June 6, 2007
Two common lawn diseases came into the clinic recently, probably fostered by the cool, wet weather of late in Iowa. Though they are not usually a serious problem, they can be unsightly.
Earwigs are outdoor insects that hide during the day in damp areas such as under mulch, dead leaves, logs, and piles of firewood, boards, stones and other debris or in rotted wood. They are active at night and wander in search of food and moisture. Earwigs feed on a wide variety of materials including decaying organic matter, other insects, and plants such as vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants.
Sound mowing practices are necessary to obtain a good quality lawn. This is especially true during the summer months. Improper mowing during hot, dry weather may seriously damage the turf. Kentucky bluegrass lawns should be mowed at a height of 3 to 3 Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½ inches during the summer months. (During cool weather in spring and fall, bluegrass lawns should be mowed at a height of 2 Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½ to 3 inches.) The additional leaf area during summer shades and cools the crowns of the turfgrass plants. Extremely high temperatures at crown level can kill turfgrass.
Samples with the following problems have been seen in the Clinic lately: