When “talking shop” with other contractors across the United states, we've always felt lucky that we don't have some of the summer pest problems that most of the Midwest and East Coast have. Last year, there was an explosion of crabgrass and now we must treat for it is here to stay. We proposed pre-emergent treatment, and many approved, but if you didn't and you're seeing this ugly summer weed budget for its inclusion in next year's program. This year we've seen two new insect pests, European chafer, and the Bluegrass Billbug. These have been around but more of a problem on golf courses and rarely a problem in traditional home or business landscape lawns. Another pest that we're seeing more consistently due to warmer, drier summers.  


Crabgrass is a common annual grass weed in many of the parts of the US where summers are hotter but due our cool climate it had not previously been an issue. Recently, mostly due to our warming climate, we are now seeing it where we had rarely or never have seen before.

NOW THE PROBLEM: Control is not easy and requires additional herbicide applications.

We have seen crabgrass on some properties over the past few years and have discussed and recommended control measures with those customers accordingly. However, due to our long hot summer this year, which Crabgrass loves, we have seen it explode on most properties. The problem with Crabgrass is multi-faceted.  First, it grows more rapidly and taller that other grass and is very light green which makes it stand out. Second, it quickly goes to seed and the seed heads are quite unsightly and tall. Third, it is a profuse seeder and quickly produces seed that will germinate in future years making the problem worse the following year if untreated. Finally, as an annual, it grows aggressively choking out the desirable grasses during the heat of summer then dies out in the fall looking ugly and leaving bare spots going into winter. 


CRABGRASS CONTROL BEING PROPOSED FOR 2022: We are sad to say, but the explosion of Crabgrass this past two years has made it apparent that we need to propose Pre-Emergence control every year from now on. 

Pre-Emergence treatment in May: As we do for weed control in our shrub beds, the best control for Crabgrass is to apply a Pre-Emergent product to prevent it from germinating in the spring. The timing is based on soil temperature and occurs late April to Early May. We are in the process of developing addendums to 2022 Budgets for the proposal of Crabgrass Pre-Emergence application. The cost is $600 - $700 per acre or $12.50 - $14.50 per 1,000 SqFt.

Moving Turf Core Aeration to September: We have also be changed our historic timing of Turf Core Aeration to September as aerating in June after applying the Pre-Emergence will disrupt the control. As most clients have us aerate and our budgets submitted include this scheduled for June, we request clients move this budget for aeration to September. 

European Chaffer

Bluegrass Billbug damage causes discolored, irregularly shaped areas of grass that become yellow and finally turn brown. These insects live inside the grass sheath and do not separate blades from the roots until the last larval stage. In areas with serious damage, the turf can be pulled out easily, because of weakened roots. We will not be proposing preventative control unless we see this pest as it isn't particularly prevalent at the moment, but unfortunately very damaging.


Bluegrass Billbug

A serious insect pest of turfgrass, the European Chafer beetle was first reported in Oregon in 2019. European Chafer grubs voraciously feed on turfgrass roots and cause thinning, wilting, and irregular patches of turf that can easily be pulled back or rolled up from the soil. Scavenging animals cause additional turf damage as they dig to feed on grubs. As with European Chafer, we will not be proposing preventative control unless we see this pest as it is a spotty pest but unfortunately very damaging.

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