PESTICIDE APPLICATION TRAINING
Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station
and Cooperative Extension Service
Table of Contents
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
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
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,
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
23. (16) Chlorosis is when the turf
becomes __________ in color.
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
19. (14) In the control of brown
patch __________ is important
a. proper fertilization
b. proper irrigation
c. proper air circulation
d. all the above
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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-
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-
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
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-
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.
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
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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.
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.
• 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.
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,
Deadnettle Some Dicamba
Dock No Dicamba 2,4-D
Fescue, tall No Roundup, Finale
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
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
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
Growth and treatment periods
SPRING SUMMER FALL WINTER
Weed Early Mid Late Early Mid Late Early Mid Late Early Mid Late
= 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.
Herbicide Applicators High- and low-pressure sprayers
are similar in design, but high-
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
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
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.
2. (19) __________ are the most
difficult weeds to control in
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
annual that does not have
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
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
b. common chickweed
c. curly dock
d. white clover
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
a. washing equipment
b. golf greens
d. fence rows
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.
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
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
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
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-
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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
b. only a pest in western
c. black in a grub stage but
light brown in the adult
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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 = __________________________________________________________
= ___________________ = 87 lbs/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
Length = line AB
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
a. use nozzles with small
c. spray back and forth in
swaths while walking at an
b. use airblast sprayers and
dusters whenever possible
d. a and c
c. always use airblast sprayers
d. select products with low
volatility if possible
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
c. use pesticides with long
d. remove toys, pet food
dishes and bird feeders
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.
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
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.
B with shovel
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
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
b. there is no method for
getting the fumigants into
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
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
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
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,
generally herbicides used for
s Be sure all clothing is removed
preemergence weed control in turf
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
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
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
St. Augustine grass
a. make sure you have the
correct yard before spraying
b. remove all clothing from
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
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: http://www.oznet.ksu.edu
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