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Managing lawn and turf insects: control measures

Vera Krischik and Mark Ascerno

How to apply pesticides

Spread insecticide granules uniformly over the lawn. A fertilizer spreader may be used if it is calibrated properly. Emulsifiable concentrates and wettable powders must be mixed with enough water to adequately cover the area to be treated. Follow the pesticide label directions. Use a compressed air sprayer to apply at least 2 or 3 gallons for each 1,000 square feet. The hose-on type sprayer, which delivers a coarse droplet spray, may be used. Usually an area of about 500 square feet can be covered with 1 quart of insecticide mixture. Most wettable powders don't work well in the hose-on sprayers. It is best to use the emulsions. For blade feeding insects, do not water for two to three days following treatment. Allow the lawn to dry after treatment before letting children and pets play on it. Read the pesticide label and follow the instructions as a final authority on pesticide use.

To control root feeding insects such as grubs and billbug larvae, thoroughly water the lawn immediately after treatment. Imidacloprid (Scott's Grub-Ex), first marketed a few years ago, is an outstanding grub control if used properly. Imidacloprid is slow acting in soils, but has an outstanding residual activity. For immediate control of an active infestation, trichlorfon (Dylox or Proxol) is more appropriate. A new product on the market is halofenozide (Scotts Grub-B-Gon) an insect growth regulator (IGR) that disrupts the insect molting process.

Reviewed 2009

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