to operate                  containers
                 b. eliminate drifting                 d. in locked cabinets
                 c. high initial cost
                                                   22. (32) Low pressure sprayers are:
                 d. undersirable for
                                                       a. used to control weeds only
                                                       b. self propelled and come in
             17. (27) A ‘hose end’ sprayer is a           only a few models
                 common name used for:                 c. used mainly on turf
                 a. air pressure applicators           d. heavier than high pressure
                 b. water pressure applicators            sprayers
                 c. gravity flow liquid
                                                   23. (32) High pressure sprayer
                                                       handguns are not usually
                 d. ‘brush and can’ systems
                                                       recommended for:
                                                       a. washing equipment
                                                       b. golf greens
                                                       c. roadsides
                                                       d. fence rows

                                                                                       Turf Insects
                                            Vel, Tide or Dreft over 4 square feet
                                            of turf. (One teaspoon of pyrethrum
   Many insects and other arthropods        also may be used instead of 1 table-
commonly inhabit lawns and turf-            spoon of detergent.) This mixture
grasses. Although only a few cause          should bring aboveground insects
injury, their damage may cost consid-       to the surface of the grass within
erable repair and replacement.              10 minutes. They then can be col-
   Good management is the first line        lected and counted. Use this tech-
of defense against grass-feeding            nique in several places to get an
insects. Healthy grasses have a greater     average count of the insects present.
capability than weak grasses for                To inspect for possible root damage,
producing new roots and leaves as           grab a handful of grass and pull up. If
older ones are destroyed by insects.        the plants easily come out whole, the
   To effectively manage insect pests,      roots are damaged. If the grass stays in
the commercial pesticide applicator         place, comes up only with a hard pull
must have a working knowledge of            or breaks off, the aboveground plant
the various pest’s life cycle and           parts may be injured.
habits. It is also important to realize         To examine parts below ground,
that it is not possible, or practical, to   cut a 1-foot-square section of sod
eliminate all turf insects. However         4 inches deep on three sides, and roll
good management practices—                  it back to expose the root zone. Shake
including insecticide applications          the soil off the roots to look for grubs
when needed—will reduce pest num-           or other root feeders. Replace the sod
bers while reducing other plant             and water it to re-establish the roots.
stresses at the same time.                      Identification. The first step is to
                                            determine whether or not the symp-
Steps in Managing Pests                     toms of damage are insect related.
   Successfully managing pests              This is not always easy since other
requires recognizing problems, tak-         things may resemble insect damage,
ing the appropriate action, and mak-        such as fertilizer burn, diseases,
ing a follow-up assessment. To              improper mowing, the nature of the
reduce the development of insect            particular grass variety, dry weather,
pest problems, the following five           urine spots from dogs, and damage
steps should always be taken:               caused by using insecticide, fungi-
 1. Inspect all lawn and turf areas on      cide or herbicide improperly.
    a regular basis.                            If the problem is insect-related, it
 2. Learn how to identify important         is very important to establish which
    turf insect pests and their             insect pest is involved since each pest
    damage.                                 may require a different control strat-
 3. Develop a sound pest manage-            egy based on differences in seasonal
    ment strategy.                          occurrence, life cycle, habits and
 4. Select and apply insecticides care-     severity of damage.
    fully and only when necessary.              Correct identification is also
 5. Evaluate the success of the             important to separate the non-
    management program.                     destructive insects from the destruc-
   Periodic inspection. Periodic            tive ones. For example, some insects
inspections are needed to discover          benefit the lawn because they prey on
insect infestations and accurately          destructive insects or feed on decay-
assess their significance. The inspec-      ing organic matter which helps build
tion should be systematic. Look at the      the soil (many dark, flat beetles
plant parts above the ground such as        belong to this group).Others may
blades and stems for feeding injury.        be only temporary and are neither
A simple check for aboveground              harmful nor beneficial. Leafhoppers
insects can be made by sprinkling a         and clover mites occasionally inhabit
mixture of 1 quart water and 1 table-       lawns, but usually do not damage
spoon of powdered detergent such as         the grass.
Turf Insects
                  Develop a management strategy.             Thatch 1⁄2 inch or thicker consider-
               Once the problem has been diag-            ably reduces the effectiveness of
               nosed, a decision must be made about       diazinon and Dursban when applied
               how to manage the problem. Take the        for soil insects (white grubs and bill-
               time to assess actual and potential        bugs). Thatch chemically and physi-
               damage, and then decide whether to         cally prevents the pesticides from
               treat with chemical controls and how       moving down into the soil where the
               to do it. Depending on the nature of       insects are feeding. Thatch is also
               the problem, the time of the year, etc.,   conductive to lawn diseases.
               insecticide treatments may or may not         The effects of heavy thatch may be
               be helpful or advisable.                   reduced by using granular insecti-
                  Chemical control. Insecticides          cides or by wetting the thatch before
               should never be applied based only         applying liquids and watering
               on existing damage without first           heavily (1⁄2 inch or more) immediately
               considering whether pests are still        afterward. Results are best when
               present in sufficient numbers to           heavy thatch is reduced by power
               cause additional damage.                   raking, top dressing or using light
                  After you have determined which         applications of lime.
               chemical to use, the next step is to          Thatch buildup can be avoided by
               apply the insecticide when pests are       not over-fertilizing.
               present and vulnerable, at the proper
               rate, and in sufficient quantity to        Insecticide–
               permit good, thorough coverage.            Fertilizer Mixtures
               Some pests may have more than one              Insecticide–fertilizer combinations
               generation so repeated applications        are designed to do two jobs with one
               may be needed. Always read and             application—fertilize the lawn and
               follow label directions.                   control the insects. The idea is good,
                  The job is not finished until the       but it has its drawbacks.
               equipment is cleaned and the insecti-          Fertilizer and insecticide are not
               cide is stored properly. Rinse out         always needed in the same place at
               spray equipment thoroughly after           the same time. Applying insecticide
               use. Insecticides should be sealed         or fertilizer when it is not needed
               tightly in their original containers       wastes money and is not an ecologi-
               and locked in a cool, dry, clearly-        cally sound practice.
               marked place.                                  Some insecticides work better on
                  Evaluation. A thorough follow-up        certain kinds of pests than others.
               evaluation should always be made to        It is cheaper to buy and use the best
               determine the success of the pro-          insecticide for a particular pest only
               gram. If insecticides are applied, did     when it is present and causing
               they work? It may take two to three        problems.
               days for aboveground insects to be             Using such a mixture is limited
               killed and two to four weeks for soil      because of the poison in the insecticide.
               insects, so do not expect immediate
               results. If the application did not        Common Turf-
               work, try to find out why!                 Damaging Insects
               Thatch Reduces                                Insects that damage your lawn
                                                          may be grouped into two categories:
               Effectiveness of                           aboveground and underground
               Insecticides                               pests. The two categories usually
                  Thatch is the tightly interwoven        feed on different parts of the grass
               layer of living and dead roots, stems,     plant and require different tech-
               leaves and stolons (underground            niques to control.
               stems) of grass that develops                 Aboveground pests feed on the
               between the green vegetation and the       blades and stems of grass. Included
               soil surface.                              in this group are sod webworms,
                                                          armyworms, cutworms and chinch
                                                                                        Turf Insects
bugs. Insecticides are applied to, and     the actual feeding is done while they
should remain on, the blades and           are relatively protected. After several
stems to kill the insects as they crawl    weeks of feeding, they reach maturity
around or feed on the grass.               (now about 3⁄4 inch long), change into
   Underground pests feed primarily        pupae (the resting stage), and soon
on grass roots. This group includes        emerge as moths. Two generations
whitegrubs and billbugs. Insecticides      occur each year. The first-generation
are applied to the grass and then          adults appear in June and the second-
watered into the soil where the            generation adults in late July and
insects live.                              August. Historically, the second gen-
                                           eration larvae have caused the great-
Aboveground Pests                          est amount of damage in Kansas.
Bluegrass sod webworm                          Damage and Detection. The close
(lawn moth)                                clipping of grass blades by the sod
    The bluegrass sod webworm is           webworm larvae does not kill the
one of the most destructive pests of       grass directly but exposes the crown
turf in Kansas. Infestations often         to the hot, beating sun; thus, the
damage bluegrass or mixtures of            injury is much worse during hot, dry
bluegrass and tall fescue. This web-       weather. As the caterpillar grows, it
worm also attacks bentgrass greens         can damage an area of lawn about
on golf courses, can sometimes be of       the size of a softball. If the infestation
concern in plantings of pure tall fes-     is severe, the spots may develop into
cue, and has been reported occasion-       much larger areas. Be careful not to         Bluegrass sod webworm (lawn moth)
ally on bermudagrass. In most              confuse other causes of spots with
instances bermudagrass develops            webworm feeding. Common
vigorously enough that serious prob-       examples include: fertilizer burn,
lems are rare.                             diseases, improper mowing, the
    Description and Life Cycle. Sod        nature of the particular grass variety,
webworms are the caterpillars of           dry weather, urine spots from dogs,
lawn moths. The moths are small            damage caused by using pesticides
(1⁄2 inch long) and whitish-gray. They     (insecticides, fungicides or herbi-
clasp or roll their wings close to their   cides) improperly or damage caused
bodies when resting and have mouth         by underground feeding insects such
parts projecting forward from the          as white grubs or billbugs.
head like a snout. The moths are usu-          If lawn moths are abundant, watch
ally noticed when flushed out by a         for signs of caterpillars feeding dur-
lawn mower or people walking.              ing the next seven to 14 days. Realize
When disturbed, they fly in a jerky        though, that an abundance of moths
zig-zag manner and quickly return to       does not automatically mean that
the grass to hide. Around dusk, they       damaging larval populations will
may be seen flying a few feet above        necessarily develop. Also indicative
the grass and dropping their eggs. In      of a sod-webworm infestation are
a few days, these eggs and others laid     large numbers of birds, particularly
on the lower parts of the grass stems      starlings, pecking holes in the lawn
hatch into small caterpillars. It is the   looking for caterpillars.
caterpillar that damages the grass.            Actively feeding caterpillars can
    The caterpillars generally have        be found most abundantly at the
dark heads and rows of light-brown         periphery of a damaged area. Look
spots arranged in rings around the         for green fecal pellets, and webs cov-
greenish-gray bodies. They live near       ered with grass clippings in the
the soil surface in silken shelters cov-   thatch near the soil zone.
ered with bits of grass, essentially           Apply a detergent of pyrethroid
webbing the thatch into a mat. The         mixture as outlined under “Periodic
larvae clip off grass blades close to      inspection” and count the number of
the ground and pull them back into         webworms present. If fewer than
their silken runways, thus most of         seven to eight caterpillars are found
Turf Insects
               per 4 feet, chemical treatment is prob-    age is still relatively minor. A spray
               ably not necessary unless the lawn or      would then be applied once the infes-
               turf is highly stressed. A healthy         tations are confirmed. Be sure to use
               lawn may tolerate more webworms            enough water to thoroughly moisten
               than a poor lawn because the grass         grass and thatch, but not so much as
               has a much better chance of recover-       to encourage runoff. If treatment is
               ing from feeding activity.                 attempted and a post-spray irrigation
                   Chemical Control. Control mea-         becomes necessary only use a light
               sures should be considered when you        sprinkling. The idea is to only wash
               find two to four webworms per              the insecticide down around the
               square foot of sod. A healthy lawn         crown of the plants. Do not resprinkle
               may tolerate more webworms than a          the lawn for at least two more days.
               poor lawn because the grass has a             When using isofenphos (Oftanol)
               much better chance of recovering           granular insecticide, apply 1⁄2 to
               from feeding activity. If possible,        1 inch of water within 24 hours of
               mowing the lawn before applying the        treatment. Do not mow the lawn
               insecticide will minimize the amount       before this label recommendation
               of post-spray contact necessary.           has been met, either by irrigation or
               Using a grass catcher to catch the         by natural rainfall. Check the label on
               clipping will also reduce the amount       the minimum interval between appli-
               of insecticide that is intercepted.        cations. This will vary depending on
                   Insecticides registered for sod web-   the rate applied.
               worms include: Lambda cyhalothrin             Even if treatments were made for
               (Battle, Scimitar); fonofos (Crusade,      the first generation, another applica-
               Mainstay); diazinon (various products      tion will often be necessary to control
               and formulations); chlorpyrifos            the second generation. This late July
               (Dursban—various formulations);            or August treatment can be needed
               trichlorfon (Dylox, Proxol and others);    because many of the chemicals
               isofenphos (Oftanol); carbaryl (various    applied for the first generation will
               Sevin and Carbaryl products and for-       only work from one to four weeks.
               mulations); cyfluthrin (Tempo), ben-       Also, it is likely that moths from
               diocarb (Turcam); and azadirachtin         untreated lawns in the area will rein-
               (Turplex). Product availability varies     fest the lawn by laying eggs in it for
               depending on the marketing strategies      the second generation. A post-
               of various companies.                      treatment evaluation should always
                   One method of timing spray treat-      be conducted to determine whether
               ments is to apply the insecticide          the insecticide eliminated the prob-
               seven to 10 days after moth numbers        lem. Typically, aboveground insects
               peak. Occasionally treatment is nec-       like webworms should be affected
               essary to control the first generation     within two to four days of treatment.
               (sometime in June). Often, however,           Children and pets must be pre-
               treatment for the first generation         vented from entering the treated
               larvae can be avoided altogether.          areas, at least until all sprays have
               Realize that high moth numbers do          dried (see label for other cautions).
               not necessarily indicate a serious         Clean out all equipment after use and
               larval problem must develop. It            return all insecticides to areas where
               seems that more lawns are treated          children cannot get to them.
               (especially for first generation sup-         Other controls. Some turfgrass
               pression) than actually support dam-       cultivars such as the Kentucky Blue-
               aging infestations. This is especially     grass “Kentucky Common,” and
               true of pure fescue lawns. The only        the bentgrass “Seaside” have shown
               practical way to avoid this over-          resistance or tolerance to sod
               treatment currently is to initiate a       webworm.
               routine inspection program on hands           Also, thatch removal in autumn
               and knees, with the objective of           will destroy overwintering eggs and
               detecting a problem while the dam-         prevent a buildup the following
                                                                                          Turf Insects
year. Fall watering and fertilization       find one defoliated spot per square
invigorates stressed lawns for better       yard of buffalograss. Buffalograss
overwintering.                              sod webworms cannot be detected
                                            using the water-detergent mixture
Buffalograss Sod Webworm                    because the caterpillars hidden in
    The buffalograss sod webworm is         tunnels near the soil surface are not
a pest in western Kansas. Its life cycle    affected by the mixture.
and biology differ from the bluegrass           Buffalograss sod webworm cater-
sod webworm.                                pillars are difficult to control using
    Description and Life Cycle.             the rates of application currently
Adults are about 3⁄4 inch long and          labeled for sod webworms. These
light to dark brown. They are active        caterpillars can be controlled some-
at dusk and hide in the grass during        what by using Dursban at the rate
the day. Mature caterpillars are about      recommended for white grubs.
11⁄4 inches long. They have a light         Isofenphos (Oftanol) and Turcam
brown head and light-brown spots            should also perform reasonably well
arranged in rings around the other-         if applied as directed. Apply insecti-
wise grayish bodies.                        cides in mid-May to kill the young
    In the spring the small caterpillars,   caterpillars as they gather food at
which overwintered, begin feeding           night. Two applications may be
on buffalograss. During the day,            needed; the second application
caterpillars live in what resembles an      should be made 10 to 14 days after
extensive silk-lined runway near or         the first.
just below the soil line. They rarely                                                 Cutworms and Armyworms
                                                To determine if the treatment was
leave the protection of this home base      effective, get down on your hands
and extend the system laterally so          and knees when the lawn is dry a few
that new grass blades are within easy       days after treatment and look for
reach. Grass blades are cut free from       dead webworm larvae. A large per-
the plant then pulled within the silk       centage of larvae that receive a fatal
network for eating. Caterpillars feed       dose of insecticide will leave the web-
throughout the summer and pupate            bing as the insecticide takes effect
in August. Female moths do not fly          and many of these should have died
readily so they usually lay eggs in         where they can be found. If no dead
short buffalograss or bare areas close      larvae are found and large numbers
to where they emerged from their            of apparently healthy larvae are still
pupal case. After they hatch, the           present and doing damage one week
small caterpillars find secluded            after treatment, re-examine the label
places in the soil near the roots of a      to be certain the proper application
grass plant to spend the winter.            directions were followed (including
There is one generation per year.           rates of insecticides, amounts of
    Damage and Detection. The first         water solution, and method of appli-
signs of damage are spots of turf with      cation). If it seems that nothing has
leaf blades missing and silk tubes          been overlooked and the weather
across the surfaces of the soil. When       was not excessively rainy or cool
infestations are heavy, the spots may       (some insecticides do not work well
exceed 10 feet in diameter. Pulling         under unusual environmental condi-
on infested grass may not remove            tions), you may want to try another
any roots because the damaged stems         product or consult your county agent
break off with little resistance. The       for advice.
loss of leaves (defoliation) exposes
the grass stem to the sun and may           Cutworms and Armyworms
kill the crown. Injury is much more            Description and Life Cycle.
severe during hot, dry weather and          Cutworms and armyworms are the
on high spots in the terrain.               caterpillars of several species of
    Chemical Control. Control mea-          night-flying moths. Cutworms are
sures should be considered when you         plump, smooth and often greasy-

