How to Detect and Treat Common Lawn Pests

  • By: Hans
  • Date: June 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Insects and other pests can do serious damage to your lawn, leaving it brown and patchy. Many common lawn insects are small and hard to spot, but their presence can quickly become evident as they start to feast on your grass. Grubs are a particularly destructive type of lawn pest, as they feed on the roots of grass plants.

This not only kills the grass above ground but also prevents new seedlings from taking root. Other common lawn pests include chinch bugs, armyworms, and sod webworms. While most lawn insects are relatively harmless, they can quickly become a problem if left untreated.

Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways to control pests in your lawn. Regular mowing and watering help to keep your turf healthy and makes it less attractive to pests. You can also use insecticides to kill existing infestations and prevent new ones from taking hold. By taking these measures, you can help ensure your lawn stays green and healthy for years to come.

What Are Some Common Lawn Diseases?

Some common lawn diseases include brown patches, fairy rings, and rust. These diseases can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lawn and following proper lawn care practices. If your lawn does develop a disease, you may need to treat it with a fungicide.

Brown patch: Brown patch is a fungal disease that causes large, brown patches to form on the lawn. It is most common in warm, humid weather. To prevent brown patches, you should water the lawn early in the morning and avoid watering during windy conditions.

Fairy ring: Fairy ring is a fungal disease that causes rings of mushrooms to form on the lawn. It is most common in shady, damp areas. To prevent fairy ring, you should aerate the soil and improve drainage.

Rust: Rust is a fungal disease that causes small, orange-brown spots to form on the leaves of the grass. It is most common in humid weather. To prevent rust, you should mow the lawn regularly and avoid watering during windy conditions.

What Are Some Common Lawn Pests?

Some common lawn pests include grubs, chinch bugs, and sod webworms. These pests can be controlled with a variety of methods, including using pesticides, traps, and beneficial insects.

Grubs: Grubs are small, white larvae that feed on the roots of the grass. They are most active in late summer and early fall. To control grubs, you can use pesticides or traps.

Chinch bugs: Chinch bugs are small, black insects that feed on the leaves of grass. They are most active in hot, dry weather. To control chinch bugs, you can use pesticides or beneficial insects.

Sod webworms: Sod webworms are small, brown larvae that feed on the leaves of grass. They are most active in late summer and early fall. To control sod webworms, you can use pesticides or traps.

What Are Some Common Lawn Care Problems?

Common lawn care problems include weeds, bare spots, and excessive thatch. These problems can be prevented or resolved with proper lawn care techniques.

Weeds: Weeds are one of the most common lawn care problems. They can be difficult to control and may require multiple treatment methods. Some common weed control methods include using herbicides, pulling weeds by hand, and regularly mowing the lawn.

Bare spots: Bare spots can occur for a variety of reasons, including over-exposure to sunlight, compacted soil, or heavy traffic. To resolve bare spots, you may need to reset the area and improve the drainage.

Excessive thatch: Excessive thatch is a layer of dead grass and organic matter that accumulates on the surface of the soil. It can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots of the grass. To remove excessive thatch, you can use a power rake or Verticutter.

Identify Lawn Pests – Detect and Treat Common Lawn Pests

There are a number of different pests that can infest your lawn, causing damage to the grass and making it less attractive. Some common lawn pests include grubs, chinch bugs, and sod webworms. These pests can be controlled with a variety of methods, including using pesticides, traps, and beneficial insects.

Cutworms

Cutworms are small, voracious creatures that can cause serious damage to a garden or lawn. There are several species of cutworms, most of which are about 2 inches long and gray or brown in coloration. The adult moths are dull gray with brown or black markings.

Cutworms

Cutworms are particularly damaging to young seedlings, as they will readily consume any vegetation they come across. The adults lay their eggs on the tips of grass blades in the spring, and the resulting worms will feed during the night before retreating to hiding spots during the day.

After two to four weeks of feeding, the worms will pupate and emerge as moths, beginning the cycle anew. In areas with mild winters, this reproduction cycle can occur three to six times per year. Consequently, it is important to be vigilant in checking for cutworms if you wish to protect your plants.

Grubs (Beetle Larvae)

White grubs are the larvae of various scarab beetles, including masked chafers and Japanese beetles. These plump, C-shaped larvae feast on lawn grass roots just below the soil surface in the spring, summer, and early fall. Grubs cause massive damage to lawns by eating the roots of grass plants.

