Common Lawn Problems by ghkgkyyt



                                                                                                               S    ee the other two publications in the
                                                                                                                    Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s
                                                                                                               (PMRA) lawn care series, Establishing a
                                                                                                                                                                when pest problems occur. In an IPM
                                                                                                                                                                program, pest managers use regular
                                                                                                                                                                inspections, called monitoring, to collect the
                                                                                                                                                                information needed to decide whether or not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Weeds are any plants growing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      herbicides for domestic use target
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      broadleaved weeds, so grass is not affected by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      them. Ask at your local home and garden
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      store about new products that are more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Chinch Bugs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Chinch bugs are small insects that suck the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         sap from your grass, leaving yellow circular
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         patches that become brown and larger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  where you don’t want them.
                                                                                                               Lawn and Lawn Maintenance, for a general         action must be taken. A key idea in IPM is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Besides being possibly unsightly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      environmentally friendly.                          throughout the summer. They like thatch and
                                                                                                                                                                that it is necessary to take action against pests                                                                                                        dry conditions, so keep your grass tall and
                                                                                                               discussion on lawn health and the prevention
Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note Pest Note

                                                                                                                                                                only when their numbers warrant it, not as a                      and affecting the quality and       The best way to avoid weeds is to maintain         well watered.
                                                                                                               and control of pest problems.                                                                                      quantity of your lawn or garden

                                                                                                                                                                routine measure. In most cases it is only                                                             your lawn’s health through using the right
                                                                                                                                                                necessary to suppress pest populations to non-      plants, they also compete with your lawn or       grasses for your yard, raising the mowing          See the PMRA pest note Effective Control of
                                                                                                               Generally, lawn problems fall into one of four                                                       garden plants for resources such as water,
                                                                                                                                                                damaging levels, not to eliminate them. If                                                            height, watering and fertilizing as needed, and    Chinch Bugs for more information about
                                                                                                               categories: (1) weeds or other plants                                                                light, nutrients, and space. Common weeds in
                                                                                                                                                                treatment is warranted, pest managers choose                                                          overseeding. Also, ensure that your lawn’s         controlling these pests.
                                                                                                               competing with the grass for resources, (2)                                                          Canada include dandelions, plantains,

                                                                                                                                                                the most appropriate combination of control                                                           moisture levels are adequate when treating it
                                                                                                               insects feeding on the grass, (3) diseases of                                                        chickweed, smooth crabgrass, creeping
                                                                                                                                                                measures for the site. You can use these                                                              to avoid any unnecessary stress on it.             Webworms
                                                                                                               the plants or soil, and (4) animals digging up                                                       Charlie, ground ivy, burdock, hawkweed,
                                                                                                                                                                principles in controlling pests around your                                                                                                              Sod webworms are the larval stage of a moth.
                                                                                                               your lawn to build homes or feed on insects                                                          thistles, lamb’s quarter, heal-all, creeping
                                                                                                                                                                yard and home.                                                                                        One no-cost, no effort alternative to weed         They are brown, green, or grey with darker
                                                                                                               under the grass. Most of these are usually                                                           speedwell, creeping buttercup, creeping