Turf Insects
               looking. Typically, cutworms curl up        plant. Damage near the crown should
               tightly when disturbed. They have           be considered much more serious than
               greenish, brownish, grayish, or             simple foliar feeding.
               striped bodies, up to 13⁄4 inches long.        Chemical Control. Insecticides
               Although about the same size, the           registered against armyworms and/
               armyworms differ in appearance.             or cutworms include: Lambda cyha-
               True armyworms are plump,                   lothrin (Battle, Scimitar); fonofos
               sparsely-haired, generally green to         (Crusade, Mainstay); diazinon (vari-
               brown larvae with dark stripes run-         ous products and formulations);
               ning down the sides and back. In            chlorpyrifos (Dursban—various for-
               contrast, fall armyworm larvae have         mulations); trichlorfon (Dylox, Proxol
               more conspicuous, longer hairs              and others); isofenphos (Oftanol);
               located on definite black tubercles         carbaryl (various Sevin and Carbaryl
               and an inverted Y-shaped suture             products and formulations);
               located at the front of the head. These     cyfluthrin (Tempo); and azadirachtin
               caterpillars feed on the aboveground        (Turplex). Product availability varies
               plant parts of many grasses and is a        depending on the marketing strate-
               pest of many garden and field crops.        gies of various companies. Carefully
                  Cutworm larvae may be noticed            evaluate the seriousness of the infes-
               early in the growing season or not          tation by critically assessing the
               until later in the summer when sub-         development of damage and size
               sequent generations begin feeding.          plus density of larvae. More reliable
Chinch Bugs    Adult cutworms and true armyworm            control has generally resulted when
               moths first appear between April and        sprays were applied near dusk. Do
               July, whereas fall armyworms may            not re-enter the treated area until the
               not be found until late July. Females       grass has dried.
               lay about 500 eggs on the lower
               leaves of grasses over a two- to three-     Chinch Bugs
               week period. The caterpillars usually          Chinch bugs are common in zoysia
               remain hidden during the day and            lawns but seldom cause appreciable
               feed at night. A second or third gen-       damage. Occasionally they are found
               eration of cutworms may emerge in           on bermuda and bluegrass.
               the summer and early fall. Cutworm             Description and Life Cycle.
               larvae stop feeding and seek con-           Chinch bugs suck sap from many
               cealed areas to spend the winter dur-       species of grasses, including corn,
               ing mid-fall. In contrast, many of the      sorghum and wheat. They are 1⁄8 inch
               armyworms are not successful over-          long and have black bodies with
               wintering in Kansas.                        white markings. Large numbers may
                  Damage and Detection. Cutworms           develop and remain unnoticed for
               feed on grass blades and cut plants off     some time. The adults overwinter in
               near the soil surface. Grasses appear       bunch grasses and feed on various
               ragged and may turn brown from the          other grasses in the spring. Females
               feeding of any of these larvae. Damage      lay about 200 eggs over three to five
               is more likely to occur if the lawn bor-    weeks. Nymphs begin feeding soon
               ders cropland of large untended fields.     after hatching. A second brood is
               Armyworms, in particular, seem to be        produced in the summer. As nymphs
               attracted to areas of lush vegetation.      develop, a white waistband becomes
               Inspect lawns more frequently when          more obvious. Unfortunately, benefi-
               vegetation in these nearby source           cial predatory big-eyed bugs may be
               zones is destroyed, forcing the caterpil-   mistaken for chinch bugs, resulting in
               lars to seek out new food. If cutworms      unnecessary sprays by an unin-
               are suspected, check the damaged            formed homeowner. Eye spread of
               areas a couple of hours after dark.         the chinch bug does not exceed the
               Depending on the species involved,          width of the rest of the body, which
               larvae may be feeding up on the plant       contrasts sharply with the protruding
               foliage or down near the crown of the       eyes of the big-eyed bug.

