Lawn insects include ants, aphids, army worms, chiggers, earwigs, fire ants, fleas, grubs, ticks and mites. Many of these suck sap from the leaves of grass and cause them to become stippled, blotched and discoloured. Severe insect infestations rob grass of nutrients and eventually kill affected plants. There are various ways to eradicate harmful lawn insects, including botanical pesticides, chemical controls, insecticidal soaps and natural products, including biological and organic controls.
The biological control of lawn insects involves fighting a harmful living organism with a helpful one. Examples of natural controls include beneficial nematodes, the bacterium bacillus thuringiensis (BT) and entophytic fungi. Beneficial nematodes are microorganisms that feed on the larvae of cutworms, white grubs, webworms and other lawn pests. You can easily purchase them in gardening stores and apply them to a damp lawn to eradicate all insect infestations. Bacillus thuringiensis feeds on cutworms, army worms, webworms and grubs. This bacterium produces crystalline insecticidal proteins and spores that effectively manage garden pests. BT-based insecticides are simply sprayed over effective patches of grass to kill insects. Entophytic fungi are a group of fungi that dwell within the leaves and blades of some varieties of grass. They make their host plant resistant to attacks by billbugs, sod worms and chinch bugs.
Botanical controls or pesticides are manufactured from plants. They are favourites because of their effectiveness and safety. Examples of botanical pesticides include pyrethin and neem. Pyrethin is a botanical pesticide obtained from the chrysanthemum plant. It is effective in eradicating lawn insects, including helpful bugs and is used to treat specific areas of a lawn, in particular those that are infested with sod worms. Neem is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree and is an effective control against Japanese beetles and greenbugs.
One of the most common ways to organically control lawn insects is by diluting a naturally-based dishwashing soap and applying it to affected areas of a lawn. Organic insecticides are derived from animals and plants. An example of an organic pesticide is the tomato and vegetable insecticide, which is effective against stinkbugs, aphids and beetles.
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