The Clark County area; Hazel Dell, Camas, Washougal, and especially Vancouver, has experienced a great deal of lace bug damage over the course of the summer.
 
These tiny insects attack shrubs, sucking Chlorophyll from the host plant, leaving the leaves with a brown to copper or yellow color. Most common infestations have been found in the azaleas and rhododendrons.
 
If you notice this type of discolorations in your shrubs, it is easy to check to see if lace bugs have caused the problem. Simply examine the underside of the leaves; if you find large numbers of small blackish spotting, chances are very high lace bugs have caused the damage.
 
Although it is past time to actively treat for this pest, there are a few a things you can do now.
 
1) Proper fall fertilization; this will help your stressed shrubs better handle the rigors of
winter.
 
2) A dormant spray will smother over-wintering eggs aiding in reducing the chances of
additional insect activity next year.
 
3) Proper pruning of affected plant, removing excess growth, properly shaping and good
sanitation by removing debris, all aid in plant recovery.
 
We will be keeping a close eye on lace bug activity this coming spring, for our tree, shrub, and lawn customers. Specialized insecticides may be necessary to achieve adequate control in the event of severe infestations. Your technician will advise you of any such problems in your landscape and provide recommendations to address your
specific control issues.
 
One of the questions I have been asked a lot lately is about brown spots in lawns. Seen in areas from Portland to Ridgefield, Woodland to Washougal, Hockinson to Hazel Dell. People have been experiencing brown spots in their lawns. This is a broad question, but I will briefly cover some of the most common causes for this time of year.
 
Patches of bent grass, a native invasive grass, will turn brown a it goes dormant from lack of water. Normally bent grass will recover with the fall rains, but extended periods of hot, dry weather, like we have had this past summer, can kill this type of grass. In such cases you will find brown spots of dead bent grass, which may require over seeding in the spring. Bent grass will turn yellowish to brown after a hard frost, going dormant in reaction to the cold. Regular scheduled fertilizer applications will generally correct this condition.
 
Another common cause of brown patches in turf is a fungal disease called red thread. This fungus is easily identified. Close examination of the affected area will show literal red threads of fungus on the grass blades. It is mostly a cosmetic issue and can be controlled by proper fertilization, which speeds up the disease life cycle. However, red thread can also be a chronic condition in some lawns, due to a verity of environmental factors, and if severe enough, may require fungicide treatment.
 
A more sinister cause of brown patches is coming soon, the dreaded crane fly larvae. Adult crane flies resemble large mosquito’s that can be observed in your turf and surrounding property in the spring and fall. These adults do no turf damage themselves, but the larvae they produce feed on the roots of turf grass, often causing moderate to
severe damage. Carefully timed controlled measures are usually needed to prevent crane fly larvae damage to your turf.
 
There area number of additional, less common causes of brown spots in turf, but a diagnosis requires an on-site analysis. As highly trained professionals, we are always ready to help in any way we can. Just give us a call