                                                                                            Turf Insects
   Damage and Detection. Most              the bugs. Follow label directions to
damage is caused by the red nymphs         determine dilution and application
which suck plant juices from zoysia-       rates. Do not re-enter the area until
grass. A lawn infested with chinch         the grass has dried.
bugs develops yellow patches, usu-            When using isofenphos (Oftanol)
ally in sunny locations. A distinctive     granular material follow the same
odor, somewhat like vinegar, may           post-treatment irrigation recommen-
aid in detection and identification.       dations listed for sod webworms.
The bugs concentrate their feeding on
healthy grass at the edge of the dying     Ants
patch. Chinch bugs thrive under hot              Description and Habits. Ants may
and dry conditions. However, during        be red, yellow, brown or black. They
warm, wet weather many are killed          have a narrow (constricted) waist-
by a fungus.                               line, may be winged or wingless, and
   During hot, dry weather as few as       have elbowed antennae or feelers.
five to 10 chinch bugs per square foot     Ants measure from 1⁄32 to more than
may weaken zoysiagrass and lower its         ⁄2 inch long, depending on the spe-
resistance to diseases. Inspect lawns      cies. Ants live in colonies or nests
for chinch bugs before noon on hot         usually located in the soil alongside a
days because they may enter cracks         foundation or in the yard. Occasion-
in the soil at the edges of sidewalks,     ally, however, the nest may be under
driveways and curbs in the afternoon.      the concrete slab or in the crawl
A coffee can opened at both ends can       space of a house.
be used to monitor for chinch bugs.              The ant colony includes a queen,
Push can down firmly into grass at the     workers, eggs, legless larvae and
margin of a damaged area and fill          pupae. Worker ants attend the queen
with water. Chinch bugs will float to      and forage for food. Some species of
the top. The detergent method (previ-      ants feed on greases, sugars, seeds,
ously discussed) will also work. Close     insects and other materials. When
hands-and-knees inspections should         foraging, ants may enter homes ini-
occur when initial signs of damage are     tially by chance. Infestations in
observed. Apply insecticides when          households often are traced to the
yellowing first appears—if chinch          lawn, so that treating the lawn some-
bugs are the cause.                        times solves a household problem.
   Insecticides registered against               Damage and Detection. Ants
chinch bugs include: Lambda-               build nests in the ground and form
cyhalothrin (Battle, Scimitar); fonofos    hills around the nest openings. The
(Crusade, Mainstay); diazinon (vari-       unsightly hills may be difficult to
ous products and formulations);            mow over and sometimes smother a
chlorpyrifos (Dursban—various for-         portion of the surrounding grass. In
mulations); isofenphos (Oftanol);          addition, stands may be weakened by
carbaryl (various Sevin and Carbaryl       ant species which destroy grass seeds
products and formulations); cyflu-         and roots.
thrin (Tempo) and bendiocarb                     Chemical Control. Insecticides
(Turcam). Product availability varies      registered against ants include:
depending on the marketing strate-         Lambda-cyhalothrin (Battle, Scimi-
gies of various companies.                 tar); diazinon (various products and
   Prewatering may improve the             formulations); chlorpyrifos (Dursban
movement of a spray material to the        —various formulations); carbaryl
action site. After applying the insecti-   (various Sevin and Carbaryl products
cide, water sufficiently to move the       and formulations); cyfluthrin
insecticide into the thatch layer          (Tempo) and bendiocarb (Turcam).
where most of the bugs are found.          Product availability varies depending
However, do not over water, thus           on the marketing strategies of vari-
preventing leaching of the insecticide     ous companies.
down below the zone occupied by
Turf Insects
                                             Mowing the lawn before applica-           Recently the Southern Masked
                                          tion exposes more of the hills and        Chafer has become a more common
                                          minimizes the need to enter the           pest of Kansas turf, especially in
                                          treated area any sooner than neces-       lawns with a heavy thatch buildup.
                                          sary. Apply the spray or granules to      It has a one-year lifecycle with a
                                          ant hills and water the area thor-        slightly different occurrence of dam-
                                          oughly. Keep pets and people away         age. Eggs are laid in July and hatch in
                                          from the area until the grass has         early August. These grubs do most of
                                          dried. Follow label directions closely.   their damage to turf during their
                                                                                    peak August and September feeding
                                          Underground Pests                         periods. By mid-October the grubs
                                          White grubs                               have moved down into the soil to
                                             White grubs refers to any of a         form cells for overwintering. The
                                          number of very destructive insect         grubs move up again in April to feed
                                          species in three major groups found       on grass roots, but unless numbers
                                          in Kansas. These are: May beetles or      are very high, the additional damage
                                          June bugs (also known as Phyllop-         seldom amounts to much. If spring-
                                          haga); Southern masked chafers (or        time treatment is undertaken using
                                          Cyclocephala) and Black turfgrass         one of the short residual insecticides,
                                          Ataenius.                                 this application should not preclude
White Grubs                                  Description and Life Cycle.            a timely fall treatment. This grub
                                          Adults vary in color from light           pupates in May and emerges as an
                                          brown to nearly black. Foliage feed-      adult in late June or early July.
                                          ing occurs at night, from April              Damage and Detection. Damaged
                                          through June. Many trees and shrubs       turf may wilt, turn brown and die even
                                          are attacked at night, but damage is      under conditions of minimal water
                                          usually inconsequential. Females          stress, usually in spots or patches.
                                          deposit eggs in grassy areas during       Grass plants pull up with very little
                                          the day. Eggs hatch into tiny grubs       resistance and a section of sod can be
                                          within three to four weeks. These         rolled back like a carpet because the
                                          grubs are C-shaped and vary from          grubs have consumed the roots.
                                          white to off-white in color. They have    C-shaped grubs are usually visible in
                                          a brown head, six legs immediately        this area if grubs are indeed the cause.
May or June Beetles                       behind the head and a dark area on        Although the injury is difficult to find,
                                          the rear end. Mature white grubs are      the stems of infested grasses may be
                                          up to 1 inch long, whereas billbug        tunneled where small billbug grubs
                                          grubs are similar in shape but are all-   have bored through them.
              A.                   B.     white, legless and smaller.                  Grub-infested lawns often attract
                                             May Beetles or June bugs require       moles, skunks and birds which feed
                                          three years to complete their life        on the grubs and may tear up the sod
                                          cycle. Grubs feed for the remainder       as they search for the insects. The
                                          of the growing season on grass roots,     grass root zone should always be
                                          then burrow below the frost line for      inspected for grubs if dead areas
                                          overwintering. In the spring of the       appear in August or September. Be
              C.                   D.     second year, the grubs tunnel up to       careful not to confuse other causes of
                                          the root zone and resume feeding;         turf damage with grub injury. Com-
                                          during this period the grass may be       mon examples include: fertilizer
                                          severely damaged. In the fall, they       burn, diseases, improper mowing,
                                          again burrow down below the frost         the nature of the particular grass
                                          line for overwintering. Feeding the       variety, dry weather, urine spots
                                          third year stops by mid-June, when a      from dogs, damage caused by using
  Bottom side of last segment bears the
  raster.                                 pupal cell is formed and the adults       pesticides (insecticides, fungicides
                                          are produced. Adults emerge from          or herbicides) improperly or damage
A. Typical grub; B. May or June beetle;   these pupae in July and August, but       by aboveground insects including
C. Masked chafer; D. Black turfgrass      do not appear above the ground until      sod webworms (lawn moths),
ataeneus                                  April or May of the next year.            cutworms, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                Turf Insects
   April          May         June          July        August          Sept         Oct          Nov          Dec          Jan         Feb        March

 Beetles emerge, mating at night.
       Eggs are laid in soil.
                                       Grubs hatch, feeding first season on roots.

May Beetle or June Bug first year.

  April           May         June          July        August         Sept          Oct          Nov          Dec          Jan         Feb       March

                                                                                                                                                           Masked Chafer

           Grubs reappear near surface feeding on roots of
           vegetation causing severe injury to plants attacked.                                Grub descends deep into soil, for overwintering.

May Beetle or June Bug second year.

  April           May         June         July        August          Sept         Oct          Nov          Dec          Jan          Feb       March

                                                                  Pupa changes to adult beetle and remains in cell all winter, making
                                                                  its way to the surface to feed, mate and lay eggs for another
 Grub reappears near           Grub makes cell                    generation.
 surface.                      and pupates.

                                                       Life cycle of the June beetle in its third year.

May Beetle or June Bug emerges in third year.

  Jan             Feb          Mar          Apr          May           June         July         Aug          Sept          Oct         Nov        Dec
            Overwintering                   Upward               Pupation and adult      Eggs           Hatching and              Downward migration
               grubs                       migration                emergence             laid          larval growth               for hibernation

                                                       Adapted from, R. McMillen–Sticht, NYSAES

Masked Chafer emerges in one year.
Turf Insects
                   Chemical Control. Insecticides           tions are more likely to be justified
               registered against white grubs               where thatch is very heavy (longer
               include: fonofos (Crusade, Mainstay);        time is required for the insecticide to
               diazinon granules; Dursban granules;         reach the grub zone) or in lawns with a
               trichlorfon (various products and            chronic history of grub damage. Treat-
               formulations); imidacloprid (Merit);         ment for the annual grub should not
               isophenphos (Oftanol); carbaryl (vari-       occur during early-to-mid summer
               ous Sevin and Carbaryl products and          because only the adults stage is around
               formulations) and bendiocarb (Tur-           at that time.
               cam). Product availability varies                If the problem is caused by the
               depending on the marketing strategies        Phyllophaga spp. grubs (three-year
               of various companies.                        grub commonly called either the May
                   A population of three or more grubs      beetle of June bug) the critical treat-
               per square foot of turf may be enough        ment period is less well defined and
               to justify using an insecticide, particu-    grub age may be a more important
               larly in dry weather. Populations of         factor. Active feeding can be expected
               eight to 10 grubs per square foot usu-       throughout the season if Phyllophaga
               ally cause severe lawn damage and            spp. grubs are less than one inch in
               warrant corrective action. Much higher       length because they are probably only
               numbers of the tiny black turfgrass          in the second calendar year of their
               ataenius would be required to cause          life cycle. Treatment may be effective
               equivalent damage. The treatment             almost any time from mid-May
               thresholds listed above may have             through September. If the majority of
               value to the lawn manager that is con-       the three-year grubs are an inch or
               stantly in touch with his turf and who       more in length they are probably in
               is anxiously anticipating each problem       the third year of larval development
               before it develops. Unfortunately,           which means that damage should end
               many people will not find them very          by mid-June. If treatment becomes
               helpful because they do not realize          necessary, the insecticide should be in
               anything is wrong until much of the          place well before this date for any
               damage has been done. At this stage,         benefit to occur.
               the only decisions to be made might              White grubs can be identified
               be narrowing the choices of insecticide      according to genus by the pattern
               and whether the infested area is             of hairs on the raster, the anus. See
               salvageable.                                 figure.
                   In order to achieve suppression of
               annual white grubs (larvae of the            Billbugs
               Southern masked chafer) the insecti-            In recent years, billbugs have
               cides should be in place while the           infested zoysiagrass in eastern and
               grubs are still very tiny and are feeding    southern Kansas. Some also have been
               in the upper 2 inches of soil surface. A     found in bermuda and bluegrass.
               critical treatment period for this species      Description and Life Cycle. Dam-
               occurs about three to four weeks after       age is caused by the grubs, which are
               the peak in adults’ flight and egg-          small (1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch long), white and
               laying. Unfortunately, the occurrence        legless. They have a dark brown or
               of these events often varies with the        yellowish head. Billbug grubs can
               seasonal weather pattern. Injury             be distinguished from white grubs
               becomes progressively worse during           because white grubs have six legs
               the month of August as the grubs grow        and billbugs have none. Billbug
               in size and numbers.                         grubs feed on the stems, stolons and
                   In most years, successful control is     roots of grasses, primarily zoysia,
               rarely possible unless insecticides have     although they also may attack
               been applied before mid-August. In           bermuda or bluegrass.
               some situations, having preventive              The adult billbug is 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 inch
               treatments in place by mid-to-late July      long with a long snout or bill. It usu-
               may improve results. Early applica-          ally is found near the grass stems at

