|IPM for Turfgrass in Schools
In schools, lawns often cover several acres, and serve important roles as athletic fields,
picnic lunch sites, outdoor classrooms, and general recreational areas for the community
Heavy use of lawns and athletic fields causes stress that predisposes grass to attack by a
variety of weeds, pest insects, pathogens, and vertebrates such as gophers and moles. As a
result, most pesticides used on school grounds are applied to lawns.
Because the bodies of children and youths are often in direct
contact with the grass, use of pesticides on lawns increasingly raises concerns among
parents and health professionals. On the other hand, coaches and school administrators are
under pressure to insure quality turf for use by students and by community athletic
leagues. In addition, the competence of landscape maintenance staff is often judged by the
aesthetic appearance of the lawns that surround most schools. These various viewpoints
often come into conflict when pests threaten lawns.
The key to lawn IPM is the use of cultural practices that optimize growth of grasses and
minimize conditions favorable to pest insects, weeds, or pathogens. The following
discussion describes how to implement an IPM approach to lawn care. Since specific methods
for managing all possible lawn pests is beyond the scope of this chapter, a general IPM
approach is described, followed by complete management programs for two typical lawn
pests: chinch bugs and Fusarium blight.
Detection and Monitoring
An IPM approach to lawn management begins with a monitoring program. Monitoring entails
making regular inspections of the lawn to gather and record site-specific information on
which to base pest control decisions.
Monitoring enables pest managers to do the following:
-identify the pest(s)
-identify any natural enemies of the pest(s)
-apply preventive methods to reduce the occurrence of pest problems
-determine if any treatment is needed
-determine where, when, and what kind of treatments is needed
-evaluate and fine-tune treatments as the pest management program continues over the
Tools used to monitor lawns are listed in Box A.
Developing Background on Local Pests
When beginning a monitoring program, some effort should be made to become familiar with
the common pest insects, weeds, and lawn pathogens found in the local area. Learn about
their life cycles and how to recognize them.
This information can be obtained from the Cooperative Extension Service, located in every
county, or from publications listed in the Bibliography at the end of this chapter. It is
also important to learn to recognize the natural enemies of common lawn pests, and factor
their presence into deciding if treatments are needed and which ones to use.
Gathering Background Data on the Site
The next step in a monitoring program is to map all lawn areas, noting locations of
existing pest problems or conditions that can produce pest problems, such as bare spots,
and broken sprinkler heads. Identify the lawn grasses in each area and record the
maintenance history of the turf and current horticultural practices. Soil should be tested
at representative sites to assess fertility status and requirements. If any pest organisms
are present, be sure to get an accurate identification. Many unnecessary pesticide
applications can be traced to mistaken identification of pests. Next, give each major
section of lawn an identifying number and prepare a monitoring form for recording on-going
maintenance activities and information about pests and their management in each section of
lawn. You will need to compile an inventory of existing lawn maintenance equipment. In
addition to mowers, is there an aerator, de-thatcher, and fertilizer spreader that can
handle sludge or other organic materials? Is there a spring-tooth harrow for removing
weeds from infields and running tracks? These are useful tools in non-chemical lawn
management. Prepare a list of equipment that is needed so it can be worked into the budget
process. Inspect the condition of the equipment. Are mower blades kept sharp? Can mowing
height be adjusted easily? Does the equipment have flotation tires to reduce soil
Developing Pest Tolerance Levels
Most lawns can tolerate some pest presence without compromising appearance or function.
The challenge for the pest manager is to determine how much damage is tolerable and when
action is needed to keep pest damage within tolerable levels. Since the competing
interests in the lawn mentioned earlier must be taken into account when deciding whether
or not treatments are warranted, it is good practice to involve representatives of these
interest groups in setting pest tolerance levels for lawn areas. One approach is to work
with an IPM advisory committee to develop pest tolerance levels for lawns at each school
site. Tolerance levels will differ, depending on location and uses of the lawns. For
example, tolerance for pest presence on lawns at the front of the school in public view
may be lower than tolerance on playing fields behind school buildings. Tolerance levels
may also differ depending on the particular pest. For example, tolerance for damage by
pest insects or pathogens that can kill large areas of turf, leaving bare soil, may be
lower than tolerance for weeds that displace grasses but nevertheless continue to cover
soil and serve as a playing surface.
