Which Insect Pests Commonly Infest Lawn-Grass And Landscape Plants In Louisiana?

Louisiana’s subtropical climate allows for a wealth of vegetation to flourish in all areas of the state. This is a good thing for homeowners who enjoy landscaping their yards, cultivating gardens or small agricultural crops. Unfortunately, the state’s humid and moist climate means that plant-damaging insect pests are also abundant within the state. The spring season sees most of these insect pests emerge in lawns, though there also exists numerous species that are more abundant during the fall season. Even for those residents who do not keep gardens or well-maintained landscapes, Louisiana is home to numerous insect pests that damage lawn-grass as well.

At the moment, turf-grass located on public and private properties all over Louisiana are being damaged by insect pests. Most of these lawn-pests are ant species, including the red-imported fire ant, which builds unsightly nesting mounds in yards in addition to posing a public health threat to residents. Other common lawn-pests include: chinch bugs, crane flies, pillbugs, chiggers, mole crickets, and white grubs. Several types of flowers that grow naturally in the state are not immune to insect pest damage either.

Azaleas are popular naturally occurring flowers in Louisiana, but gardeners and landscapers who wish to cultivate these flowers need to look out for lace-bugs. Once the spring season arrives, lace-bugs emerge from eggs that were planted in leaf-tissue by mature lace-bugs during the preceding fall season. At this point, there is little a homeowner can do to save the flowers, but some residents claim that tapping the flower-heads against a sheet of paper successfully knocks the nesting eggs out of the flower-tissue. However, this alone will not save azaleas, as the flowers must still be treated with insecticides if they are to survive, and insecticides are best handled by licensed pest control professionals. Other leaf bug species often infest and kill several woody plants in the rose family, as well as Indian hawthorn and red tip photinia flowers. Pruning can greatly reduce flower and ornamental plant damage by increasing air circulation within gardens, but in order to ensure that a healthy garden or landscape flourishes during the spring season, it is best to have a pest inspection carried out on a property during the preceding fall season.

Have you ever cultivated a vegetable garden that became damaged by insect pests?


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