Turfgrass Scale (Lecanopsis formicarum) may weaken your Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, VA lawn.
Early in the spring the casings explode into a mass of white fluff. Within the fluff many young nymphs appear.
Adult Scales are light tan in color with a body that is about 3/16" (5 mm) in size. They can be distinguished by two dark stripes running parallel down their back. The adults survive in the thatch layer of your lawn during the growing season. They may cause minor damage by piercing the crowns of grass with a stylet and sucking juices out of the plant. Increased damage may appear from nymphs (young scales) feeding off the grass, resembling that of the adult scales. The nymphs appear during the late spring into the summer. They look like pink pinhead sized dots. They are frequently spotted in large numbers clinging to grass blades. The nymphs are a nuisance. They can cling to your feet as you walk across your lawn.
Symptoms of Damage
Scale damage frequently resembles drought and nutrient deficiency symptoms. Large areas of your lawn may appear wilted with a yellowish brown color, however it will not respond to watering. Your Weed Man can make a proper diagnosis.
(To control an insect population we must first understand its habits and life cycle). Scales survive the winter as eggs in a creamy colored casing. Early in the spring the casings explode into a mass of white fluff. Within the fluff many young nymphs appear and begin feeding off the ruptured casing. After a few weeks these young nymphs emerge as crawling nymphs and begin to feed off grass blades during the heat of the day. If the problem is ignored your lawn may be weakened allowing weeds or crabgrass to fill in the thin areas.
Your Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, VA Weed Man is a trained specialist. He can recognize the difference between a simple drought problem and a scale infestation. Your best defense against a scale problem is to promote a healthy thick green lawn. This can be accomplished by applying fertilizer regularly throughout the season and practicing good lawn maintenance. Your Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, VA Weed Man needs YOUR HELP! Call and he will inspect your property FREE OF CHARGE! If you do have Scale, he can protect your investment in your property by promptly making recommendations.