En Español

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

Corn gluten on Habiturf from Austin
January 25, 2014 - I live in Central Austin. This past Spring 2013) I replaced my San Augustine lawn with Habiturf. My question concerns corn gluten. It is usually applied in late Jan - mid Feb. Would using corn glu...
view the full question and answer

Properties of Nolina species
November 16, 2010 - I bought two plants that were labeled "Nolina" but one has round leaves and the other has flat leaves with serrations. Are they two different species? Also, can they be divided or is there only on...
view the full question and answer

What plants grow well in Athens, TX?
January 18, 2011 - Athens, Texas, we have very sandy soil mixed with clay, what plants grow well here?
view the full question and answer

Plantings for beneath a red oak in Lubbock TX
February 23, 2012 - What would you recommend to plant in a two tiered raised bed facing west, totally blocked from the east, thus receiving only the afternoon sun? A 21 year old red oak sits in the middle of the upper ra...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Steep Bank in Wisconsin
March 21, 2010 - We live on a lake with many white and red pines. The steep bank needs something not adversely affected by a buildup of pine needles to hold the sandy soil in place. The bank faces west and the pines ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center