                                                                                            Turf Insects
the soil surface. Their life cycle is not    ing on the roots. Remember that mod-
well understood under Kansas condi-          erate to heavy thatch reduces the
tions; both adults and grubs have            effectiveness of soil insecticides.
been found at various times through-
out the year. Most grubs reach matu-         Black Turfgrass Ataenius
rity in early summer. Damage from               The black turfgrass grub (Ataenius
new infestations is noticeable during        spretulus) is a pest of bentgrass golf
August and early September. There            course greens in many states east of
may be two or more generations in            Kansas, particularly Ohio. It has been
southern Kansas.                             found in metropolitan Kansas City,
   Damage and Detection. Symp-               and has been recorded in Missouri,
toms of infestations resemble those of       Nebraska and Colorado. It may be
white grubs—small patches of brown           present in other areas of Kansas.
or dying sod. The stems of grass may            The grub is a miniature version of
show tunnels where the small grubs           a white grub. They are about 1⁄4 inch
have bored downward although this            long when mature; the adult beetles
is usually difficult to detect. In zoy-      are black and about 3⁄16 inch long.
sia, the stolons (underground stems)         Adults overwinter under leaves and
will show signs of feeding and tunnel        other litter around golf courses. They
in injury. Grubs and adults may or           return to the greens in March and
may not be present when injury is            can be seen flying over the turf from
evident. Most damage occurs when             4 to 6 p.m. on warm afternoons. They
the grubs begin feeding on the grass         begin laying in late April and con-
                                             tinue through May. Clusters of about      Billbugs
   Chemical Control. In addition to          ten eggs each are laid in the thatch
the insecticides previously listed for       or the soil immediately beneath the
controlling white grubs, Lambda-             thatch. In June, grubs burrow 1 to
cyhalothrin (Battle and Scimitar) and        3 inches in the soil while feeding on
cyfluthrin (Tempo) are registered for        grass roots. Adults appear in August
use against billbugs.                        and lay eggs for the second genera-
   Billbugs are controlled best by           tion. The tiny adults then fly around
applying the insecticide to kill the         lights on golf courses. As many as
adults and newly hatched grubs. Once         250 to 300 bentgrass grubs per square
the young grubs begin tunneling in           feet have been found in Ohio. Second
the stems, they are very difficult to kill   generation grubs pupate in Septem-
with chemicals. Those who have zoy-          ber. Adults emerge in October and
sia lawns in areas where this insect         leave the golf greens to find places to
has been a problem should consider           spend the winter.
applying controls regularly during              Insecticides registered against
late May and early June. Insecticides        black turfgrass Ataeneus include:
applied then should kill adults and          fonofos (Crusade, Mainstay);
young grubs before they become               chlorpyrifos (various products and
established. Insecticides also may be        formulations); imadacloprid (Merit);
applied in July to control grubs feed-       isofenphos (Oftanol) and bendiocarb

Turf Insects
               Study Questions
               1. (35) The following is true con-    6. (37) How do sod webworms
                  cerning turfgrass pest control:       damage turf?
                  a. most of the insects in lawns       a. they chew off blades near
                     cause injury                          the soil and expose the
                  b. healthy grasses have no               crown to the sun
                     advantages over weak               b. they weave sticky webs in
                     grasses when attacked by              the turf, killing the grass
                     insects                            c. they burrow in the soil and
                  c. pesticides are the only way           damage the root system
                     to control insects                 d. they are carriers of the deadly
                  d. a working knowledge of                dutch turfgrass disease
                     common pests is important
                                                     7. (38) When should control
                     to control them
                                                        measures for sod webworms
               2. (35) What other problems can          be considered?
                  resemble insect damage:               a. if 2–4 webworms per
                  a. improper mowing                       10 square feet are found
                  b. fertilizer burn                    b. if 2–4 webowrms per
                  c. the nature of a particular            6 square feet are found
                     grass variety                      c. if 2–4 webworms per
                  d. all of the above                      4 square feet are found
                                                        d. if 2-4 webworms per
               3. (36) To check and see if the
                                                           1 square foot are found
                  treatment method was suc-
                  cessful or not is known as:        8. (39) The buffalo grass sod
                  a. evaluation                         webworm is a pest in:
                  b. prescription                       a. northern Kansas
                  c. application                        b. southern Kansas
                  d. postscription                      c. eastern Kansas
                                                        d. western Kansas
               4. (36) The following is true
                  concerning thatch in lawns:        9. (39) When is injury from the
                  a. it augments the effective-         buffalo grass sod webworm
                     ness of insecticides               more severe?
                  b. it is conducive to lawn            a. hot, dry weather
                     diseases                           b. cool, dry weather
                  c. it develops directly beneath       c. cool, moist weather
                     the soil surface                   d. hot, moist weather
                  d. it can be avoided by using
                                                    10. (39) Why is it hard to detect buf-
                     large amounts of fertilizer
                                                        falo sod webworm caterpillars?
               5. (37) The most destructive turf        a. they are microscopic in size
                  pest in Kansas is the:                b. they hid in tunnels
                  a. German cockroach                      underground
                  b. bluegrass sod webworm              c. they are not affected by the
                  c. chinch bug                            water-detergent mixture
                  d. fescue rootworm                       which exposes most insects
                                                        d. b and c

                                                                                Turf Insects
Study Questions
11. (40) When should you treat          17. (44) When applying granular
    turf for cutworm damage?                insecticides to treat white
    a. May to June                          grubs:
    b. June to mid July                     a. water before and after
    c. July to late August                     treatment
    d. there is no set time for these       b. remember that thatch will
       insects; you must watch for             reduce their effectiveness
       their damage                         c. cut holes in the turf to apply
12. (40) ____________ are fre-
                                            d. apply insecticide during
    quently confused with chinch
                                               June and July only
    bugs; however they eat other
    small insects and should be         18. (44) What are the differences
    protected.                              between white grubs and bill-
    a. big-eyed bugs                        bug grubs?
    b. billbugs                             a. billbug grubs are black and
    c. white grubs                             white grubs are white
    d. June bug                             b. billbug grubs have spotted
                                               bodies and white grubs are
13. (41) Chinch bugs are usually
                                               all white
    more damaging during:
                                            c. billbug grubs have no legs
    a. cool, dry weather
                                               and white grubs have 6
    b. hot, dry weather
                                            d. billbug grubs are twice as
    c. warm, wet weather
                                               long as white grubs
    d. cool, wet weather
                                        19. (45) Symptoms of billbug grub
14. (41) The following is true con-
    cerning ants:
                                            a. resemble white grub
    a. they are either red or black
    b. some species are 2 inches
                                            b. are small patches of brown
                                               or dying sod
    c. they have a narrow waist-
                                            c. are usually noticed during
       line and may be winged or
                                               August and September
                                            d. a and b above
    d. all of the above
                                        20. (45) The black turfgrass grub
15. (42) How many summers can
                                            (Ataenius spretulus) is:
    ‘May beetle’ white grubs feed
                                            a. a pest of bentgrass golf
    on turfgrass before they
                                               course greens
    become adults?
                                            b. only a pest in western
    a. 3
    b. 4
                                            c. black in a grub stage but
    c. 5
                                               light brown in the adult
    d. 6
16. (42) Lawns infested with the            d. about twice as long as the
    c-shaped white grubs often                 white grub
    attract _________ which may
    tear up the sod searching for
    a. dogs and cats
    b. moles and skunks
    c. rats and snakes
    d. rabbits

                                                         nozzle that varies more than 20 per-
                                                         cent from this average. Any nozzles
                 For the most effective control, the     that discharge 20 percent more than
              pesticide selected must be applied         new specifications (those specified by
              uniformly at the recommended rate.         the nozzle manufacturer) are badly
              Pests will not be adequately con-          worn and should be replaced. Inspect
              trolled if the chemical is applied         all hoses for leaks and aging. Is pres-
              sparsely or if areas are skipped. Turf     sure holding constant?
              may be injured or excessive residues          When you are convinced the
              may remain if the pesticide is applied     sprayer is operating properly, you
              at too high of a rate or is concentrated   are ready to calibrate. There are
              in an area.                                many techniques for calibrating a
                 Some herbicides have a narrow           sprayer but they are all based on
              margin of safety between turf injury       determining the volume of chemical
              and weed control. Use properly func-       applied to a measured area of land.
              tioning and accurately calibrated          Calibration Jar Method
              equipment whether it is a large
                                                          1. With the sprayer stationary,
              power equipment or a small hand
                                                             operate at the same pressure that
                                                             will be used in the field. Use
                 Calibration simply means deter-
                                                             clean water for calibration unless
              mining the amount of spray material
                                                             you are using a chemical that
              to apply to a given area (usually an
                                                             changes the viscosity of the
              area) under specified conditions. The
                                                             water. Hold a 1-quart jar under
              conditions for power sprayers are
                                                             each nozzle and measure the
              basically: (1) speed (engine and
                                                             average number of seconds
              ground speed), (2) nozzle type and
                                                             needed to fill the jar.
              size, (3) uniform pressure and
                                                          2. Calculate the flow rate of each
              (4) properly functioning equipment.
                                                             nozzle by the formula:
              Calibrating Field Sprayers                                     15
                                                                   GPM =    ______
                  Failure to calibrate a sprayer can                         S
              injure the plants, create a hazardous
              situation and cost money in wasted
                                                             GPM = Gallons per minute deliv-
              chemical. In addition to calibrating
                                                             ered by nozzle
              the sprayer at the start of the season,
                                                             S = Number of seconds needed to
              you should recalibrate it every few
                                                             fill quart jar.
              days of use. Tests have shown that
                                                          3. Measure a distance of 176 feet
              wettable powders can wear nozzle
                                                             and time the unit over that dis-
              tips enough to increase the discharge
                                                             tance while operating at the same
              rate by 20 percent after spraying for
                                                             gear and rpm that will be used in
              only 10 hours. Also, some brand new
                                                             the field. If possible, do this in
              nozzles show a tendency to wear in
                                                             the actual field to be sprayed so
              and increase discharge by a few per-
                                                             the sinkage will be constant.
              cent during the first hour or two.
                                                          4. Determine the speed of the
                  Before calibrating, check the
                                                             sprayer in miles per hour from
              sprayer carefully. Be sure the nozzle
                                                             the formula:
              tips are clean. If necessary, clean with
              a soft-bristle brush or toothpick. A                            120
                                                                    MPH = ______
              nail or pocket knife can damage the                               T
              nozzle tip and ruin the spray pattern.
              With the sprayer running, hold a jar
                                                             MPH = Speed in miles per hour
              under each nozzle and time how long
                                                             T = Number of seconds needed
              it takes to fill the jar. Determine the
                                                             to travel 176 feet
              average of the results. Replace any

