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Surface Feeding Insects

Surface-Feeding Insect Protection Program – Lawn Care

Green Giant’s Surface Feeding Insect program is an “Inspect – Treat – Repair” program. This means you are covered for anything related to surface-feeding insects – start to finish.

The Surface Feeding Insect (SFI) Protection program is designed to allow Green Giant to detect low levels of insect activity prior to significant damage occurring.  Once the pest has been detected, a curative treatment will be completed as part of your SFI program.


Your Surface-Feeding Insect program will include:

3-Yearly Inspections to determine if there are Surface-Feeding Insects (SFIs) in your lawn. These inspections are generally completed in May, July & September. While this is a Lawn Care Program, our Pest Control department performs these inspections (due to their expertise in finding hard-to-find pests).


Adult Chinch bugs are typically less than 1/8″ in size. Nymphs are 1/32″, making detection of this insect difficult. The image you see here has been magnified, as you may have noticed with the defined hand lines.


Treating your Lawn for Surface-Feeding Insects if/when they are found (at no additional charge)

Repair any damage caused by Surface-Feeding Insects (at no additional charge). This work is performed by Aerating and Over-Seeding the damaged area(s).

Note: To qualify for our Surface-Feeding Insect Program, a customer must have a lawn care program that includes a preventative grub application.


What are Surface-Feeding Insects?

Surface-Feeding Insects are insects that feed on, and damage, turfgrass. The most common surface-feeders in our area are:  Chinch Bugs, Sod Webworm, Armyworm, Bluegrass Billbug and Hunting Billbug.


Why are they called “Surface-Feeding” Insects?

Surface-Feeders feed on the part of the grass that is above the ground – think of the blades & stems as opposed to the root system which is obviously below the ground (sub-surface).


How do Surface-Feeding Insects Damage my Lawn?

In various ways – Here are two examples, Chinch Bugs are “piercing-sucking” insects. They pierce into the grass plant and suck out the moisture. To be even more nasty, they also inject a toxin into the plant.  Sod Webworms feed on the blades and other parts of the grass plant – they simply chew it off. In damaged areas, the lawn will look like it was scalped.  The small moths you sometimes see flying around when you walk across a lawn are the adult stage of the sod webworm.


Was Surface-Feeding Insect control included in my lawn care program in the past?

In the past, preventative surface-feeding insect control was included in some of our lawn care programs. However, due to governmental regulations, we can no longer treat SFIs, on a “preventative” basis. Preventative treatments are applied before turf-damaging insects are active and begin to feed on your lawn.

The regulations now require that the “target pest” is present prior to treating the lawn. As a result, the only way to determine if a treatment can be done is to perform inspections after the insects have developed a population that is identifiable – at which time there may already be some damage. We now do not have the ability to prevent the damage before it occurs.  For these reasons, we developed a comprehensive SFI program which will minimize the chance of significant damage on our customer’s lawns and also provide treatments and repairs at no extra cost, while staying within the regulations.

All of our programs are based on the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which is an environmentally friendly and effective approach to controlling damaging insects, diseases and invasive plants. For more information about IPM click here.


Worried about Surface-Feeding Insects? Try Green Giant’s Surface-Feeding Insect Protection Program today!