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

Should the herbicide Ornamec 170 be used on unwanted grasses?
March 15, 2012 - I have a lovely wildflower garden in a field behind my house; unfortunately, the wildflowers are being smothered by grasses. I understand that Ornamec 170 can be used to control grasses in wildflower...
view the full question and answer

When and how to mow native grass in Texas
February 27, 2010 - We live on a ranch near Kerrville. The grass is sparse KR, purple three-awn and some Texas wintergrass. How and when is the best way and time to mow this native grass?
view the full question and answer

Bunch grasses for labyrinth that are good for livestock
September 29, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm designing an outdoor labyrinth that will be in full sun in our black Slidell clay soil here in north central Texas. The area MAY be mowed for hay at a later date (i.e...
view the full question and answer

Thunderturf turning brown in Dallas
November 16, 2014 - Thunder Turf turning brown in Dallas, TX: Hi there. I planted new Thunder Turf seed in my entire back yard this past spring. It grew incredibly strong and abundant all summer until about September ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for morning sun in Pembroke MA
October 07, 2009 - Could you please suggest native groundcover,plants/shrubs/grasses for eastern facing slope which gets morning sun? It is my front yard which slopes down toward driveway so it would be a major focal po...
view the full question and answer

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