 5. Now, determine the application        spray nozzle tips because their feath-
    rate from the formula:                ered pattern at the edges gives an
                                          uneven application across the band.
                  GPM × 5940
         MPH = __________________
                   MPH × W                Calibrating Hand or
     Where:                               Small Granular Applicators
     GPA = Application rate in gal-          When applying any pesticide,
     lons per acre (treated area)         follow the label for personal protec-
     GPM = Gallons per minute deliv-      tive equipment. At a minimum, wear
     ered by nozzle                       closely woven fabric clothing consist-
     MPH = Speed of tractor in miles      ing of a hat, long-sleeved shirt, long-
     per hour                             legged trousers or coveralls and
     W = Width. For broadcast spray-      waterproof boots. When mixing the
     ing, W is nozzle spacing in          pesticide, wear rubber gloves and a
     inches. For band spraying, W is      face shield or goggles to protect the
     band width in inches.                eyes. Some pesticides require the use
 6. Divide tank capacity by the gal-      of a respirator.
     lons per acre determined in step        Read all of the label on the pesti-
     5. This gives the number of acres    cide container and follow its recom-
     covered by one tankful of spray.     mendations and safety precautions.
 7. To determine the amount of            Check the mechanical condition of
     chemical to add to each tank,        the application equipment for tight
     multiply the recommended rate        connections and cleanliness.
     of application by the number of
     acres covered per tankful.
                                          Calibration of
   Some rates given in this publica-      Liquid Sprayers
tion are for active ingredients. To          Calibration of liquid sprayers may
determine the amount of dry formu-        be accomplished with relative ease.
lation needed, divide the amount of       When spraying, either hold the
active ingredient needed by percent-      nozzle at a steady, constant height
age of active ingredient stated on the    and spray back and forth in swaths
product label. For a liquid formula-      or swing the nozzle back and forth at
tion, divide the amount of active         a uniform speed in a sweeping, over-
ingredient needed by pounds per           lapping motion. A uniform walking
gallon stated on the product label.       speed must be maintained during
Examples:                                 application.
 1. Dry formulation: 16 pounds of            This calibration procedure is only
     active ingredient is needed. An      for spraying ground areas. For spray-
     80 percent active ingredient wet-    ing trees, shrubs, bushes, etc., use the
     table powder is available for use.   recommended concentration (i.e.,
     16 = 20 pounds of commercial         tablespoons per gallon) and spray
                                          until foliage is wetted.
     .80  product is needed.               1. Measure and mark area of known
 2. Liquid formulation: 15 pounds              size on concrete or asphalt (i.e.,
    of active ingredient is needed.            10 ft × 10 ft = 100 sq. ft or 20 ft ×
    A liquid product containing                25 ft = 500 sq. ft). Using water,
    3 pounds of active ingredient per          practice spraying the area. Observe
    gallon is available for use.               the evaporating water. Areas of
      15 = 5 gallons of commercial             excessive or deficient application
                                               rates will be apparent. By adjust-
       3   product is needed.                  ing your spraying technique, you
   Caution: When making a band                 should be able to obtain a uniform
treatment, be sure to use tips specifi-        distribution over the marked area.
cally designed for band application.       2. Fill the sprayer with water to a
They are usually called even spray             marked level, spray the area
nozzle tips. Do not use standard flat          using your refined technique
                 from step 1, and measure the                        Avoid spraying near sensitive
                 amount of water that has to be                      plants. Check whether conditions
                 added to return the water to the                    and spray when wind speed is
                 marked level. The application                       low to prevent drift. Do not use a
                 rate can then be computed easily.                   higher pressure than needed. If
                 Example:                                            for some reason you have a sur-
                 measure area = 20 ft × 25 ft =                      plus pesticide, dispose of it
                      500 sq. ft                                     according to label directions.
                 water sprayed = 0.75 gallon                         After application, clean the
                 application rate = 0.75 gal/                        sprayer thoroughly with deter-
                      500 sq. ft or 1.5 gal/1000 sq. ft              gent and water.
              3. The recommendations on the
                 label are sometimes given only in             Calibration of
                 pounds (or quarts) of product per             Granular Applicators
                 acre rather than in ounces per                   Calibration of granular applica-
                 1000 sq. ft, so the following con-            tions is also possible, but is less safe
                 versions may be useful:                       as you must use the chemical to be
                 dry products—oz/1000 sq. ft =                 applied in the calibration process.
                      recommended lb/A × 0.37                  Except for the orifice or metering gate
                 liquid products—oz/1000 sq. ft =              setting, ground speed is the most
                      recommended qt/A × 0.73                  significant factor affecting the appli-
              4. Determine the proper amount of                cation rate. To obtain the most uni-
                 pesticide and add it to the water             form application, cover the area twice
                 in the tank by:                               with the second application at right
                                                               angles to the first.
                 See no. 1 below
                                                                1. Read the pesticide label to deter-
                 Example: For 3-gallon tank                         mine the application rate, and set
                 capacity, calibration from step                    the machine as recommended by
                 2 of 1.5 gallons 1000 sq. ft and a                 the operator’s manual for a start-
                 recommended rate of 4 lbs dry                      ing setting. Set gate openings
                 material per acre.                                 from one direction only, such as
                                                                    from closed to open, to eliminate
                 First:                                             variation in setting.
                 oz./1000 sq. ft = lb/A × 0.37 =                2. Fill the hopper with the pesticide
                     4 × 0.37 = 1.5 oz/1000 sq ft                   to an easily determined level
                 Then:                                              designated by a mark drawn
                                                                    across the tank with a rule and
                 See no. 2 below                                    marking pen.
                                                                3. Apply to a known area within
                                                                    the total acreage to be treated.

                                            gal/tank × oz pesticide/1000 sq. ft
                   oz pesticide/tank =     ______________________________________________________

                                                     gal applied/1000 sq. ft

                                            gal/tank × oz pesticide/1000 sq. ft
                   oz pesticide/tank =     ______________________________________________________

                                                     gal applied/1000 sq. ft

                                                    3 gal × 1.5 oz/1000 sq. ft
                                       =   ______________________________________________________

                                                         1.5 gal/1000 sq. ft
                                       = 3 oz/tank

4. Refill the hopper to the mark,                  Application
   weighing the container before                       Methods of application vary with:
   and after filling to determine the              s the kind of pesticide.
   amount used.                                    s the host.
5. The application rate can now be                 s the target pest.
   easily calculated.                                 Application equipment must be
   Example:                                        able to deliver a thorough coverage
   swath area = 5 ft. wide ×                       of the correct amount of pesticide
        100 ft. long = 500 sq. ft                  to the plant parts which need
   amount applied = 1 lb.                          protection.
   application rate = 1 lb./500 sq. ft                Low-pressure, low-volume spray-
        or 2 lbs./1000 sq. ft                      ers or granular applicators can be
   or if the recommendation is given               used for control of:
   in pounds per acre:                             s soil or foliage pests of
   Example:                                           ornamentals.
   swath area = 5 ft. wide ×                       s diseases or insects on turfgrass.
        100 ft. long = 500 sq. ft.                 s weeds.
   amount applied = 1 lb.                             High-pressure hydraulic or
   1 acre = 43,560 sq. ft.                         airblast sprayers are not often used
   First:                                          on ornamentals or turfgrass. You can
                                                   use them for spraying large trees.
   See no. 3 below
                                                   Area Measurements
6. If the application rate determined                  To determine how much pesticide
   in step 5 is not the desired rate,              you will need to do a job, you must
   readjust the applicator setting                 measure the area to be treated. If the
   and repeat steps 2 to 5 until the               area is a rectangle, circle or triangle,
   desired rate is obtained.                       simple formulas may be used.
        Granular formulations may                      Rectangles: The area of a rectangle
   differ in density, granule size,                is found by multiplying the length by
   carrier used, etc. Be sure that you             the width.
   calibrate for each different formu-                 Area = Length × Width.
   lation and be alert to changes in                   Circles: The area of a circle is the
   application rate. A good practice is            radius (one-half the diameter)
   to mark off the hoppers in a spe-               squared and then multiplied by 3.14.
   cific measure such as quarts, and               Area = 3.14 × the radius × the radius.
   check the amount used at each
   filling against the area covered.