Tolerance levels can be quantified in a number of ways. Box B describes a method for
quantifying the amount of weeds growing in a lawn. This permits expression of tolerance
levels by percentage of weeds, for example, "up to 25% weed growth is tolerable on
the back lawn at the elementary school; only 10% is tolerable on the football field at the
Tolerance for insect damage can be correlated with numbers of insects present and amount
of visible damage. For example, white grubs can be monitored by examining several areas of
soil underneath the grass. A spade is used to cut three sides of a 1-foot square of grass.
The grass is carefully folded back, using the uncut edge as a hinge. Dirt from the roots
is removed, and the number of exposed grubs counted. Then the grass can be folded back
into place, tamped, and watered in. In well-managed lawns, up to 15 grubs per square foot
can be present without causing any appreciable damage to the turf. In stressed or poorly
managed lawns, however, 15 grubs per square foot might seriously damage the grass.
By setting tolerance levels, pest managers and groundskeepers can gear their management
efforts to keeping pest populations within tolerable levels, and apply treatments only if,
when, and where necessary. By involving members of the school and community in setting
treatment guidelines, confrontations can be minimized and broad support developed for the
Evaluating Pest Management Practices
When actions are taken to reduce pest presence, monitoring data should be used to evaluate
the effectiveness of the treatment. Did pest numbers go down sufficiently to prevent
intolerable damage? Were treatments cost-effective? Is the problem likely to recur? Can
conditions causing chronic pest problems be altered or removed? If not, can other ground
covers better suited to conditions at the site replace the lawn?
When pest numbers threaten to exceed tolerance levels, there is a wide variety of
strategies and tactics available to solve any lawn pest problem. The first approach is to
address conditions causing stress to lawns.
Stress and Pests
The pest problem of greatest concern on school lawns-and target of highest pesticide
use-is growth of weeds, such as dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, or crabgrass, Digitaria
spp. Presence of weeds is a symptom of a lawn undergoing stress, which is a common
occurrence on school lawns and athletic fields. Lawn stress can contribute to the
development of insect and disease problems as well.
Sources of stress include levels of use unsuited to the
grass species that has been planted, compacted soils, improper mowing heights, too much or
too little irrigation or fertilization, accumulation of thatch, and uneven grading.
Knowing the identity of the pest and something about its biology often reveals the
specific source of stress. By relieving the stress, the pest problem can be reduced or
eliminated. For example, the weed yellow nutsedge, Cyperus esculentus, grows best in
waterlogged soils, indicating a faulty or broken irrigation valve or a low spot in the
lawn. Chinch bug, Blissus spp., damage, on the other hand, indicates drought stress, while
brown patch disease, caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani, suggests excessive
fertilization with soluble nitrate fertilizers.
Reducing Stress on Lawns
The best method for reducing stress on lawns is to employ good horticultural practices
during lawn installation and maintenance. Even where budgets are limited, key sources of
stress can be avoided or diminished by minor changes in maintenance practices, such as
raising the mowing height or changing fertilizer formulations. The following lawn care
suggestions will help keep pest problems to a minimum.
Maintaining Healthy Soil
The most vigorous lawn growth occurs in loose, loamy soils teeming with beneficial
microorganisms, insects, worms, and other organisms. These organisms play critical roles
in transforming thatch and grass clippings into humus. Humus slowly releases nutrients and
buffers grass roots from extremes of drought or other stresses. Soil organisms also play
important role in biological pest control. For example, certain beneficial microorganisms
protect lawn roots from attack by soil pathogens or insects such as white grubs.
