Insecticides

Bermudagrass lawns can host a variety of insects and pests that can be detrimental to the health of the grass. Some common insects found in bermudagrass include:

Armyworms: These caterpillars feed on the leaves and can quickly strip a lawn of its foliage.

Bermudagrass Mites: Tiny mites that cause the grass to become stunted and form witch’s brooms (tufts of stunted growth). For more on dealing with mites, see our dedicated post about mites.

White Grubs: The larvae of various beetles that feed on the roots of the grass, leading to patches of dead or dying turf. For more on dealing with grubs, see our post about grubs.

Types of Insecticides

TypeSummaryExamples of Active Ingredients
PyrethroidsSynthetic chemicals modeled after natural pyrethrins, effective against a wide range of insects.Bifenthrin, Permethrin, Cyfluthrin, Deltamethrin
NeonicotinoidsTarget the nervous system of insects, particularly effective against sucking insects.Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Acetamiprid
OrganophosphatesAffect the nervous system of insects, used for a variety of pests but with safety concerns.Malathion, Chlorpyrifos
CarbamatesSimilar action to organophosphates, impacting the nervous system with varied pest targets.Carbaryl, Methomyl
Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs)Disrupt the growth and reproduction of insects, suitable for long-term control.Methoprene, Pyriproxyfen
Biologicals and BotanicalsNatural substances and organisms, offering specific targeting with reduced environmental impact.Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), Spinosad

Best Insecticide for Bermuda Grass

Bifenthrin, commonly found in products marketed under the name “Bifen” among others, is one of the more popular choices for home use on Bermudagrass, primarily because of its broad-spectrum effectiveness and relatively low toxicity to mammals. It targets a wide range of lawn pests, including several that commonly affect Bermudagrass such as armyworms, chinch bugs, and sod webworms. Bifenthrin is often a recommended choice due to its effectiveness against a variety of pests without severely affecting beneficial insects when used correctly.

PestEffective with Bifenthrin?
ArmywormsYes
Bermudagrass MitesPartially, see here.
White GrubsNo, see here.
Chinch BugsYes
CutwormsYes
Mole CricketsNo
Sod WebwormsYes
MosquitosYes
TicksYes

Order Bifenthrin here from Amazon

Most Safe Around Pets and Kids

For insecticides that are safer around children and pets while treating Bermudagrass lawns, consider using Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) like Methoprene and Pyriproxyfen, which specifically target the development of insect larvae with minimal risk to mammals. Spinosad, a naturally derived product from soil bacteria, is also a safe choice, effective against caterpillars and some beetles while being less toxic to non-target species. Lastly, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) offers a highly specific action against caterpillar pests and is safe for use around both pets and children, posing no significant threat to mammals or birds. Always apply these products according to label instructions for the safest and most effective results.

Targeting Specific Pests

Common Lawn PestBest Product to Use
ArmywormsBacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
Chinch BugsBifenthrin
Sod WebwormsSpinosad
Mole CricketsBifenthrin
CutwormsBacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
Common AntsBifenthrin
Red Imported Fire AntsSpinosad-based bait
Nest-building WaspsPermethrin (applied to nests)
Wood-boring Carpenter BeesCypermethrin (applied to vulnerable wood)
Mosquitoes (Larvae)Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti)
Ticks in LawnsPermethrin (yard treatment)
Flea BeetlesPyrethroids (e.g., Bifenthrin)
AphidsNeem oil or Insecticidal soap
Scale InsectsHorticultural oil or Imidacloprid
ThripsSpinosad or Insecticidal soap
LeafhoppersPyrethroids (e.g., Permethrin)
Japanese Beetles (Adults)Carbaryl or Pyrethroids
BillbugsImidacloprid or Pyrethroids
Crane Flies (Larvae)Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti)
Lawn Moths (Adult Stage)Pyrethroids
The ultimate mosquito control: Talstar P (Bifen) with a Stihl SR200 mister. Photo by John Hill.

Posted

in

by

Tags:

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *