Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 25, 2011

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Will the native turf grass be a habitat for chiggers?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

"Researchers create perfect Texas lawn"—Article. No mention was made of insect issues with this new type of lawn installation. Will 'chiggers/red bugs' still be an issue?

ANSWER:

Sorry, but the goal here was to develop a native turf grass that uses less water, competes well against weeds, and requires little maintenance such as mowing and fertilizer.   No research went into finding a grass mixture that repels chiggers. Indeed, I doubt if there is such a mixture.  If chiggers are already in the area, I feel certain they will move into the new turf.

Here is a good article from the Missouri Department of Conservation about what chiggers are and how to prevent their attack and treat their bites.  Here is another article from the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service that describes their habitat and how to keep your lawn free of them.  Humans aren't the natural hosts of chiggers, so removing habitat that harbors their normal hosts (reptiles, birds, rodents and other small mammals) will help in controlling chigger populations.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Can Carolina wild petunia be planted over septic tank in Nokomis FL
July 10, 2011 - Could you tell me the root depth of the Ruellia caroliniensis/ Carolina wild petunia? Trying to determine if I can plant it over septic tank.
view the full question and answer

Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
August 23, 2012 - We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
view the full question and answer

Tall native grasses for privacy in Central Texas
June 29, 2013 - Hi- I am looking for a grass that will grow tall and be thick for privacy. I live here in Austin east of 35. Obviously something draught tolerant would be great! Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Native plants to retain slope in Salisbury, CT
April 25, 2009 - We want to plant a newly dug out slope with native plants that will retain the dirt. It is sun to part sun near a lake summer cottage. Thanks!!!
view the full question and answer

Suggestions for Texas native plants for memorial
June 30, 2005 - A dear friend of ours has passed and we would like some ideas of a native Texas plant we could plant in memory of her. It will be grown in the hill region near Houston. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.