The Q&A Archives: Insecticides

Question: Describe the types of insecticides available for controlling insects in the lawn?

Answer: The various pest control options used in turfgrass include cultural, biological, genetic, and chemical controls. Cultural practices include mowing the desired turf species at the proper height, correcting nutrient deficiencies, and practicing good irrigation techniques.

Biological pest control methods (sometimes called biorationals) include using parasites or other biological agents to inhibit turfgrass pests. Biological agents that may be classified as biorationals include bacteria, fungi, or nematodes. Examples of biorationals used on turfgrass pests are Bacillus popilliae, a bacterium that causes milky disease of Japanese beetle grubs; turfgrass cultivars containing endophytic fungi that deter leaf- and stem-feeding insects; and beneficial parasitic nematodes for insect control.

Genetic control options involve using pest-resistant turf species and varieties. Although no turf species or variety is immune to all diseases and insects, some are better able to withstand damage from certain pests than others.

Chemical control of turfgrass pests with conventional synthetic pesticides is also an important part of an IPM program. It is essential to choose the proper pesticide for the target pest, to apply pesticides only when necessary, and to alternate pesticides so that pests are less likely to develop resistance to the chemical.

Chemicals you choose should include the name of the targeted insect and the type of turf you are growing.

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