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      control is that of developing a certain level of   heads and they feed on your grass at the base
                                                                                                               present in your lawn, but can easily become                                                          knotweed, bindweed, and knapweed.
                                                                                                                                                                Many beneficial organisms that might be                                                               tolerance for some weeds in your yard.             of the stem. One sign that you may have this
                                                                                                               pests if conditions change to favour their
                                                                                                                                                                confused for more harmful ones live in your                                                                                                              pest is yellow patches on your lawn that get
                                                                                                               increase. Your lawn may have other problems                                                          Removing weeds by hand (or a
                                                                                                               as well, such as dead or brown patches. In
                                                                                                                                                                yard, so for anything that might be a pest, be
                                                                                                                                                                sure to identify the species accurately. Your       combination of garden tools) is                                      Insects                         larger throughout the summer. Another sign
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         you may notice is birds feeding on your lawn.
                                                                                                               most cases, these can be resolved easily using                                                       the surest way to control them
                                                                                                                                                                local garden centre may be able to help you                                                                                                              Sod webworms live in tunnels in the soil
                                                                                                               cultural methods, as discussed in Lawn                                                               without using chemical                            Ants
                                                                                                                                                                and there are many good information sources                                                                                                              during the day, but you can see them at night
                                                                                                               Maintenance.                                                                                         herbicides. This can be important if you have     Ants are generally beneficial insects, getting
                                                                                                                                                                on the web. Also, learn as much as possible                                                                                                              if you go out with a flashlight. They like
                                                                                                                                                                about its life cycle and its preferred hosts.       any sensitive plants or a vegetable garden        most of their food from scavenging other           thatch, so remove any from your lawn, aerate
                                                                                                               There are several pest notes available from                                                          nearby or if children or pets use your            insects and decaying material. The most            the soil, and seed any bare or thin grass areas.
                                                                                                               the PMRA that deal directly with specific        Chemical pesticides are available for               property. Another chemical-free method you        common problem with them in your lawn
                                                                                                               pests of your lawn, for example, ants, chinch    controlling pest populations and include            can try is to put a layer of mulch (5–7 cm or     is unsightly mounds, especially                    White Grubs
                                                                                                               bugs, moles and voles, and white grubs.          herbicides for plants, insecticides for insects,    2–3" thick) on top of the lawn or soil. The       if you have sandy soil. They can                                     White grubs are the larval
                                                                                                               Contact the Information Service at               and fungicides for various diseases. They           mulch might include grass clippings,              also be a problem if you want to                                     stage of several beetles, in
                                                                                                               1-800-267-6315 or download the notes from        have specific use instructions for certain          shredded newspaper, sawdust, and plastic.         use your lawn, for example, for a picnic                             Canada most commonly the
                                                                                                               the web site at       species and conditions, so check the labels if                                                        or children’s games.                                                 June bug or beetle. They are
                                                                                                                                                                you’re purchasing any products or contact           Weeds can be most invasive in newly-seeded                                                                             whitish with brown heads and
                                                                                                                           Pest Management                      your local lawn care company. Non-chemical          lawns, where the grass has not yet established    See the PMRA pest note Effective Control of                          are usually C-shaped. They
                                                                                                                                                                alternatives are available for most lawn pests      itself vigorously. Wait until your new grass      Ants for more information about controlling        feed on the roots of many plants, but prefer
                                                                                                                                                                and cultural practices help to eliminate most       has been mowed at least a couple of times if      these pests.                                       the fibrous roots of grass. If your lawn has
                                                                                                               Integrated pest management or IPM is a
                                                                                                                                                                problems. You can also use a pesticide in a         you decide to treat it with a herbicide.                                                             irregular brown patches, try lifting a section.
                                                                                                               process for planning and managing sites to
                                                                                                                                                                limited area, for example, spot-spraying an         Herbicides applied incorrectly can kill the                                                          If it can be lifted in one piece, you will
                                                                                                               prevent pest problems and for making
                                                                                                                                                                infested patch instead of treating the entire       plants you’re trying to keep. Fortunately, most
                                                                                                   July 2000   decisions about when and how to intervene
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         probably see grubs underneath.
See the PMRA pest note Effective Control of        Mushrooms
                                                                                                                         Animals                                             Remember                          In Case of Accidental Poisoning
White Grubs for more information about             Mushrooms are indicators that                                                                                                                               ä Call a poison control centre immediately and
controlling these pests, both in the grub and      something is decaying in your                                                                                                                               seek medical attention.
                                                                                                       Moles and Voles                                                  Before Purchasing a Pesticide
adult stages.                                      lawn, such as an old tree. They                                                                                                                             ä Take the pesticide container or label with you
                                                                                                       Moles are small grey animals that tunnel just                    Product                                to the emergency facility or physician.
