Forget about things that go 'bump!' in the night; anxiety over pest insects plague any green thumb and can frustrate the newer gardener. Not only can ants, grubs, and termites give you the willies, but they can also destroy property, lawns and gardens – and the array of critters that landscapers and gardeners have to contend with can be as numerous as the legs on a centipede.
With warmer temperatures in the air and gardening on our minds, The New Jersey Cooperator takes a look at a few types of pest insects that most commonly wreak havoc on HOA lawns and grounds, what lawn care pros and maintenance professionals do to deal with them, and what role the HOA can take in making sure their green space stays that way.
The Cycle of Activity
While some pests are busy throughout the year, most species typically have an active season and a dormant season. In winter, most insect species lay low and cause little to no damage. They rear their ugly heads following winter hibernation, when they wake up and come out hungry. Not only do they feed and burrow but their eggs also hatch, making them a triple threat to lawns and gardens. According to David Dyer of Dyer Landscaping in Mahwah, “Most pests are active and destructive during the growing season of the lawn,” which is April to October.
Dyer says that the most common lawn and ground pests he encounters in New Jersey include “chinch bugs in early spring and throughout the summer, and grubs in early summer on into the fall.”
Chinch bug and grubs cover both types of insect groups: the sucking group and the chewing group, respectively. Chewing insects (like grubs) eat plant leaves and cause the most visible damage, while damage from sucking insects (like chinch bugs) can be harder to identify, and is usually marked by the presence of curled leaves, or brown patches of grass occurring in a circular or semi-circular pattern.