                          distance traveled (ft) × swath width (ft)
   Acres covered =      ______________________________________________________________

                                             43,560 sq. ft/A

                                 5 ft × 100 ft
                   =   _________________________________   = 0.011 A
                                       amount used (pounds)
   Application rate =        __________________________________________________________

                                             Acres covered
                                    1 lb.
                         =   ___________________   = 87 lbs/A
                                  0.011 A

                          Triangle: The area of a triangle is       Length
                       one-half the base multiplied by the          1 foot = 30.48 centimeters
                       height.                                      3 feet = 1 yard = 0.9144 meter
                                  Area = _____________              161⁄2 feet = 1 rod = 5.029 meters
                                                2                   5,280 feet = 320 rods = 1 mile =
                          Irregularly shaped turfgrass areas             1.6 kilometers
                       often can be reduced to one or more
                       of these common shapes. Calculate            Area
                       the area of each and then add them           1 square foot = 929.03 centimeters
                       together to obtain the total area.           9 square feet = 1 square yard =
                       Example:                                         0.836 square meter
                          Area A + B + C = Total Area               43,560 square feet = 160 square rods
                          Another way is to establish a line            = 1 acre = 0.405 hectare
                       down the middle of the property for
                       the length, and then measure from
       Rectangle                                                    1.466 feet per second =
                       side to side at several points along
                                                                        88 feet per minute = 1 mph =
                       this line. Areas with irregular shape
                                                                        1.6 kilometers per hour (kph)
                       require more side to side measure-
                       ments. The average of the side               Volume
                       measurements can be used as the              27 cubic feet = 1 cubic yard =
                       width. The area is then calculated               0.765 cubic meter
                       s a rectangle.                               1 cubic foot = 7.5 gallons =
                               Area = Length × Width.                   28.317 cubic decimeters
         Circle        Example:
                       Length = line AB
                                                                    Environmental Concerns
                                                                      To control drift and vaporization:
                                    line C+D+E+F+G                  s Apply pesticides when wind
                       Width =   ________________________________     speeds are low and are blowing
                                             5                        away from sensitive areas.
                          A third method is to convert the          s Use lowest practical operating
                       area into a circle. From a center point        pressure and largest practical
        Triangle       measure distance to the edge of the            nozzle opening.
                       area in 10 to 20 increments. Average         s Keep nozzle as close to target as
                       these measurements to find the                 possible.
                       average radius. Then calculate the           s Avoid using airblast sprayers and
                       area, using the formula for a circle.          dusters when working near sensi-
                       Area = 3.14 × the radius squared.              tive plants and areas inhabited by
                       Example:                                       animals.
     Irregular Shape                                                s Use only the appropriate equip-
                                         line A+B+ .... +K+L 2
                       Area = (3.14) × ( ________________ )           ment for each application.
                                      Number of Increments          s When possible, select products
                                                                      with low volatility.
                       Weights and Measures                           To control the adverse effects of
                                                                    pesticide movement:
                                                                    s Use special precautions when
                       1 ounce = 28.35 grams
                                                                      using pesticides on slopes.
                       16 ounces = 1 pound = 453.59 grams
                                                                    s Select the least hazardous pesti-
     Irregular Shape   1 gallon water = 8.34 pounds =
                                                                      cide that will do the job.
                           3.785 liters = 3.78 kilograms
                                                                    s Use the lowest effective rate of
                       Liquid Measures                                application within labeled recom-
                       1 fluid ounce = 2 tablespoons =                mendations.
                            29.573 milliliters                      s If possible, maintain a buffer zone
                       16 fluid ounces = 1 pint = 0.473 liter         between the area to be treated and
                       2 pints = 1 quart = 0.946 liter                sensitive areas.
                       8 pints = 4 quarts = 1 gallon =              s Use mulches.
     Irregular Shape        3.785 liters
s Consider the chances of heavy          Repeated applications of some
  rainfall.                            pesticides to the same area may
s Regulate the amount and duration     cause harmful residues.
  of irrigation.
s Be aware of the potential for        Protecting Animals
  ground water contamination.          and People
s Avoid carrying treated material or      Keep animals and people away
  the pesticide residue from the       during application and until spray
  target area to other areas.          has dried or dust has settled. Keep
  You must know the persistence of     them away from areas of potential
pesticides you apply to ornamentals    drift and runoff. Remove toys, pet
and turfgrass, especially where:       food dishes, birdfeeders and other
s adjacent areas may be affected.      articles from the site before applying
s treated soil is used to grow other   a pesticide. Do not use pesticides
  plants.                              when people or pets cannot be
s humans, pets or other animals are    excluded during the re-entry period
  present.                             specified on the label.

              Study Questions
              1. (48) Calibration is:               5. (50) Recommendations on the
                 a. determining the amount of          label may be given in:
                    spray material to apply to         a. pounds of product per acre
                    specified area                     b. quarts of product per acre
                 b. determining the pesticide          c. ounces of product per
                    concentration to change               1000 square feet
                    formulations                       d. all of the above
                 c. estimating the number of
                                                    6. (50) Why is calibration of
                    pests to be treated
                                                       granular applicators more
                 d. repairing the application
                                                       hazardous than calibration of
                                                       liquid sprayers?
              2. (48) Replace nozzles when             a. granular applicators are
                 the discharge rate varies more           more difficult to operate
                 than _________ from the aver-         b. chemicals to be applied
                 age of the total nozzle dis-             must be used during cali-
                 charge rate.                             bration of a granular
                 a. 5%                                    applicator
                 b. 10%                                c. granular pesticides are
                 c. 15%                                   more toxic than liquid
                 d. 20%                                   pesticides
                                                       d. a and c
              3. (49) How can you find the
                 number of acres covered by         7. (51) High-pressure hydraulic
                 one tankful of spray?                 or airblast sprayers are com-
                 a. divide tank capacity by the        monly used on:
                    gallons per acre (application      a. ornamentals
                    rate)                              b. turfgrass
                 b. multiply tank capacity by          c. large trees
                    the application rate               d. all of the above
                 c. multiply speed of tractor
                                                    8. (52) If you had a triangular
                    during application by swath
                                                       patch of turfgrass to be
                                                       sprayed, what formula should
                 d. divide application rate of
                                                       you use to measure the area?
                    one nozzle by swath width
                                                       a. L × W
              4. (49) When calibrating liquid          b. 3.14 × r2
                 hand sprayers,                        c. b × h
                 a. hold the nozzle at a con-               2
                    stant height while spraying        d. A + B + C
                 b. stand in one place and
                                                    9. (52) To help control drift and
                    spray back and forth in an
                    even motion
                                                       a. use nozzles with small
                 c. spray back and forth in
                    swaths while walking at an
                                                       b. use airblast sprayers and
                    even pace
                                                          dusters whenever possible
                 d. a and c
                                                       c. always use airblast sprayers
                                                          for herbicides
                                                       d. select products with low
                                                          volatility if possible

Study Questions
10. (53) To protect animals and
    people from pesticide
    a. make sure they wear
       protective clothing when in
       the area to be sprayed
    b. wash animals with
       ammonia after they have
       been sprayed
    c. use pesticides with long
    d. remove toys, pet food
       dishes and bird feeders
       before spraying

