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TURF: Insects

May 1, 2008
by Rick Brandenburg


mole cricket profile
mole cricket


Its to the point where it is probably too late to do any treatments for grubs this spring. The grubs are just about ready to begin going a little deeper in the soil to pupate. Recent rains have brought some grubs closer to the surface and made them more noticeable. However, it is now just about after the fact and the grubs are almost done feeding.

Grub insecticides in general are slow acting and treatment at this point would be a poor choice. Be prepared to correct any new grub infestations that result from the eggs the beetles lay this summer. Some products, such as Merit, Mach2, Allectus, Arena, Aloft, Atera, GrubOut Plus Meridan, and so on down the list (including many other trade names specific to the homeowner market at major retail outlets), work best when applied just prior to, during, or soon after egg laying. In the southeastern corner of the state the Japanese beetle will begin appearing by late May and in the weeks that follow across the rest of the state.

Mole Crickets

Mole crickets are active in coastal areas and have begun their mating flights. Egg laying will take place in May and egg hatch in late May and throughout June. Treatments are most effective when applied to the newly-hatched nymphs during June. Fire ants have also become quite active and baits will work quite well in the spring when workers are actively foraging. Be sure and use fresh bait and carefully follow label directions. Take the time to understand the product and that most baits take several weeks or more than a month to be fully effective. We’ve had a number of new products recently so look at your options.


Cutworms are active on golf course putting greens. These infestations can start in very early spring and continue until Thanksgiving, so be vigilant in monitoring for their presence. Most other turfgrass settings (golf course fairways, home lawns, athletic fields, etc) can tolerate the typical abundance of cutworms that we observe on putting greens.

Other various nuisance pests

The various nuisance pests have gotten very active in recent weeks. Millipedes, sowbugs, ticks, fleas are all out in force. The only one of real concern to humans is obviously the ticks. I have seen a lot of them this spring, so be aware.