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Insect Update - July 2009

July 6, 2009
by Rick Brandenburg

Rick Brandenburg 
Wm. Neal Reynolds Professor 
Co-Director Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education


Now is the time to be finishing up treatments for white grubs, except green June beetles. If green June beetles are your major pest then you’ve still got a couple of more weeks to get maximum effectiveness. Most of the newer products still do a good job on all grubs if applied before the end of July, but in August control MAY decline a little.

If you are in a mole cricket area and you haven’t treated for mole crickets, you are about to miss the boat. In some areas, tawny mole crickets are approaching the magical ½ inch in size stage which means they are more difficult to control.

The hot weather always prompts concerns over southern chinch bugs in St. Augustine grass. Keep a close watch for discolored, yellow or tan areas and patches especially in full sun. Catching the problem early is the key.

Fire ant activity is tapering down a little with the hotter temperatures, but they do remain fairly active all summer in North Carolina. Baits may not work quite as well during real hot and dry periods.

Twolined spittlebugs seem to be quite abundant this year. I get lots of reports of adults on lawn mowers and on hollies. The nymphs feed on the turfgrass and create ’spittle masses’ to protect them from getting too hot and dry and from predation as they feed. They may cause the turf to turn yellow. For more information see:

I have not had any reports of fall armyworm yet this summer, but it is still early. I’ll keep you posted.