bugs in the lawn

alexis717_dfJune 20, 2008

10 Months ago I purchased an older home that used to be a rental. The lawn was in horrible condition, lots of weeds and brown dead areas. Lots of water, overseeding and weed pulling and it is now reasonably presentable. However, now I find when I walk on the lawn, particularly in shadier areas, I seem to disturb a cloud of white flying bugs. They are fairly small and remind me of dandelion seeds blowing in the wind. They don't seem to be disturbing my ornamentals very much, mostly just the lawn. Can you tell me what they are and do I need to take any steps to get rid of them or just let nature take care of it. They are rather a pain, particularly when I'm trying to work in the hosta area. Thank you for any help.

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Dear Alexis,

Thank you very much for your inquiry. Without a picture, I am not sure of the bugs you are referring. If you can take a sample to a local garden center, that may help you. You can try a general insecticide like Sevin, but I would get the bug identified first as it does not sound like it is doing any damage.

Again, thanks for the question and let me know if you have more.


Trey Rogers, The Briggs & Stratton Yard Doctor, YardDoctor.com

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 8:05AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

If I may add to this: your problem 'sounds' like the little adult moths of sod web worms, which you should be able to find if you dig around just a bit. They are greenish caterpillars with spots. If it does turn out to be sod web worms, then an application of Bt-k (Bacillus thuringiensis-kurstaki) will help. It's a biological control that is quite effective for caterpillars only.

Still, you shouldn't apply anything until you have the pest properly identified. I wouldn't use Sevin on the lawn, as it is one of the most lethal of all pesticides for earthworms.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 3:40PM
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rhizo 1: thank you so much for the heads up on sevin. I wouldn't want to hear my worms. the problem is I don't know how to "catch" these flying insects. They are very small and very fast. Any helpful hints???????

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 7:33PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You could take a sharp flat edged spade and take some of the sod off (temperarily). The caterpillars would be lurking just under the turf and may even be munching on grass at the surface, especially at night.

Searching around in your grass may help you discover other problems, too.

The attached link describes these little pests better than I can.

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here for information

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 11:44AM
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rhizo 1: Thank you for your help. I will do that this week.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 11:51AM
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