Grubs (Beetle Larvae)
Grubs (Beetle Larvae)

This depletes the plant of water and nutrients, causing it to wilt and die. In addition, grubs make it easier for disease organisms to attack the grass plants. As a result, an infestation of white grubs can quickly destroy a healthy lawn. Homeowners can combat this problem by applying insecticides in the early spring or late summer/early fall. These treatments will kill the grubs before they have a chance to do serious damage to your lawn.

Signs of grub damage begin to appear in late summer when blades of grass start to wilt and turn brown. The damage gets worse over the next few months, and by spring the turf is often dead or dying. In many cases, the turf can be pulled away from the ground to reveal grubs underneath.

Grubs are hearty eaters, and their appetite for grassroots can quickly destroy a lawn. Unfortunately, once grub damage has begun, it is often difficult to control. Crows, skunks, and moles are all attracted to grub-infested lawns, making the problem even worse. The best defense against grubs is preventive treatment with an insecticide. By applying insecticide in early summer, you can help protect your lawn from this destructive pest.

Armyworms

Armyworms might sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but they are very real – and they can be quite devastating to your lawn. As their name implies, armyworms are known for their aggressive feeding habits, and they can quickly strip a lawn of all its grass.

Armyworms
Armyworms

In addition, armyworms are difficult to control once they establish themselves, as they produce two to three generations throughout the spring and summer months. The best defense against armyworms is preventive measures, such as mowing your lawn regularly and removing any potential food sources, such as overgrown grass or dead leaves.

If you do find yourself dealing with an armyworm infestation, there are a number of pesticides that can be effective in controlling them. However, it is important to follow the directions carefully, as armyworms can quickly develop resistance to pesticides.

One of the most common lawn pests is the Armyworm. These small creatures can wreak havoc on your lawn, causing significant damage in a short period of time. Armyworms get their name from their habit of moving in large groups, or “armies”, and they can quickly strip a lawn of all vegetation. Armyworms are most active at night or in the early morning, and they feed on grass blades and stems.

This feeding can create bare spots in the lawn, as well as skeletonize leaves on other plants. In addition, Armyworms often take shelter from the sun during the day, which can make them difficult to spot. If you suspect that you have an Armyworm problem, it is important to take action quickly.

These pests can multiply rapidly, and they are difficult to control once they are established. Luckily, there are a number of effective treatments available. By taking proactive measures, you can protect your lawn from these destructive creatures.

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are small, black insects that feed on the leaves of grass. They are most active in hot, dry weather. To control chinch bugs, you can use pesticides or beneficial insects.

Chinch bugs damage lawns by sucking the sap from the blades of grass. This causes the grass to turn yellow and eventually die. Chinch bugs are most active in the summer, so damage from these pests is often most noticeable during this time of year.

Chinch Bugs
Chinch Bugs

To control chinch bugs, you can apply an insecticide to your lawn. You can also release beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, into your lawn. These predators will help keep the chinch bug population under control.

Sod Webworms

If you’ve ever noticed small brown or green worms crawling around on your lawn, you may have encountered sod webworms. These tiny pests are the larvae of the sod webworm moth, and they can cause serious damage to your turf. Sod webworms typically have two to three generations each year, and they lay their eggs on grass blades at night.

The eggs hatch within seven days, and the young webworm larvae begin to feed. During the day, they hide in silken burrows in the grass. In five weeks, they transform into adult moths. While they are relatively harmless in their adult form, sod webworms can destroy a lawn if left unchecked. If you suspect that you have an infestation, it’s important to take action immediately in order to protect your turf.

Sod Webworms
Sod Webworms

Sod webworms are small, brown larvae that feed on the leaves of grass. They are most active in late summer and early fall. To control sod webworms, you can use pesticides or traps.

Sod webworms cause damage to lawns by eating the blades of grass. This results in small patches of dead grass. As the larvae mature, they become moths and can fly long distances in search of food.

To control sod webworms, you can apply an insecticide to your lawn. You can also set up traps to catch the adults before they have a chance to lay eggs.

Conclusion

As any gardener knows, pests can quickly decimate a healthy lawn. Left unchecked, they can cause extensive damage, leaving brown patches in their wake. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to control and prevent lawn pests. For example, cutworms can be controlled by regularly mowing your lawn and removing debris.

Armyworms can be controlled by using traps or baits, while sod webworms can be controlled by maintaining a healthy lawn. Grubs can be controlled by applying pesticides or nematodes, while chinch bugs can be controlled by using insecticides. By taking these simple steps, you can protect your lawn from the ravages of pests.

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