Most people enjoy the beauty and cheerfulness birds add to our landscapes, but we often let go unnoticed their signaling to us that damaging insects may be invading our lawns. Although not as well accepted or inviting, red paper wasps and some bees are great predators of tiny caterpillars that feed on our lawns.
This time of year, when fall armyworms invade lawns in dynamic populations, the birds and wasps are often the first to notice them. So, if you see flocks of birds or more than normal activity of red wasps flying around your lawn, then take the time to part the grass with your hands to check for caterpillars. So, yes we can learn valuable lessons about lawn care from the birds and bees.
While speaking of birds, even they are not insect feeders, hummingbirds are now in their fall migration, so I encourage you to put a hummingbird feeder near your kitchen window for an amazing and humorous display. I have been having dozens at my feeders the past few weeks.
Published September 19, 2011
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org