                                                                 A high nuisance value attributed
Pests                                                         to skunks is their habit of burrowing
                   Vertebrate animals may damage              in lawns and on golf courses in
                larger areas of turfgrass while they          search of beetle larvae and other
                are searching for grubs or other soil-        insects which constitute a significant
                infesting insects, seeds or other plant       portion of their diet. In many
                parts. They include:                          instances these skunk activities are
                   mice                                       charged to moles or gophers and the
                   voles                                      resulting misdirected control efforts
                   skunks                                     are, of course, fruitless.
                   moles                                      Control
                   gophers                                       Control is best achieved by exclu-
                   raccoons                                   sion, trapping and relocation, or
                   foxes                                      by destruction. Trapping and reloca-
                   squirrels                                  tion is a desirable measure since it
                   birds                                      preserves the inherent value of the
                   Control of turfgrass-damaging              animal in a situation where it can
                insects also helps control damage             continue its part in the environment.
                by vertebrate animals, because it             To a very limited extent, skunks are
                reduces their food supply.                    considered of value to the fur market
                                                              when skins are prime. In Kansas,
                Skunks                                        skunks are the primary wildlife car-
Striped Skunk       There are two species of skunks in        rier of rabies. They may also carry
                Kansas: the striped skunk and the             other diseases of importance to
                eastern spotted skunk. The striped            humans. Because of the disease risks,
                skunk is common and the one most              the American Veterinary Medical
                often in conflict with man. Skunks are        Association and the Council of State
                classified as furbearers which pro-           and Territorial Epidemiologists do
                vides them with legal protection              not recommend relocation. In most
                except during the hunting and trap-           cases, wanton destruction is unwar-
                ping season or when causing damage.           ranted and not desirable.
                The eastern spotted skunk is rarely              Trapping and Relocation. This
                found and is protected by regulation          procedure with individuals or fami-
                and should not be destroyed.                  lies of skunks is best accomplished
                    Skunks may be the least popular of        with cage traps. Other traps that kill
                all our wild animals because of the           or maim may result in serious odor
                disagreeable musk which they dis-             problems.
                charge when provoked. Yet, they are              Box or cage traps should be baited
                very beneficial, more than 1,600 stom-        with a chicken head, dead mouse, or
                ach analyses indicated. Nearly half of        a portion of canned pet food with a
Spotted Skunk
                their natural diet is insects, one-fifth      meat or fish base, canned or fresh
                fruit and one-fifth mice. They are par-       raw fish, bacon, chicken parts, or
                ticularly destructive of potato beetles,      whole eggs.
                grasshoppers and white grubs.                    Skunks are relatively easy to trap
                    When a skunk raises its tail, it is a     and, providing the trap is handled
                warning. Ordinarily, there is no dis-         with a minimum of jarring or shak-
                charge, but if it believes it is in danger,   ing, can be transported to a remote
                one discharge will not empty the res-         area and released with little concern
                ervoir. An effective method to neu-           for possible musk discharge or being
                tralize the odor is to wash everything        bitten by the skunk.
                with ammonia water. Neutroleum                   Exclusion. Properly constructed
                alpha mixed 2 ounces to a gallon of           foundations will prevent skunks
                water can also be sprayed and is effec-       from denning beneath buildings.
                tive in masking skunk odor.                   In lieu of continuous foundations,
                                                              screening with 1⁄4-inch hardware
                                                              cloth is effective.
Moles                                        other seed-and-plant-eating animals
   The eastern mole is the only mole         using mole tunnels.                              Pests
found in Kansas. Moles prefer moist          Poisons for Killing Moles
soils.                                          Moles normally cannot be con-
   The mole’s habits and food are            trolled by the use of poisons. The
different from pocket gophers as are         principal diet of the mole consists of
the methods for their control. Both          insects and earthworms.
animals live in the soil, make under-           When the use of poisons seems to
ground tunnels, and put up earth             be effective, the user has probably
mounds on the surface.                       (1) frightened the mole out of his
   Moles dig two kinds of tunnels.           present runway by the scent or
One is made only an inch or two              other quality of the poison used or
below the surface of the ground by           (2) killed the food upon which the
the mole swimming through the                mole feeds.
loose topsoil. This kind of runway
leaves a ridge of earth on the surface       Indirect Control
of the ground. More permanent                   If moles are deprived of their food
tunnels are made 6 to 10 inches              supply, they will be forced to seek
below the surface of the ground              another area. Several insecticides are
and no telltale ridge of earth is left       capable of reducing the population of
on the surface, but instead mounds of        earthworms and soil insects to a
earth are thrown up at intervals.            point where the soil no longer pro-
These are likely to be confused with         vides sufficient food to fulfill the      Mole
those made by pocket gophers.                mole’s daily requirements. The effect
                                             on the moles cannot be expected for
Don’t Confuse Moles                          several weeks and moles may cause
With Pocket Gophers!                         increasing damage as they search in a
    Knowledge of how the mounds of           decreasing food supply.
moles and gophers are constructed
permits a person to distinguish one          Trapping Moles
from the other. From the main tunnel             Trapping is the most universally
of the mole run, a short shaft extends       applicable and satisfactory method of
straight up to the surface. The soil that    mole control, but it is successful only
is expelled from this vertical shaft wells   if the habits and instincts of the mole
up like water and successive loads           are carefully considered. Two good
form a nearly circular mound on which        traps for catching moles in Kansas
there may be ripple marks in the form        are (1) the scissor type and (2) the        Mole pushing dirt through tunnel
of complete circles. In contrast, there is   harpoon type.                               onto surface.
a short inclined tunnel to the surface of
                                             Selecting a Trap Site
the main tunnel of the pocket gopher.
                                                The selection of a frequently used
Through this tunnel, successive loads
                                             runway for a trap set is of prime
of soil are pushed out in one direction,
                                             importance. The traps will have to
each partly on top of the one before,
                                             be placed where ridge tunnels run in
thus forming a mound on which half
                                             a straight line for a few feet. These
circles are visible.
                                             tunnels are often used as travel ways.
    Moles normally do not eat garden
seeds and bulbs, although they are           Pocket Gophers
often blamed for doing so. If moles             Pocket gophers eat at the roots of       Only moles tunnel through the
make their runways in the rows of            some plants and bring soil to the           surface of the ground leaving ridges
plants in the garden, it is because of       surface killing some plants. In addi-       on soil surfaces.
more moisture, more insect larvae,           tion, the dirt mounds are a nuisance
and earthworms in the rows than              to mowing.
between the rows. The moles are                 Pocket gophers have a series of
looking for insects and earthworms           deep runways leading to nests and
to eat. The real culprits responsible        food storage areas. These generally
for eating the seeds are mice and            are about 4 to 5 feet below ground.
                                        These tunnels are not connected             3. Dig down until you locate the
Pests                                   directly to the surface but lead to the        runway and remove soil from the
                                        runways closer to the ground, about            burrows so that traps can be
                                        10 inches under the surface.                   placed far back into the tunnels.
                                           The amount of soil brought up in         4. Connect the trap to a metal stake
                                        the period of a year will vary from            with a piece of wire. The stake
                                        one gopher to another and distances            serves as an anchor and helps
                                        traveled in the search for food. It is         locate the set for tending. The
                                        estimated that in one year the aver-           gopher cannot pull the stake into
                                        age gopher transports 21⁄4 tons of soil        the burrow.
      Plug                              to the surface! At this rate, seven         5. Set and place two traps, one in
                                        gophers to an acre could cover the             each direction. The trigger (flat
                                        surface to the ground with a layer of          metal plate) is placed away from
                                        loose soil 1 inch deep in 10 years.            the excavation.
                                        Control Methods                             6. The open burrows attract the
                                           Control operations can best be              gopher and he will be caught
                                        conducted during the seasons when              while trying to plug them. How-
      Gopher Tunnel and Mound
                                        the pocket gophers are most active             ever, if you let in too much light,
                                        near the surface. This usually is indi-        he may push a large amount of soil
                                        cated by the presence of fresh                 ahead of him. This may spring the
                                        mounds of dirt. At other times labor           trap and let the gopher escape.
                                        and material may be wasted on unoc-            Therefore, push traps into the open
                                        cupied systems of runways.                     tunnel as far back as possible, or
                                                                                       partially cover the entrances.
        Mole Tunnel and Hill            Trapping
                                            When fresh mounds are found, that
                                                                                   Use of Poisons
                                        is the best time to trap because gophers       When using poison grain it is best
                                        then are most active in bringing soil up   to use a burrow builder or a hand
                                        onto the surface of the ground and         applicator in applying the bait. The
                                        most easily located. Traps should be       burrow builder is a machine that
                                        set at fresh workings.                     consists of a corn planter-type feed
                                            Success depends upon the proper        mechanism with packer wheels,
                                        use of traps. The following steps are      power for feeding mechanism,
                                        suggested:                                 coulter wheel, and steel pipe used to
                                         1. Locate the newest mound in the         make the burrow.
                                             area.                                     The burrow builder makes an arti-
                                         2. Probe to locate the main runway.       ficial burrow for the pocket gopher
                                             To locate the main runway find        and at the same time places poison
                                             the plug where the gopher has         bait in this burrow. The machine is
                                             filled up the lateral tunnel and      attached to a tractor and pulled back
                                             left a horseshoe-shaped depres-       and forth across a field making a
                                             sion in a fresh mound. The main       series of parallel burrows about
        Setting a harpoon trap.
                                             runway will be about 15 to            25 feet apart.
                                             18 inches away from the mound             The condition of the soil, princi-
                                             on the same side as the horse-        pally soil moisture, must be consid-
                                             shoe-shaped depression. To build      ered before using the burrow builder.
                                             a probe, use a piece of 3⁄4-inch      Generally, if the soil is damp enough
                                             pipe about 35 inches long. The        so that a handful can be compressed
                                             end section which is forced into      and hold its shape, it is suitable for
                                             the soil, should be solid and         using the machine.
                                             pointed. A foot pedal on the              In general, a burrow depth of
                                             probe may make the task easier.       10 inches is desirable. The effective-
                                             The release of ground friction        ness of the burrow builder depends
 Pack down the runway ridge and push
                                             will be felt when the probe drops     upon the gophers finding the artifi-
    the set trap into the ground with
                                             into the runway.                      cially constructed runway and using
   trigger snugly on depressed ridge.
                                                                                   it long enough to find the poisoned

bait. To make this possible, the artifi-                Fumigation is of limited effective-
cial burrows should be constructed at                ness. Gopher burrow systems are          Pests
a depth and spaced out                               extensive and portions of them are
so as to cut through the greatest                    blocked off by earth plugs, as the
number of natural gopher tunnels.                    gopher occupies various portions
   The burrow builder will give good                 at a time.
control if it is used properly.


             Plug       Gopher mound

        Gopher tunnel and

Pocket gopher using nose and front feet to           Gopher Trapping Hole
tamp earthen plug to tunnel.


                                   Hole dug
                    B              with shovel

   Main Tunnel

Gopher Trap

Pests        Study Questions
             1. (56) Which species of skunk        5. (57) When is the best time to
                is protected by Kansas                control pocket gophers?
                regulations?                          a. winter
                a. tree skunk                         b. spring
                b. striped skunk                      c. summer
                c. spotted skunk                      d. any season when gophers
                d. long-tailed skunk                     are most active near the
             2. (56) The best method for con-
                trolling skunks is:                6. (58) When using poison grain
                a. removal and relocation             to control pocket gophers
                b. exclusion                          what is the best method of
                c. destruction                        application?
                d. they cannot be controlled          a. dropping pellets by hand
                                                         around the burrow opening
             3. (57) A permanent mole tunnel
                                                      b. using a burrow builder
                can be identified by:
                                                      c. aerial application
                a. a half circular mound of dirt
                                                      d. poison grain will not kill
                b. several small mounds of
                                                         pocket gophers
                   dirt 1⁄2 foot apart
                c. a large, flat-topped mound      7. (59) Fumigation for pocket
                   of hard packed dirt                gophers is of limited use
                d. a circular mound of dirt           because:
                                                      a. gophers are resistant to
             4. (57) The best method of mole
                control is:
                                                      b. there is no method for
                a. poisoning
                                                         getting the fumigants into
                b. shooting
                                                         the burrows
                c. trapping
                                                      c. there are many burrows
                d. excluding them from the
                                                         and earth blockages that
                                                         isolate the gophers
                                                      d. contamination of the
                                                         groundwater will always
                                                         result after the gophers are

                                          s a wide variety of plant material.
                                          s pesticide drift.                          Considerations
                                          s pesticide persistence beyond the
   Phytotoxicity is undesirable injury
                                            intended period of pest control.
                                          s improper rate of application or
                                                                                      With Pesticides
to plants. Symptoms of phytotoxicity        improper technique.
s leaf drop.                              Wide Variety of Plant Material
s stunting.                                  Ornamental plants vary from her-
s overgrowth.                             baceous to semi-woody and dis-
s discolored foliage.                     tinctly woody species. Generally,
s leaf curl.                              herbaceous plant (chrysanthemums,
s stem distortion.                        petunias, turfgrasses, etc.) are more
   The cause of phytotoxicity may be      susceptible to pesticide damage than
easy to determine or it may be subtle     woody ones. Even the woody plants
and hidden. Pesticides can cause          are more susceptible when growth is
phytotoxicity. Other causes that cre-     young and tender. Greenhouses
ate similar symptoms are:                 present a special problem as phyto-
s insects and disease agents.             toxic vapors tend to be trapped in the
s insufficient moisture.                  closed environment.
s improper fertilization.                    Plant damage is more likely to occur
s other adverse growing conditions.       with herbicides. Fungicides, except
   Factors that may contribute to         those applied as smokes, tend to be less
pesticide phytotoxicity include:          hazardous to plants than herbicides
s high air temperature during and         and insecticides. The pesticide label is
   immediately after pesticide            the best guide to the safe use of pesti-
   application.                           cides on a specific ornamental plant. If
s excessive rates of pesticide            the pesticide is not known to be safe
   application.                           for use on a specific ornamental, it
s too little water.                       should not be used. Since the registra-
s uneven distribution of pesticide.       tion status of pesticides is continuously
s mixing liquids or emulsifiable          being reviewed and is subject to
   concentrates with wettable             changes, read the product label before
   powders.                               purchasing to make sure it is registered
s mixing fertilizers with pesticides.     for your needs.
s variety and species differences.           Where different plants are rotated
   Take special care to avoid injury to   in the same soil, a pesticide used to
landscape plants and turfgrass when       control some pests on one plant may
using herbicides. Some herbicides         leave residues in the soil that will
leave residues in spray tanks that will   damage or kill another plant. This is
injure desirable plants. Use separate     especially true of some herbicides.
sprayers for herbicides.                  Also, shrubs and ground covers may
                                          be injured by weed killers applied to
Potential for Phytotoxicity               adjacent turf areas. Other examples
   Phytotoxicity or pesticide damage      of injuries that may be caused by
to plants results in such things as       careless spraying are as follows:
abnormal growth, leaf drop and dis-       s Carbaryl injures Boston Ivy.
colored, curled and spotted leaves. If    s Bardeaux mixture may injure cer-
phytotoxicity is severe, the plant may       tain succulent plants and russet
die. Phytotoxicity often mimics such         some apple varieties.
things as insect damage, plant dis-       s Chlorobenzilate may damage
ease and response to poor growing            hydrangea.
conditions such as insufficient mois-     s Demeton will defoliate Bechtel’s
ture, improper fertilization, etc. The       double flowering crab.
following items are especially rel-
evant to the phytotoxicity problem:

