The Sting Nematode is a microscopic roundworm so it can't be seen with the naked eye. This renders normal lawn pest identifying characteristics useless. Instead, Sting Nematodes are commonly identified by examining grass injuries to see if these lawn-damaging pests are present in your lawn or landscaping. Signs of Sting Nematode damage are found primarily in the roots of grass plants. The degree of injury to the roots varies with the age of the plant when it is attacked by this lawn pest. In general, symptoms include greatly reduced root systems consisting of short, stubby roots with dark, shrunken lesions—particularly at the tips. Secondary lawn damage from Sting Nematodes occurs above ground and typically consists of severe stunting, wilting and yellowing of the lawn—sometimes even death. Areas infested by this lawn pest display spots of varying sizes and shapes, although the boundary between diseased and healthy areas of a lawn is usually well-defined. It's important to note that Sting Nematodes do not enter plant roots. All stages of this lawn pest's life remain in the soil, feeding at or near the root tips. Even small populations can cause serious damage because of a powerful toxic chemical injected into the roots during feeding. The Sting Nematode is found almost exclusively in soils with a sand content of 80% or higher and thrives best in irrigated areas where there is a constant supply of moisture.
There are two methods for controlling Sting Nematodes that TruGreen® recommends: 1. Use professionally applied pest control designed to prevent excess lawn pest populations, which can cause damage to your lawn 2. Kill insects, grubs and other lawn pests before they have a chance to damage your lawn Proper mowing and watering techniques can also help foster a healthy lawn that's more tolerant to lawn pest attacks—plus you'll get a lawn you'll want to live on in the process.