The presence of humus in the soil is key to a healthy soil ecosystem. The best way to
improve poor soils and maintain healthy soils is to insure that organic matter is
routinely replenished by leaving grass clippings to decompose, and fertilizing or
topdressing with organic materials such as sludge, composted manure, etc.
Planting Appropriate Grass Species
School lawns are subject to high levels of use and wear, and maintenance budgets are
usually low. Thus, select blends of grass species tolerant to such conditions and
resistant to local pest problems. Check with the Cooperative Extension Service closest to
your school for recommendations suited to local climate and conditions. In temperate areas
of the country, a seed mix favored by many schools is 80% fine-bladed tall fescue, Festuca
arundinacea, and 20% perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne. This mix is highly tolerant of
drought, wear, and low fertility. Depending on the varieties of tall fescue or perennial
ryegrass selected, the mix is also resistant to certain pest species.
'Mustang' tall fescue is resistant to the turf diseases brown patch and melting out. Many
tall fescue grasses also release chemicals into the soil that prevent competition from
lawn weeds such as crabgrass and purslane.
In southern and western states where sub-tropical grasses are grown, centipedegrass and
'Floratam' St. Augustinegrass are resistant to chinch bugs.
Reducing Soil Compaction
When lawns are heavily used, or simply mowed on a regular basis, the soil
eventually becomes compacted, and the pore spaces that allow water and air to pass through
the soil become compressed, creating adverse conditions for root growth. Compaction can be
reduced through aeration, topdressing, and rotation of mowing patterns.
Aeration involves removing plugs of grass to improve air exchange and water penetration
into the soil. Ideally, heavily used turf should be aerated two to four times per year,
although even a single aeration is better than none. Since aerating can provide a seedbed
for problem weeds, you should time aeration operations to avoid periods when heavy seeders
such as crabgrass are germinating or setting seed.
Follow aeration with a topdressing of composted sludge along with seeds of the desired
lawn grass. Drag the lawn with a piece of cyclone fencing to break up cores of soil left
by the aerator and to fill in holes with the topdressing material.
Mowers and other maintenance equipment compact the soil. By
rotating the point of mower entry onto the lawn from week to week, compaction at entry
points can be minimized.
Raising the Mowing Height
Most temperate grasses used on school lawns, such as tall fescues, perennial ryes, and
bluegrasses, can be mowed at a height of 2.5 to 3 inches without sacrificing vigor or
function as ball fields or recreational areas. Similarly, subtropical grasses such as St.
Augustinegrass or centipedegrass can be mowed at 1 to 1.5 inches. The taller the grass can
be kept and the denser the canopy, the greater the interception of available sunlight. By
keeping the soil shaded, weed seeds are less likely to germinate. Adjust mowing frequency
to changes in the growing season. Weekly intervals may be appropriate when grasses are
growing vigorously, but when grasses are semi-dormant, 14 or 21 days may be more
appropriate. The right interval between mowings allows grasses to recover from the
previous cut and enter the second growth phase when new blades, called tillers, are
produced from the growing points. "Tillering" keeps lawns growing in a tight,
dense manner that discourages weeds.
Too much or too little water stimulates pest problems. For example, many lawn diseases
result from excessive irrigation. Development of a disease can often be arrested by
letting the lawn dry out, then keeping irrigation to a minimum.
The length of time needed to adequately water lawns is
determined by the time it takes to wet it to the depth of the root system. Most lawn grass
roots extend 4 to 6 inches in the soil, but because grasses and soil conditions differ,
irrigation schedules must be tailored to individual lawns and adjusted for seasonal
changes. Infrequent, deep irrigation is preferred since frequent, shallow watering
promotes shallow rooting. Use a soil probe or a pointed tool such as a screwdriver to
determine when soil is wet 4 to 6 inches below the soil. This will indicate how long to
leave sprinklers on at each irrigation.
Irrigation equipment should be checked to insure that it is
in good repair and that all areas of lawn receive adequate coverage. Low spots should be
leveled or drained to avoid waterlogged soils that favor weeds and pathogens.
