Turf Pests: Sod Webworm control and insecticide recommendations to avoid turf damage.

Turfgrass is susceptible to damage caused by different species of turf pests like moth larvae. You can tell a lot about what type of larvae is invading your turf just by the unique physical characteristics of the damage caused. Sometimes larvae damage can be mistaken for disease or distress, so it’s important to know the differences between the larvae for effective detection and control. Our three-part series covers the three most common species. We’ve covered fall armyworm control and detection tips as well as cutworm control and insecticide recommendations. Today we will feature sod webworm control, treatment and insecticide recommendations to avoid turf damage. The sod webworm commonly attacks Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue and bentgrass through late September. Sod webworms may vary from gray or light green to tan or brown. A physical characteristic that sets them apart from other species is their spotted backs. These larvae will grow to reach a length of approximately 1 inch. Areas of damaged turf first appear as small brown patches. These patches will often run together causing large and irregular-shaped damaged areas. These pests burrow in tunnels in the thatch during the day and emerge at night to feed. The nighttime feeding habits of this pest explains how serious damage often occurs before it is noticed. Blades are eaten back unevenly and may even be completely stripped off in patches. Another common indicator is large flocks of birds gathering on the turf area to feed. Photo Credit: University of Illinois Extension Sod Webworm Control and Detection Tips A disclosing solution (soap flush) technique is a useful tool for monitoring and...

Pesticide safety: maintain good personal hygiene.

As a turf professional, some of the most important pesticide safety steps you can take to protect yourself and others after working with pesticides are also some of the simplest. Maintaining good personal hygiene helps ensure that family and friends won’t come into contact with the powerful materials you use on the job. Be sure to wash your hands and bathe after handling, mixing or applying pesticides. Wash and store your work clothes separately from your regular laundry. Finally, wear clean work clothes and gloves whenever you’re likely to come into contact with pesticides. What other pesticide safety habits do you practice regularly? Share with us and other turf professionals in the comments section below, it could be featured in our next safety...

Fall application of Segway® controls Pythium seedling damping off and root dysfunction.

In autumn, the soil-borne pathogen Pythium infects seeds, seedlings (Pythium damping off) and established turf in greens, tees and fairways (root dysfunction). An autumn application of Segway fungicide with its own unique mode of action and FRAC designation 21 provides unsurpassed preventative and curative Pythium control. This unique fungicide is an important product to have in your fungicide program rotation to minimize resistance. By inhibiting ALL stages of Pythium’s life cycle, Segway helps ensure vigorous turf growth, turf density and spring turf establishment. Seedling damping off: Overseeding and renovating greens, tees and fairways during the autumn is an optimum time to recover turf density damaged by summer season-induced stresses. However, autumn turf seed germination and growth may be slowed by soil-borne Pythium. Pythium zoospores and mycelium infect seeds and seedlings leading to seed decay and wilted, chlorotic seedlings, which could result in seedling death. This severe disease can delay or even prevent robust turf growth and density. Segway application for seedling damping off: Apply 0.45 oz per 1,000 square feet with 2-5 gallons of water volume In severe disease-growing conditions, apply 0.9 oz per 1,000 square feet Reapply in 14 days Root dysfunction: A Pythium pathogen complex infects turf roots in the fall, winter and spring when soil temperatures average between 50°F – 75°F. The soil-borne pathogen complex colonizes on roots and inhibits the root’s ability to absorb water and nutrients affecting turf health and vigor. As soil temperatures reach 85°F root die-back occurs and plant health declines. Symptoms can mimic drought stress. Segway application for root dysfunction: Apply when soil temperature averages between 50°F – 75°F Apply 0.9...

Safety tips for an enjoyable Halloween.

Autumn is here and Halloween is fast approaching. Kids look forward to dressing up in costumes and collecting candy, making this one of the most anticipated evenings of the year. However, it’s important to remember a few important safety tips so that it can be fun, safe and enjoyable for everyone. HALLOWEEN COSTUMES For many adults and children, wearing a Halloween costume is one of the biggest highlights of the day’s festivities. Whether your child is going trick–or-treating or just attending a Halloween party, please be sure to help them choose a costume with the following safety tips in mind. Wear flame resistant costumes, costume accessories and wigs. Costumes should be brightly colored so they are easily seen. If a dark-colored costume is worn, add reflective tape to the costume and the trick or treat bag to make the child more visible. Costumes should be hemmed to prevent a child from tripping or falling. Avoid masks that impair vision in any way. Use non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup instead. HALLOWEEN PROPS Many Halloween costumes seem incomplete without props. If a prop is a part of your child’s costume, be sure to follow these safety tips. Props such as guns, knives or swords can be mistaken for real weapons. Don’t carry fake swords, guns, knives or similar accessories that look authentic. Avoid props with pointed or sharp ends, and instead choose those that are made of a soft material such as rubber with tips and points that are smooth and flexible. Make sure hats or scarves are on securely to prevent them from falling over the child’s eyes and blocking their...

Turf pests: Cutworm control and insecticide recommendations to avoid turf damage

Turf pests like moth larvae can wreak havoc on several turfgrass species. That’s why we’re giving you a series of blog posts on control and insecticide recommendations to avoid turf damage from the most common of these turf pests. Last time we talked about fall armyworm control on turfgrass. This time we’re going to feature cutworm control and detection tips. Cutworm Late-season generations of cutworms pupate in soil and emerge as night-flying moths in late August through September. After which, they lay eggs on plant stems and soil. The name cutworm came from their feeding habits; they attack young turfgrass, literally cutting it down at the stem. Circular spots of dead grass or sunken spots that look like ball marks on golf greens are a good indication of a cutworm problem. Cutworm larvae coloring can range from gray to almost black. Full-grown larvae can reach about 1 ½ -2 inches long. They will curl up into a c-shaped position if disturbed. Cutworm Control and Detection Tips A disclosing solution (soap flush) technique is a useful tool for monitoring and detectingthese pests. Sprinkle a mixture of two tablespoons of liquid detergent and a gallon of water evenly over a square yard of turf. The soap will irritate the worms causing them to crawl to the surface. The recommended treatment threshold for these pests is typically 10-15 worms in a square yard, after observing obvious damage to turf. We recommend the following products to control cutworms: Talstar® Select insecticide for liquid applications Provides long-lasting residual control Non-irritating and non-staining Contains no odorous or plant-damaging solvents Leaves no unsightly residues and causes...