Lawn insects

A lawn is naturally filled with all kinds of insects. Most are harmless and beneficial, but, there are several insects that can cause problems and even damage or kill your valuable turf if left unchecked.

Armyworms: a caterpillar that clusters to feed on grass leaves in daytime only and rest under dead or dying sod during the night. Their bodies are brown and hairy with green, beige, or black stripes. In the summer, adult moths deposit eggs on the grass, where the hatched larvae begin feeding. Armyworms are most active in the warmer months. Their activity usually forms irregular bare patches in the lawn that appear to have been poorly mowed.

Chinch Bugs: a tiny bug that damage grass in their early stages. Adults have black bodies marked with a dark, triangular pad separating their folded wings. Immature bugs are reddish-colored with a white racing stripe running across their back. Adults are about the size of a pencil lead and fly from lawn to lawn. They usually do the most damage in hot, dry weather. The create large yellowish, spreading circular patches in lawns with heavy thatch.

Grubs: are beetle larvae, typically white worms with brown heads. They lie curled in the soil and as temperatures rise, they migrate to the surface to feed on grass roots. They emerge in the summer as Scarab, Rinoceaus, May and June bugs and others. Grubs do their damage by eating grass roots, causing irregular brown patches in the lawn.

Mole Crickets: 1 - 1 1/2" long insects that chew on grass roots. They like moist, warm weather. They work night and day creating areas that appear streaked or closely clipped. They create small tunnels 6 - 8" deep and do the most damage by disrupting the grass root system with their tunneling.

Sod Webworms: are the caterpillars of moths. Once they hatch from small cocoons in layers of thatch, they begin feeding on grass blades. They feed at night and rest in damaged sod or that in daytime. The moths of tropical sod webworms may be seen flitting about the lawn in mid August through October.

 

Prevention is the best way to deal with lawn pests

 

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