Effects of Pesticides on Beneficial Invertebrates in Turf
Turfgrasses are typically the most intensively managed plantings in the urban landscape. Plant-feeding, predatory, and soil-inhabiting invertebrates form a complex community that interacts with the living grass, thatch, and soil and contributes to the stability of the turfgrass system. Although use of certain pesticides and fertilizers can clearly be harmful to beneficial invertebrates and to key processes such as thatch degradation and natural regulation of pest populations, another study suggests that the cumulative effects of high-maintenance lawn care programs may not necessarily be so severe. Repeated or heavy use of certain pesticides on turfgrass may encourage other problems, including acquired resistance of pests to insecticides or fungicides, and enhanced microbial degradation of pesticide residues. Unnecessary or excessive use of chemical pesticides can aggravate thatch and pest problems by interfering with the activities of beneficial organisms, or by encouraging development of acquired resistance to pesticides or enhanced microbial degradation.