Keeping Thatch to a Minimum
Thatch is the accumulation of dead but undecomposed roots and stems that collects in a
layer at the soil surface. If the thatch becomes excessively deep-greater than 3/4
inch-water and nutrients do not penetrate the soil adequately. When water puddles on
thatch, it enhances the habitat for disease organisms. Regular aeration keeps thatch at an
acceptable level, and the use of organic fertilizers such as composted sewage sludge
promotes thatch decomposition. Synthetic chemical fertilizers, on the other hand, actually
enhance thatch development. Excessive layers of thatch can also be removed with
de-thatching rakes, or with power de-thatchers available from equipment rental companies.
It is wise to seed the area with desired grasses wherever
lawns are thinned by de-thatching procedures. The seeds can be mixed into the topdressing
(soil amendments or organic fertilizer) that is customarily applied to thinned lawns. The
grass seedlings usually out-compete weeds that attempt to occupy the openings.
Fertilizing with Restraint
Excessive nitrogen fertilizer produces weak grass blades with thin cell walls that are
susceptible to pest attack. A soil test should be obtained before planning annual
fertilization programs. Only the levels of nutrients needed should be applied. Split
applications fall Use slow-release fertilizer to prolong the availability of nutrients
throughout the growing season. When feasible, organic fertilizers such as sludge or
compost are preferable because they provide organic matter to support soil microorganisms
and improve soil health. Fertilization can be used to directly suppress weeds and lawn
pathogens. A study by Ohio Extension Service researchers in the 1940s showed that an
application of 20 lbs of composted poultry manure per 1000 ft2 of lawn in late fall and
early spring stimulated early spring growth of lawn grasses, enabling them to crowd out
crabgrass. In this study, crabgrass was reduced by up to 75% within one year.
A recent study by Cornell University researchers (Hummel
and Thurn 1992) showed that monthly applications of Sustane®, a composted turkey litter
(NPK 5-2-0), at a rate of 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft., suppressed pink and
gray snow mold, Microdochium spp. and Typhuli incarnata, respectively; summer patch,
Magneporthepoae sp.; dollar spot(Sclerotina? (Lanzia spp.), and brown patch, Rhizoctonia
Direct Pest Suppression
When the horticultural methods listed above are not sufficient to solve the pest problem,
direct suppression methods including physical, biological, and chemical controls can be
integrated into the program. Physical controls include using a flamer to spot-treat weeds,
or using a bamboo pole to flick off dew from grass blades in the early morning to deny
nourishment to lawn pathogens. Biological controls include applying microscopic
insect-attacking nematodes to kill soil-dwelling white grubs, or topdressing lawns with
microbially enhanced soil amendments to kill lawn pathogens. Chemical controls include
insectcidal oils, insecticidal and herbicidal soaps, botanical insecticides such as neem
oil, and pyrethrin.
Chinch bugs, Blissus spp., are the most important of the "true bugs" (order
Hemiptera) that become pests on lawns. Several species of chinch bug are serious pests of
a variety of lawn grasses. The southern chinch bug, B. insularis, prevalent in the warm
climates of the southeast, south, and parts of the west, feeds primarily on St.
Augustinegrass, but it also feeds on bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. The hairy chinch bug,
B. hirtus, a pest in the northeast, particularly from New Jersey to Ohio, feeds on
bentgrasses, bluegrass, and red fescue.
Identification and Biology
Adult chinch bugs overwinter in dry grass and other debris that offers them protection. In
spring or early summer, depending on temperature and moisture, overwintering females lay
from 200 to 300 eggs on leaves of grass, or push them into soft soil and other protected
places. Young nymphs (the immature stages) emerging from the eggs are bright red with a
distinct white band across the back. The red changes to orange, orange-brown, and then to
black as the nymph goes through five growth stages. Nymphs range from about 1/20-inch long
soon after hatching to nearly the size of the 1/4-inch long adult. The nymphs mature into
adults, which are black with a white spot on the back between the wing pads. The adult
stage of the southern chinch bug can live 70 days or more; hairy chinch bug adults live
only 5 to 10 days. Adult southern chinch bugs tend to move by walking, whereas hairy
chinch bug adults fly. In the spring, adults can be seen flying to new areas.
