Insects Affecting our Landscapes

Maintaining a healthy lawn and landscape during the summer months can be challenging, not only because of the hot and humid weather but also because there are so many other obstacles trying to attack it. Landscape pests are significantly problematic for the next few months. There are many different pests that can affect your lawn and cause severe damage if they’re not caught in time.

Here are a few of the top landscape pests that we encounter at Massey Services on a regular basis throughout the summer months:

  • Chilli Thrips:  These insects were first detected in the state of Florida in 1991.  They feed on the leaves of a wide variety of plants and shrubs, from ornamentals to orchard crops to field crops.  Their feeding damage turns tender leaves, buds and fruits bronze in color.  Damaged leaves curl upward and appear distorted.
  • Chinch Bugs:  Chinch bug activity can occur year-round.  These pests feed on plant fluids and leaf sheaths, down in the thatch, and this feeding kills the grass plants and contributes to weed invasion.  Damage may occur in open sunny areas near sidewalks and driveways but can also appear in the middle of lawns.  The damage is often confused with drought damage, or early in the year, as frost stress.  Chinch bugs are most active on warm, sunny days in mid-afternoon.
  • Sod Webworms:  Sod webworms are most active in July & August but with the warmer winter and wetter spring we’ve experienced this year, their activity has begun much earlier.   These pests can cause significant damage to your lawn if it’s not stopped quickly.  Their damage is caused by feeding on the grass blades and will appear as brown patches in your lawn.

There are many other landscape pests that can cause damage to your landscape so if you see issues in your lawn that you can’t identify, schedule a professional inspection right away.

Chilli Thrips Don’t Get Chilly

Chilli thrips infestations started popping up in late Spring this year, with several severe cases observed in October. Last year chilli thrips populations seemed to explode in October as well and persisted well into January and even February in some parts of Florida. Cold snaps were short and sandwiched in between 80 degree days allowing them to survive in bark cracks and crevices, and in mulch.

This invasive pest has no natural enemies, feeds on over 100 plant species, is extremely small and can re-infest very quickly from adjacent landscapes. Symptoms may include leaf curling, twisting,stunting, bunching, scarring, and/or loss of leaves.

In most cases our GreenUP Landscape Program can keep populations suppressed to avoid significant damage and plant loss. There may be “hot spots” where populations get out of control and control is difficult. We aren’t able to predict where these may occur at this time, but we have a more intensive treatment regimen available for use in such situations which can prevent plant loss.

Recovery from chilli thrips damage is very slow going into the winter months, but if treatments are successful, new spring growth will improve the appearance of plants dramatically.

To find out more about our GreenUP Landscape Service, sign up for a Free Landscape Inspection Today.

Chilli Thrips: Tiny Bug, Huge Problem

If you haven’t heard too much about chilli thrips, you will soon. These tiny, almost transparent, insects appeared in Florida a few years ago and are here to stay. They attack growing parts of plants and shrubs, feeding primarily on young leaves, buds and fruits.

Chilli thrips damage can be seen on the surface of the plants they feed on, which will typically appear shiny silver at first and then become yellow to greenish brown in color. If you find chilli thrips on your plants,remove the infected plant parts and discard completely. To minimize the damage done by chili thrips, early detection is essential to prevent full-scale infestation.

Keep your landscape protected this summer – contact MasseyServices today for your free, detailed landscape inspection.