Periodically, turfgrasses will need to be treated for pest infestations to sustain quality.  This is especially true for sites with recreational use(s) and aesthetic value.   How­ ever, the person making pest management decisions and the pesticide applicator must be aware of the inherent liabilities involved in treating turf.   Applications require special planning and care. This is especially true for public areas, home lawns, and golf courses.

Pest management is problem solving.   To be successful, follow a logical series of steps. First. identify the pest.   Once identified, knowledge of the biology and habits of the pest is important. If you know the life cycle of the pest, you can  act when the pest is in a vulnerable stage and control measures are most likely to succeed.   Second, carefully study the site and the pest’s habitat.  Third, evaluate the problem.   Is it severe enough to require some sort of action? If so, the next step is careful consideration of all appropriate management strategies.   Finally, investigate the cause of the problem.   How did the pest get to the site?  What conditions favor its growth and development?  Can you change the site to make it unsuitable for the pest? Work to prevent future infestations and to design an Integrated Pest Management (1PM) plan.

If pesticide use is called for, choose the best product for the job.  Here are some things to consider when making your selection.   First, be sure the product is labeled for use on the turfgrass species or variety and the site (home lawn, golf course, cemetery, etc.) you need to treat.  Next, check the label and current research-based recommendations to confirm it will be effective for the pest problem you wish to control.  Finally, evaluate factors like formulation, toxicity, environmental fate, mode of action, and any other site-specific criteria.  Learn about the product’s physical and chemical characteristics, including its toxicity.  For example, it be important to know how well the pesticide dissolves in water.  Water solubility is a factor affecting groundwater infiltration, absorption into the plant, and perhaps compatibility with other materials.  However, products that are highly water soluble may be absorbed through the unprotected skin of a handler and may leach.   In summary, choose a product that is well suited for the site, situ­ation, and pest.