The development time of eggs, nymphs, and adults is
directly dependent upon temperature, and thus varies from one part of the country to
another. Development of one generation, from egg to adult, can take six weeks at 83°F and
17 weeks at 70°F. Chinch bugs produce up to seven generations per year in southern
Florida, but only three to four generations in northern Florida, two generations in Ohio,
and one in New Jersey.
Chinch bugs suck the juices from grass leaves through their needle-like mouthparts. They
also inject a toxic saliva into the plant that disrupts the plant's water-conducting
system, causing it to wilt and die. Most damage is caused by nymphs that concentrate in
limited areas together with the adults and feed on the same plants until all the available
juice has been extracted from the grass. This feeding pattern results in circular patches
of damaged grass that turn yellow and then brown as they die. In the yellow stage, the
grass superficially resembles grass that is drought-stressed. As it dies, the chinch bugs
work outward from the center of the infestation, destroying a larger area as they advance.
Populations of chinch bugs increase under hot, dry conditions. In wet, cool years, or when
lawns are kept properly irrigated and not over-fertilized, the chinch bug populations
Detection and Monitoring
Lawns can be protected from damage by chinch bugs through regular monitoring. The
objective is to detect pests while their populations are still small and determine whether
their natural controls weather, other insects, and diseases prevent damage.
Any lawn can tolerate a low population of chinch bugs and
most other pests without sustaining significant damage. If the monitoring techniques
described below indicate that there are fewer than 10 to 15 chinch bugs per square foot,
generally no action is needed.
It is a good idea to begin monitoring as early as mid-April
in south Florida, mid-May in Ohio, and early June in New Jersey, before overwintering
adults have finished laying their spring eggs. A quick check of the lawn once a month
during September should be sufficient in most areas. Chinch bugs produce an offensive odor
that advertises their presence, especially when populations are high or when they are
crushed by foot traffic. Since nymphs tend to congregate in groups, it is important to
check several areas of the lawn. Infestations often begin on the edges of lawns,
particularly in sunny, dry spots, so check these areas carefully. Spread the grass apart
with your hands and search the soil surface for reddish nymphs or black adults. Chinch
bugs may also be seen on the tips of grass blades, where they climb during the day. Be
certain to distinguish between the pest chinch bugs and their predators, the big-eyed
bugs, which they superficially resemble. Box C describes two methods of counting chinch
If chinch bugs are a chronic problem, it may be advisable to replace existing grass with a
type that is resistant to chinch bugs. In southern states, centipedegrass or the St.
Augustinegrass variety 'Floratam,' are not attacked by chinch bugs. In other parts of the
country, try perennial ryegrass varieties such as 'Repell,' 'Score,' 'Pennfine,' and
'Manhattan' or Kentucky bluegrass varieties such as 'Baron' and 'Newport.' Chinch bugs are
attracted to lawns that have an excessive buildup of thatch, are insufficiently irrigated
(often due to soil compaction), or have either too little nitrogen or too much in a highly
soluble form that forces grass to grow too rapidly. The discussion of good lawn culture
provided at the beginning of this chapter includes suggestions on overcoming these
problems. Proper habitat management will go a long way toward controlling these bugs.
Small populations of chinch bugs can be removed from the
lawn using the soap solution and white flannel cloth method described in Box C. This is
particularly appropriate when damage is just beginning to appear, since at this stage
chinch bug nymphs are still congregated in specific locations and can be collected
efficiently. Small vacuums may also be helpful.