                  s Diazinon injures ferns, hibiscus,       Drift Problems
Considerations        gardenias, stephanotis and African       The proximity of different plants
                      violets.                              with varying susceptibility to pesti-
With Pesticides   s Dimethoate causes defoliation of
                      honey locust and elm. It may also
                                                            cide damage requires that commer-
                                                            cial applicators in the ornamental
                      injure flowering almond, dahlias,     and turf category be especially aware
                      plum, peach, cherry, chrysanthe-      of drift problems.
                      mum or Chinese holly.                    Two types of drift are associated
                  s Ethion will injure yews or redbud.      with pesticides. The most common,
                  s Lead arsenate may defoliate vibur-      drift of spray droplets or dust par-
                      num carlesi, forsythia and flower-    ticles, is directly affected by such
                      ing peach.                            things as spray pressure, nozzle
                  s Malathion injures canaert, sar-         opening size, wind velocity and pes-
                      gent’s and burk junipers, Japanese    ticide formulation. Drift of a chemical
                      holly, ferns, violets, petunias and   with low vapor pressure is termed
                      the rose varieties Caledoniz and      vapor drift. Vapors or gases can drift
                      Talisman.                             in harmful concentrations—even in
                  s Oil-sensitive plants include beech,     the absence of wind. Fumigants such
                      black walnut, butternut, hickory,     as methyl bromide must be confined
                      mountain ash, Japanese maple, red     so they will not drift from the treated
                      maple, sugar maple, yellow wood,      area (proper sealing with a plastic
                      Russian olive, Norway spruce,         tarp is essential). Some pesticide
                      yews, hemlock, magnolias, red-        products are volatile or capable of
                      bud, broadleaved evergreens in        vaporizing from soil and leaf surfaces
                      general and junipers.                 in potentially harmful concentrations
                  s Ovex is toxic to azaleas, beech,        after application. Herbicide vapor
                      boxwood, barberry, dentzia, hol-      can severely damage and even kill
                      lies, raspberry, oak, hawthorn,       desirable plants.
                      spruce and sycamore.                     There are several steps that can be
                  s Phorate distorts new growth of          taken to prevent damage to non-
                      Eleyi crab apple trees.               target plants. Where several pesti-
                  s Phosphamadin causes defoliation         cides are available, the applicator
                      of thornless honey locust.            should strongly consider the hazard
                  s Sulfur is toxic to viburnums and        and toxicity of the active ingredient
                      forsythia.                            in making a choice. He should use
                  s Tedion may injure some varieties        formulations and methods of applica-
                      of roses.                             tion that will result in minimum drift.
                  s Thiodan may injure geraniums.           Pesticides should be selected that are
                  s Toxaphene will injure lindin, oak,      safe for both target and non-target
                      redbud, sugar maple, plum, grape,     plants if possible. It may be necessary
                      peach and pear trees.                 to plan a barrier around the target
                      Warm-season turfgrasses include       plant or remove susceptible plants
                  the bermudagrasses, zoysia grasses,       form the area (such as removing
                  St. Augustine grass, and centipede        susceptible potted plants from a
                  grass, as well as some varieties which    greenhouse).
                  have been developed from these spe-          Air-blast sprayers can be used in
                  cies. Cool-season species include such    ornamental and turf pest control if
                  plants as the bluegrasses and fescues.    very safe pesticides (toxicity to appli-
                  Some herbicides used to control weeds     cator and nontarget plants is low) are
                  in warm-season grasses will damage or     used. Air-blast sprayers should never
                  destroy cool-season grasses. The pesti-   be used to apply herbicides.
                  cide label is the best guide as to
                  whether the pesticide should be used
                  on a specific turf species.

Persistence Beyond                          made too frequently, raising the level
Period of Control                           of the chemical in the soil to poten-     Considerations
   The period of pesticide residual         tially phytotoxic amounts.
activity varies greatly from one class      Minimizing                                With Pesticides
of pesticides to another. Persistence is
                                            Pesticide Hazards
directly related to rate of application,
                                               Turf and ornamental pesticides
soil type or texture, temperature,
                                            must often be applied in environ-
moisture conditions, rainfall amounts
                                            ments frequented by humans, pets
and other factors. Commercial appli-
                                            and other domestic animals. The
cators must be familiar with persis-
                                            pesticide applicator must be con-
tence of each pesticide which may be
                                            stantly alert to the hazards associated
applied to ornamentals and turf,
                                            with this situation. Primarily, the
especially where adjacent areas may
                                            problem is twofold: (1) the applicator
be affected, treated soil is used to
                                            must prevent hazardous amounts of
grow other plants, or where humans
                                            pesticides from drifting into nontar-
and pets frequent the area. An
                                            get areas, and (2) the applicator must
example of persistence causing a
                                            prevent humans, pets and other
problem in plant handling would
                                            domestic animals from contacting
be the use of a highly toxic systemic
                                            hazardous amounts of pesticides
insecticide on plants just before they
                                            within the treated area. To avoid
are sold to the public. It is very pos-
                                            problems as much as possible, the
sible that is the process of selecting a
                                            following safety precautions should
plant, the soil would be handled and
                                            be followed:
the general public would be exposed
                                            s Double check to make sure you
to the active chemical.
                                               have the correct yard before
   In situations such as this, it is nec-
essary to hold the plants until the
                                            s Do not allow children or pets to
chemical has lost its toxicity. This
                                               remain in the area being sprayed.
information can be found on the
                                            s Check neighbors’ yards to make
label. Persistence is an important part
                                               sure there are not children or pets
of pest control, since successful pest
                                               around who could come in contact
control requires a knowledge of the
                                               with possible spray drift.
persistence period to make subse-
                                            s Remove toys, pet food dishes and
quent applications. For example,
                                               bird feeders.
generally herbicides used for
                                            s Be sure all clothing is removed
preemergence weed control in turf
                                               from area.
persist for 60 to 90 days, and post-
                                            s Avoid spraying lawn furniture.
emergence herbicides last from one
                                            s Make sure all house windows are
to two days to three or four weeks,
depending on the specific herbicide
                                            s Turn over pet dishes.
                                            s Avoid fish ponds, bird baths and
   Persistence can be an advantage to
                                               bird feeders.
the applicator for long-term control
                                            s Observe pesticide label restrictions
of the pest. The use of a chemical to
                                               concerning tolerance for fruits and
control Pythium (cottony blight) on
turf or root rot on chrysanthemums is
                                            s Sweep or rinse away all spray
a situation in which pesticide persis-
tence is desired. However, problems
                                            s Secure all pesticide containers or
can develop when applications are
                                               spray apparatus before moving.

Considerations    Study Questions
                  1. (61) Phytotoxicity is:             4. (62) What are two types of
With Pesticides      a. undesirable injury to plants       spray drift associated with
                     b. poisoning to humans by             pesticides?
                        plants                             a. vapor and gas drift
                     c. poisoning to humans by             b. target and nontarget drift
                        pesticides                         c. spray droplet and vapor
                     d. when pesticide degradation            drift
                        occurs too rapidly and pests       d. none of the above
                        are not controlled
                                                        5. (62) Airblast sprayers should
                  2. (61) Crop rotation on soils           never be used to apply:
                     containing pesticide residue:         a. fungicides
                     a. will prevent phytotoxicity         b. herbicides
                     b. may damage or kill plants          c. insecticides
                     c. will have no effect on the         d. liquid formulations
                        succeeding crop
                                                        6. (63) Postemergence herbicides
                     d. will control all of the pests
                                                           generally last __________
                        on the succeding crop
                                                           depending on the specific
                  3. (62) Cool season turfgrasses          herbicide involved.
                     include __________. Herbi-            a. several hours
                     cides which control weeds in          b. 1–2 days to 3–4 weeks
                     warm season grasses may               c. several months
                     injure or kill these plants.          d. several years
                     a. bluegrasses and fescues
                                                        7. (63) How can commercial
                     b. Bermuda grasses
                                                           applicators prevent pesticide
                     c. zoysia grasses
                                                           hazards to humans when
                     d. centipede grass and
                                                           spraying turfgrasses?
                        St. Augustine grass
                                                           a. make sure you have the
                                                              correct yard before spraying
                                                           b. remove all clothing from
                                                              the area
                                                           c. sweep or rinse away spray
                                                           d. all of the above



Answers to Study Questions
Pages 4–16                            11. d 12. a   13. b 14. c 15. a
1. d 2. a     3. c    4. a    5.a     16. b 17. b   18. c 19. d 20. a
6. d 7. c     8. c    9. b    10. d   Pages 48–53
11. b 12. d   13. a   14. d   15. c   1. a 2. d     3. a   4. d   5. d
16. a 17. a   18. a   19. d   20. b   6. b 7. c     8. c   9. d   10. d
21. d 22. b   23. c   24. D           Pages 56–59
Pages 19–32                           1. c  2. a    3. d   4. c   5. d
1. b 2. d     3. a    4. b    5. b    6. b 7. d
6. c  7. a    8. a    9. c    10. d   Pages 61–63
11. d 12. d   13. b   14. b   15. d   1. a 2. b     3. a   4. c   5. b
16. b 17. b   18. c   19. b   20. c   6. b 7. d
21. b 22. c   23. b
Pages 35–45
1. d 2. d     3. a    4. b    5. b
6. a 7. d     8. d    9. a    10. d
                                                              Donald C. Cress
                                                       Extension Pesticide Coordinator

         Authors: Appreciation is expressed to the following for preparation of the material in this manual:
       Robert F. Bauernfeind, Extension Specialist, Entomology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
             Steve Keeley, Extension Specialist, Turfgrass, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
Dennis Kuhlman, Extension Agricultural Engineer, Pesticide Application, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
      Charles Lee, Extension Specialist, Wildlife Damage Control, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
             Ned Tisserat, Extension Specialist, Turfgrass, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

                     Acknowledgement: Appreciation is expressed to the following for cooperation in the
                                         Pesticide Applicator Training Program:
                      Jeanne Fox, Environmental Scientist, Pesticide Use Section, Plant Health Division,
                                    Kansas Department of Agriculture, Topeka, Kansas
                                      Greg Krissek, Assistant Secretary for Programs,
                                    Kansas Department of Agriculture, Topeka, Kansas

                          Brand names appearing in this publication are for product identification purposes only.
                          No endorsement is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned.
              Publications from Kansas State University are available on the World Wide Web at:

            Contents of this publication may be freely reproduced for educational purposes. All other rights reserved. In each
                          case, credit Donald C. Cress, Turf Pest Control, Kansas State University, January 1998.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service
S-20                                                                                                                                    January 1998
It is the policy of Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service that all persons shall have equal
opportunity and access to its educational programs, services, activities, and materials without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex,
age or disability. Kansas State University is an equal opportunity organization. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension Work, Acts of May
8 and June 30, 1914, as amended. Kansas State University, County Extension Councils, Extension Districts, and United States Department of Agri-
culture Cooperating, Marc A. Johnson, Director.
File code: Pesticides—2                                                                                                                     1-98—2M

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