Predator: Adult and nymphs
Big-eyed bug (Geocoris species, Family Lygaeidae, Order Hemiptera)
Identification: Big-eyed bugs are predators and often confused with the true chinch bug. However, the head of the big-eyed bug is as wide as the thorax (shoulder) and the eyes are very noticeable (Figure 20). The big-eyed bug is a predator and feeds on other insects.
Damage, scouting, and management: Control is not recommended.
Generalist feeders: Ants
Ants (Family Formicidae, Order Hymenoptera)
Ants are to be expected in lawns. Some ants nest in thin areas of the lawn. These are small ants, which make small mounds approximately 3 inches in diameter. Their preference for nesting in areas of sparse vegetation can lead to the assumption that the ants are causing the poor lawn development. This is not true. Ants do not feed on turf and so pose no threat to lawns. Control is not justified on the basis of protecting the lawn. However, another ant, the field ant, can nest in areas of the lawn which are growing well. These ants can build raised mounds of more than a foot in diameter. These large, high mounds can harm the grass and interfere with the lawn mower. Control of these individual mounds may be desired (see Extension bulletin FO-1066 for more information on ants).
Generalist feeders: Earthworms
Night crawlers (Phylum Annelida: earthworms)
Night crawlers are beneficial as they provide natural aeration of the soils and should be tolerated whenever possible. However, large populations can cause lumpiness and, in extreme cases, reduce the value of the turf for recreation. Vertical mowing can help reduce the lumpiness and also the amount of food available for night crawler development. Vertical mowing is best done in late summer, mid-August through September. Do not do vertical mowing in hot weather as it causes stress to the lawn.
CONTROL MEASURES: 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 donít 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 (Scottís 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.
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