One of the primary tactics for the biological control of chinch bugs is conserving its
natural enemies. At least two beneficial organisms often move in to feed on chinch bugs:
the big-eyed bug and a tiny wasp. The big-eyed bug, Geocoris spp., superficially resembles
a chinch bug, so pest managers must learn to distinguish between the two. According to
Ohio State University turf specialist Harry Niemczyk, "the body of the chinch bug is
narrow, the head small, pointed, triangular-shaped, with small eyes, while the body of the
big-eyed bug is wider, the head larger, blunt, with two large prominent eyes. Big-eyed
bugs run quickly over the turf surface and are much more active insects than the
slower-moving chinch bugs." Although big-eyed bugs cannot be purchased from
insectaries at this writing, recent research indicates that members of this genus can be
reared easily and inexpensively, so they may become commercially available in the near
The tiny wasp Eumicrosoma beneficum can parasitize up to
50% of chinch bug eggs under favorable conditions. It should be noted that common
insecticides such as chlorpyrifos and herbicides such as simazine significantly reduce
populations of these biological control organisms in lawns, thus triggering repeated pest
If non-chemical methods alone prove insufficient to solve the problem, then integrating a
pesticide into your management program may be warranted. For information on the hazards of
various pesticides and on how to select an appropriate pesticide for your situation,
consult Appendix C for a list of resources.
If pesticide use seems necessary to bring a serious chinch
bug infestation under control, insecticidal soap or pyrethrin should be considered.
Many schools throughout the U.S. have planted lawns of Kentucky bluegrass, a species that
is particularly susceptible to a disease called fusarium blight, caused by the fungus
Identification and Biology
Infected turf has small, circular, 2-inch spots of dead and dying grass that often enlarge
to 24 inches in diameter. Spots begin as dark blue to purple wilted turf and turn
straw-colored to light tan when dead. The grass in the center of each spot may remain
healthy and become surrounded by a band of dead turf-a symptom called "frog
eye." Both the leaf blades and the basal crown may be affected.
Fusarium blight is a warm-weather disease that can occur
from late June through early September, depending on the location. It usually appears
after a week or two of dry weather following a heavy rain and is associated with
shallow-rooted grass, which is highly vulnerable to drought stress. Symptoms often appear
first along sidewalks and in poorly drained areas. The disease primarily attacks Kentucky
bluegrass when it is kept in a lush, over fertilized state in summer. Kentucky bluegrass
varieties 'Park,' 'Campus,' 'Fylking,' and 'Nuggett' are particularly vulnerable. Annual
bluegrass and fine-leaf fescues are also affected.
Consider modifying or replacing highly susceptible Kentucky bluegrass lawns with a mix of
species such as tall fescues and perennial ryegrasses or, in subtropical climates,
bermudagrass or St. Augustinegrass. 'Columbia' is one bluegrass variety that is resistant
to Fusarium blight.
The increased drought- and heat-tolerance of perennial
ryegrass, tall fescue, and other varieties is one of the factors thought to explain the
suppression of disease. Simply adding 10 to 15% of these other grasses to a Kentucky
bluegrass lawn can greatly reduce the incidence of Fusarium blight. The County Cooperative
Extension Service can provide information on cultivars that grow well in your area.
Kentucky bluegrass naturally slows its growth during warm summer months because it does
not tolerate high temperatures well. It is important not to over fertilize. Excessive
nitrogen produces lush, soft growth more vulnerable to attack by the disease. A moderate
but balanced fertilizing program should be maintained so that the lawn can produce growth
to cover damage. Slow-release fertilizers, especially composted sludge or manure, is
desirable. The highly soluble fast-release nitrogen fertilizers should be avoided.
Fusarium blight is exacerbated by compacted soils, excessive thatch, and soil layering,
all of which inhibit the percolation (seeping) of water into the soil.
Diseased turf should be aerated with a coring tool to
reduce compaction and thatch and increase infiltration and soil air movement. Coring also
helps integrate the dissimilar soil layers that occur when imported topsoil or sod is used
to establish the lawn. When one soil type is laid on top of another, water tends to
collect at the boundary, moving laterally rather than vertically. Grass roots tend to stop
growing when they reach this boundary, and can die in the excessively wet soil. By coring
into the layered soil and incorporating compost, both water and roots are encouraged to
move more deeply into the soil, producing more vigorous growth.