                                                   will usually disappear if you pick                                                                                   ä Identify the pest correctly.
                                                                                                       under the surface of your grass, cutting                                                                ä Follow first aid statements on the label.
                  Diseases                         them or break them apart.
                                                                                                       through the root layer and leaving roots
                                                                                                                                                                        ä Use physical control methods
                                                                                                                                                                        and alternatives to pesticides.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               ä In case of accidental poisoning
                                                                                                       exposed to dry out and die. While generally                                                             of pets seek veterinary attention
                                                   Powdery Mildew                                                                                        ä Read the label directions and safety precautions    immediately.
Diseases are commonly caused by poor lawn          Mildew forms in cooler, more shaded areas           beneficial to lawns because they eat many         before buying the product. The label must include
Mildew forms in cooler, more shaded areas          and looks like grey powder on the lawn. If          insects and larvae, their tunnels damage the      the name of the pest to be controlled and the
                                                                                                       appearance and physical stability of your                                                               When Disposing of Pesticides
and looks like grey powder on the lawn. If         you have mildew and can do nothing about                                                              treatment location (e.g., indoor, outdoor, garden
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Do not reuse empty pesticide containers. Wrap
you have mildew and can do nothing about           the shade or temperature in your yard, you          lawn. The moles can also spread lawn              uses, pet treatment).
                                                                                                                                                                                                               and dispose of in household garbage.
the shade or temperature in your yard, you         may want to plant some alternative ground           diseases from one area of your yard to another    ä Purchase only the quantity of product needed
may want to plant some alternative ground                                                              through their activities and their tunnels are    for the treatment.
                                                   covers that thrive in those conditions, such as                                                                                                             Unused or partially used pesticide products should
covers that thrive in those conditions, such as                                                        used by other small creatures, including voles.   ä Alternatively, you may choose to hire a
                                                   periwinkle, lily of the valley, hostas, or                                                                                                                  be disposed of at provincially or municipally
periwinkle, lily of the valley, hostas, or                                                                                                               licensed pest control operator.                       designated household hazardous waste disposal
                                                   creeping juniper.
creeping juniper.                                                                                      Voles, or field mice, will actually feed on                                                             sites.
                                                                                                       your plant roots, and gain access to them         When Using a Pesticide
                                                   Pythium Blight                                                                                        ä Carefully read all label instructions and
Fairy Ring                                         Pythium blight appears as small reddish-            frequently by the mole tunnels discussed                                                                Use Common Sense
                                                                                                                                                         precautions before using pesticides.                  ä These are general recommendations.
Fairy rings are circular patches of dead grass     brown patches on your lawn, and may spread          above.
                                                                                                                                                         ä Do not drink, eat or smoke while applying           ä Consult the label for specific instructions.
that are surrounded by a dark green ring.          very quickly in hot, humid weather and along                                                          pesticides.
These usually appear in older lawns and are                                                            See the PMRA pest note Effective Control of                                                             ä When in doubt, contact a professional.
                                                   drainage routes. Grass areas that are poorly                                                          ä Persons and pets should vacate the area during
caused by a fungal infection. They can be          drained or in high traffic areas are particularly   Moles and Voles (Field Mice) for further          treatment. Cover or remove aquaria.
difficult to eliminate. If you want to try to do   susceptible to this disease. Keep your soil         information about managing these pests.           ä If kitchen area is to be treated, cover or remove
so, use a pitchfork or other spiked garden tool    aerated, water the lawn early in the day, re-                                                         food, dishes and utensils.                                                                                 Pest Management Regulatory Agency
to punch holes in the rings, starting outside      seed or re-sod any bare or thin patches, and        Racoons and Skunks                                                                                                                                           2250 Riverside Drive
the entire ring and working inwards. Be sure                                                           Racoons and skunks are generally digging up
to wipe the spikes with rubbing alcohol after
                                                   use resistant grass varieties.
                                                                                                       your lawn for white grubs and other insects,
                                                                                                                                                         After Handling a Pesticide
                                                                                                                                                         ä Always wash your hands thoroughly after
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ottawa ON K1A 0K9
you’ve finished to prevent transferring the                                                            so once you’ve eliminated those pest              handling any pesticide product.
                                                   Fusarium blight, dollar spot, and brown patch                                                                                                                                                                    Pest Management Information Service
disease to other areas of your yard. Once                                                              problems you should not see them bothering        ä Do not permit persons or pets to contact treated
                                                   are other diseases that affect the health of                                                                                                                                                                     Telephone: 1-800-267-6315
you’ve punched all the holes, fill them with                                                           your grass much.                                  surfaces until residue has dried completely.
soapy water every day for a week, then with
                                                   your lawn. As with all lawn diseases, these
                                                                                                                                                         ä Provide adequate ventilation of treated areas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    From outside Canada: (613) 736-3799*
                                                   can be difficult to identify, so call your local                                                                                                                                                                 *Long distance charges apply.
clean water every day for the next 2 months.                                                                                                             after use.
                                                   lawn care company for help if you’re not sure
                                                                                                                                                         ä Wipe clean all surfaces that comes in direct                                                             Fax: (613) 736-3798
                                                   before treating for a specific problem.                                                               contact with food, such as counters, tables and                                                            Internet:
                                                                                                                                                         stovetops, including indoor and outdoor surfaces.
                                                                                                                                                         ä Always store pesticides out of reach of children
                                                                                                                                                         and pets and away from food and beverages.            Some photographs courtesy of the Kansas Dept. of
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Agriculture, Plant Protection and Weed Control

To top