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CHEMICAL UPDATE: Turfgrass Insecticides

Turfgrass insects. They're a bane for nearly all turf managers, and products to control them are the focus of this, the second segment of Grounds Maintenance's “Chemical Update” series. We revise these Updates each year to provide a current and comprehensive guide to pesticides registered for turf and landscape ornamentals. Published throughout the year, the Updates cover the gamut of chemical tools available to turf and landscape professionals.


The Updates are presented in table format because this is the most practical way to let you cross-reference pests and the chemicals available for their control. At the same time, it allows us to provide other useful information, such as chemical class, form of application and plant tolerances, in a simple and clear format.

Here's a rundown of the features you'll find in this Update:

  • Chemical names

    We list chemicals by active ingredient because many are available in numerous brands and from many suppliers. For example, this Update lists no less than nine suppliers of chlorpyrifos. This active ingredient is most commonly recognized as Dursban, but also goes by several other brand names. If we treated each brand separately, it would make the tables far larger and more repetitive.

  • Chemical class

    This column shows you which chemical “family” a product belongs to. This is important to know when you're trying to plan a chemical rotation program to reduce pest resistance.

  • Mode of action

    This section indicates whether the chemical affects the pest as a result of ingestion or physical contact (or both).

  • Form of application

    You'll then see which forms of application are available for each chemical: bait, dust, granular or spray. This allows you to determine if a product is available in a form that fits your preferred method of application.

  • Insects controlled

    This is the “meat” of the Insecticide Update. The column headings list all the major turf pests, and these are cross-referenced with the chemicals that include these pests on their labels (or at least allow the use, even if the pests are not specifically listed). Take note that nematicide fumigants are not reported in these charts. Look for these products in August's Chemical Update: Non-selective chemicals/fumigants.

  • Suppliers and contact information

    Following the “Insects controlled” section, you'll see a listing of brands and suppliers for all the chemicals listed in the Update. In addition, we provide phone numbers and Web site addresses for the suppliers listed to aid you in pursuing additional product information.


Label instructions are the ultimate guide to proper use of pesticides. This Update lists products that are labeled — either specifically or more generally — in a manner that allows the uses indicated. However, many exceptions, special situations, and state and local restrictions may apply. In other words, just because we show here that a chemical can control a certain pest, that doesn't mean that you can use it on all sites, in all states or under all conditions.

Therefore, use these tables for preliminary planning only. Always read and follow label instructions for each chemical you use. This Update is not a substitute for label information.

Labels can sometimes be confusing. If you are unsure about using a certain product in your location, contact the nearest cooperative extension office, or your county agricultural agent.

Also, company Web sites often provide sections where you can ask technical questions, in addition to obtaining labels and MSDS's online. You can also find them on our Web site at www.grounds-mag.com by clicking on Pesticide Search.

Next month: Turfgrass fungicides.

For a comprehensive list of the Chemical Update tables that accompany this article, go to our Industry Research resource at http://research.grounds-mag.com.

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© 2020 Penton Media Inc.

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