Water Management Supplemental irrigation will help drought-stressed grasses outgrow
Fusarium blight. It may be necessary to irrigate daily at the hottest times of the day
until the grass resumes vigorous growth. Thatch management and removal of infested grass
blades after mowing are also effective controls.
Biological Controls Because Fusarium blight
primarily attacks roots, the more you can do to increase the number of beneficial microbes
in the soil that are antagonistic to the pathogens, the fewer problems you will have.
Studies (Vargas et al. 1989) have shown that a number of products on the market can do
just that and thus can help a lawn recover from the necrotic ring spots associated with
Fusarium blight. Researchers tested these products on lawns with ring spots and found that
after 3 years all treated lawns had recovered 100% whereas the number of ring spots on
untreated lawns had increased by 300%. The products tested were the following: -Soil Aid®
(see Resources) contains an enzymatic wetting agent that helps to flush substances that
are toxic to beneficial soil microbes out of the soil and the thatch
-Green Magic® (see Resources) contains a variety of soil nutrients, beneficial microbes,
and various plant extracts
-Strengthen & Renew® (see Resources) contains the same kinds of ingredients as Green
-Lawn Restore® (see Resources) contains a fertilizer that consists of bone meal, feather
meal, soybean meal, and other protein sources supplemented with beneficial microbes.
All the products were applied twice in the summer and once
in the fall at a rate of 1-lb per 100 square feet. Soil Aid was used along with either
Green Magic or Strengthen & Renew. Lawn Restore was used alone. The researchers stress
the importance of frequent treatment when using biological approaches to managing lawn
diseases, "These products are not like fungicides that can be applied one time,
halting the spread of the fungus and allowing the grass to recover. In order to be
effective, such products must be applied on a regular basis, either monthly or bi-monthly
throughout the growing season to change the biological makeup of the thatch and soil
If non-chemical methods alone prove insufficient to solve the problem, then integrating a
pesticide into your management program may be warranted. For information on the hazards of
various pesticides and on how to select an appropriate pesticide for your situation,
consult Appendix G for a list of resources. [In the School Manual] The Cooperative
Extension Service should be consulted for information on fungicides registered for use
against this pathogen.
Ali, A.D. and C.L. Elmore. 1992. Turfgrass Pests. Cooperative Extension, DANR Publication
4053. University of California, Oakland, CA. 121 pp.
Bio-Integral Resource Center (BIRC). 1999. 2000 Directory of Least-Toxic Pest Control
Products. IPM Practitioner 21(11/ 12):1-39.
Couch, H.B. 1973. Diseases of Turfgrass. Krieger Pub. Co., Huntington, NY. 248 pp.
Leslie, A.R. 1994. Handbook of Integrated Pest Management for Turf and Ornamentals. Lewis
Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. 660 pp.
Madison, J.H. 1971. Practical Turfgrass Management. Nostrand Reinhold, New York. 466 pp.
Niemczyk, H. 1981. Destructive Turf Insects. HDC Book Sales, Wooster, OH. 48 pp.
[Available from 2935 Smithville Western Rd., Wooster, OH 44691.]
Olkowski, W., S. Daar and H. Olkowski. 1991. Common-Sense Pest Control. Taunton Press,
Newtown, CT. 715 pp.
Schultz, W. 1989. The Chemical-Free Lawn. Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA. 194 pp. Tashiro, H.
1987. Turfgrass Insects of the United States and Canada. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, NY.
Watsche, T.L., P.H. Dernoeden and D.J. Shetlar. 1995. Managing Turfgrass Pests. Lewis
Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. 361 pp.
BIRC is a non-profit organization offering over 25
years of experience.
Call, write, or email us for answers to your pest
PO Box 7414
Berkeley, CA 94707
Phone: (510) 524-2567
Fax: (510) 524-1758