Surface Insect Control

Insect Suppression for Surface Feeding Lawn Insects

Our “Budget Smart” and “Premier” lawn care programs both suppress surface feeding insects. Surface feeding insect control is applied during our second visit and will be targeting lawn destroying insects such as Sod Webworms and Chinch Bugs.

Sod Webworms

Sod Webworms can severely damage your lawn; luckily they aren’t the hardest surface feeding insect to get rid of in the lawn. The larva will overwinter in the thatch layer or the soil. As the warmer months arrive, the larva will pupate and moths will appear. In warmer temperatures, these whitish adult moths will congregate to shaded areas. They are often recognized by their short flight, zig-zag flying pattern.

Throughout the season, these moths will begin laying more eggs into the soil which will hatch a couple weeks later. The larva will feed on most cool-season grasses (favored) and even warm-season grasses. The adults do not damage turf, only the larvae.

Since the larva are nocturnal, this makes them difficult to physically see. During the day, the larva can be found burrowed in the center of the grass stem. Green frass can be found in damaged areas.

If you are seeing adults as you mow or walk in shaded areas and are experiencing brown damaged turf in sunny locations, call the professionals at FHS, we can help!

Chinch Bugs

Chinch Bugs can be a major pest to lawns. These surface feeding insects prefer Ryegrasses and Fescues, but will attack other turfgrasses as well. Chinch Bugs will insert a straw-like tube into the grass plant tissues and suck nutrients and needed moisture out of the plant. The damage will look like small, irregular patterns that enlarge as the bugs move throughout the lawn. They are most prevalent in un-irrigated lawns and/or lawns with sandy soils.

Typically, our insect suppression will get rid of Chinch Bugs on the 2nd application, although a severe infestation might require 2 additional applications. A good way to check for Chinch Bugs is to spread the grass gently with your fingers and look in the thatch layer. Chinch Bugs are usually very active in the summer, so you will be able to see them scurrying around, especially on warm sunny days.

Tip: Another way to check for either of these pests in your lawn is to pour one or two tablespoons of lemon scented liquid dish detergent in one or two gallons of water and spraying the soapy solution over the damaged area. This will irritate the Chinch bugs and bring them to the surface.

Please note: If you are signing up for one of our lawn care programs after our second service, we highly recommend protecting your lawn against these insects with an optional protective application. As a reminder, this service is for controlled suppression not complete eradication. FHS cannot control future insects from entering the target area.

The word “grub” is used generally to identify the larvae of several different beetles. These larvae or very young beetles in their early development stage – feed on grass roots, chewing them off and damaging or even killing the grass. 

Seasons of surveying turf sites throughout Massachusetts have revealed four species of grubs (Japanese Beetle, European Chafer, Oriental Beetle, and Asiatic Garden Beetle) to be causing most of the damage we see each year. Another species, the May or June Beetle, can be devastating where it occurs, but fortunately its distribution appears to be somewhat restricted.

If you suspect you have a grub problem and need grub applications to ensure grub removal, grub control professionals such as Ford’s Hometown Services can identify which beetle larvae are infesting your lawn and recommend a solution. More often than not, this will involve the proper use of professional grub treatments. 

At FHS, our “Budget Smart” and “Premier” lawn care programs include Preventative Grub Control. We apply this treatment with your second service (typically in May or June) which will kill the fall generation of grubs (see lifecycle photo). For spring grub activity, you’ll need a Grub Curative treatment to kill off the current generation.

André Karwath aka Aka [CC BY-SA 2.5 (]

Keith Edkins [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

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Hydretain helps your lawn and your wallet

Hydretain helps your lawn and your wallet

Hydretain: This safe organic application applied prior to drought will reduce the amount of water needed to properly support the plants growth. This is not a wetting agent. It is an organic humectant that pulls moisture to the root hair and  becomes stored  until...

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Drought Stress Relief

Drought Stress Relief

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Ford's Hometown Services

549 Grove Street
Worcester, MA 01605
(800) 649-9992

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