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Insect Control: Tiny Threats to Your Landscape

Posted on: April 11th, 2017

Summer will be here before you know it and soon everyone will be enjoying the outdoors. From barbecuing to backyard pool parties, you may soon notice a few “tiny” problems threatening your landscape.

Swingle’s experts are talking about insect control for tiny insects and pests, which can damage your lawn and trees, making the effort of maintaining your landscape a little bit harder.

Insect Control for your Colorado Landscape

Turf Mites:

Turf mites are the most destructive pests for Bluegrass lawns along the Front Range. Most people mistakenly think dead turf appearing in late spring is the result of winter dryness. However, it’s most likely the cause of unchecked turf mite feeding. Mites are out on warmer days and will be an issue until irrigation systems are activated. It’s a good time to check for mite activity on south and west facing slopes near evergreens.


Sod-Webworms are another damaging insect to lawns. In warmer, sun-exposed areas (with thicker thatch levels) look for “pancake-sized” brown spots not greening up. If you dig up around the thatch layer near these dead spots, you will find fresh “frass” or chewed up green grass blades. You may also see a “silk tunnel” where the larva hangs out. This pest is not severely damaging, but to the lawn connoisseur it can ruin the appearance of a perfectly green lawn. To the untrained eye, if there are flocks of birds congregating and feeding on your lawn, there is a good chance a large population of insects are present.


Soon leaves will be emerging on deciduous trees. During spring and late summer, higher populations of Aphid insects are found. Aphids are not harmful to tree health, but can be a nuisance. Aphids will exude a sweet and sticky residue called honeydew. This attracts hornets, which can be risky if children are playing in the near vicinity. Controlling aphid insects is no longer a simple process. Care must be taken to evaluate control methods and materials to reduce risk to pollinators such as honeybees. Swingle’s Treat & Inspect program helps keep aphids and other pests at bay.

Honeylocust Plant Bug:

Honeylocust plant bugs commonly infest honeylocust in late spring but by the time you see this bug it is generally too late.  Plant bugs tend to go after honeylocust about the time they are flowering.  In the early spring, young nymphs crawl into the plant buds and begin feeding. Due to the feeding damage, trees may not leaf out (if they do they typically experience leaf distortion, discoloration, and dwarfed leaflets). After the trees leaf out, the plant bugs are gone, but leafhoppers show up. People generally believe that leafhoppers are damaging the tree, but they really don’t do anything as the damage has already been done. Swingle offers an exclusive bee friendly solution through soil injections. Ask one of our experts about this treatment option.

Mealy Bug Insects:

Thornless Cockspur Hawthorns are very prone to mealy bugs. These insects are not easily controlled and control methods must be carefully thought out to reduce the risk to pollinators. Controlling insects wisely requires a working knowledge of the pest’s life cycle. Knowing when an insect is most vulnerable is important when attempting to keep populations manageable. However, using any pesticide unwisely can cause damage to the environment.

If you start to notice any problems on your lawn as we get closer to the summer season, contact Swingle for a free evaluation.




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