Grub problems have traditionally been found first along walks,
driveways or patios. The current list of products includes
imidacloprid and trichlorfon as the active chemical ingredients.
Sevin may also be used, but it is specific for Japanese beetle
grubs. Sevin also will have an effect on earthworms, which is
good and bad. It is good if you have mole problems and bad if
you don't. If label directions are followed, these products
should provide adequate control of grubs. The insecticide must
get to where the grubs are, so make sure to water the liquid
formulations in as soon as they are applied.
Seeding of grass should be accomplished by Sept. 10. This is
a tried-and-true date, but the end of the world won't come about
if you are a week later. The goal is to give the seed enough
time to germinate and become established before bad weather
arrives. Seed at the rate of 4 pounds of seed per 1,000 square
feet on bare spots, or half that rate on overseedings.
If you have a compacted yard or a deep thatch layer, now is
also an ideal time to dethatch or aerate. Thatch layers should
not be over one-half-inch deep for optimum growing conditions.
When aerating, make sure you use a core-type aerator.
Fall fertilization is also a good practice. If you haven't
fertilized in the last month, consider applying a fertilizer
treatment now. Use about 8 pounds of 13-13-13 fertilizer per
1,000 square feet of lawn. Try to avoid the high nitrogen
fertilizers this late in the year. It's hard enough to keep up
with the mowing as it is, and nitrogen promotes top growth. The
even analysis fertilizers will also promote root growth, which
is what we want going into the late fall and winter.
Crabgrass and other annual grass weeds can be seen about
everywhere. They will die with the first frost, so treatment is
not available or recommended in the fall. Make a note of where
these grasses are, and an overseeding to thicken up the grasses
you want there may help crowd out the annuals.
Last, but not least, is broadleaf weed control. Fall is a
particularly good time to treat problem perennial weeds since
they are sending food down to the roots to overwinter. A spray
about the third or fourth week of September (making sure to use
the appropriate product) can do a world of good on the perennial
weeds. Remember to be very careful with herbicides around
perennial plants since they are also getting ready to
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They're back, and almost a month earlier than last year. During
the late summer, small insects known as insidious flower bugs and
minute pirate bugs become real pests by producing painful bites on
people. The bugs are about one-fifth of an inch long with black and
white markings on the back. They are beneficial insects most of the
time while feeding on small insects and their eggs.
They are present all summer in area fields, flower beds and other
landscape areas. Most of the summer the insects are beneficial, but
then they become quite the nuisance when their regular food source
runs out. Their painful bite is caused by their beak breaking your
skin. These insects don't suck blood or inject venom like
People differ in their response to the bites. Some people react
to the bites like mosquito bites, with swelling and itching. Other
people have no reaction at all.
Control of insidious flower bugs and minute pirate bugs is not
practical. They are mobile, and the populations change greatly.
Wearing dark clothing on may help, as the insects seem to be
attracted to light colors. Repellents are sometimes effective but
not enough to make a recommendation. Try the repellents for yourself
and see if they work for you.
University of Illinois Extension, Logan County]