Turf Talk
Our Turf Talk blog gives you the professional advice you need to care for your lawn.

Category Archives: Bugs

My lawn was ravaged by Chinch Bugs last summer. Will insecticides be banned as well?


I have been informed, by a source within Manitoba Conservation, that the emphasis on the ban will be on “cosmetic” pesticides, and that they do not view insecticides within the realm of this classification. At present, they assure me that insecticides will not be included in the ban.

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When I mow my lawn or walk across it I see hundreds of little green bugs jumping out of the grass. What are they? Should I be concerned?

They’re called leafhoppers. Yes, that is the incredibly scientific name that lawn care experts have come up with for a small green bug that hops from leaf to leaf, or should I say blade to blade. Maybe we should rename them bladehoppers. Up close they’re about the size of a grain of rice. Leafhoppers are always present in your lawn. They suck the juices out of the grass blades. Damage is usually visible as a small yellow spot in the middle of the blade. They also excrete a sap like substance called honeydew which sometimes appears as a shiny spot on the blade. Leafhoppers do very little damage. A huge infestation might give your lawn a slightly pale appearance. Since the damage is only short term and superficial, and such large infestations are very short lived, treatment is not recommended. Leafhoppers overwinter in debris and thatch and emerge in mid spring….

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I have these strange ant hills all over one section of my lawn. They’re just single holes with a ring of dirt around them. Not the hills you usually see. What can I do about them?

These aren’t ant hills at all. You’ve had a swarm of night crawlers nest and hibernate in your lawn over winter. Night crawlers are worms. However they aren’t your garden variety worm. These ones are much larger. They’re the thick long worms that fishermen use. In the fall they burrow vertical holes in your lawn where they hibernate until spring. They usually emerge almost all at once, overnight of course. They don’t usually cause any serious or permanent damage although they can sometimes leave your lawn very bumpy, like you’ve got golfballs under your lawn when you walk on it. Given this years’ extremely wet conditions, the soil has remained very pliable. It’s not likely you will find this bumpy result of their activity. When the bumps in the lawn do occur, the best remedy is an aeration to reduce the compaction in the soil. In extremely serious or dry…

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There are a lot of little white moths flying out of my lawn. What are they up to and should I be concerned?

Most people refer to these moths as “paper moths” because they look like a light piece of paper blowing erratically in the wind. They are cause for some concern since these are sod webworm moths. As the moths flutter about, they drop eggs onto the lawn as they fly. Southern Manitoba can see as many as three generations of sod webworm beginning in early summer. These eggs will hatch and turn into the sod webworm larvae. Sod webworms are white in colour with an orange head. They are about half an inch long. They chew off the roots of the grass plants in a layer between the soil and the thatch. The first symptom of serious damage is the appearance of small, dead, fist sized patches. The lawn in these damaged areas peels up quite easily when gently tugged. Peeling back the turf, several sod webworms are likely to be…

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