5 Common Lawn Pests and What to Do About Them

5-common-lawn-pests-and-what-to-do-about-themA lush, green lawn is a beautiful thing to behold. Achieving your dream lawn can be a challenge for many, but maintaining it is something else entirely. This is why many households reap the benefits of hiring lawn care professionals to take care of this. There are many obstacles to avoid for those trying to ensure a lawn sustaining its peak condition. While it may be simple to pick out which portions of your lawn may be suffering, diagnosing the cause of your lawn woes can be difficult.

In order to properly treat your lawn, you must know whether your issues are being caused by a natural issue related to watering or if you are dealing with a lawn pest. Insects, like ants or grasshoppers, may attack grass blades, and burrowing critters like moles, may munch through grass roots and cause green tops to die. We have listed five of the most common lawn pests, warning signs of their presence and some tips for how to deal with these pests:

Chinch Bugs
Chinch bugs are small insects known to attack sunny areas of the lawn. Once there, chinch bugs suck the juices from individual grass plants and inject toxins that can loosen grass from the soil. They can be seen with the naked eye on a lawn if you get down to grass level, but using a drench or floatation test is a more effective way to see if you’re dealing with these pesky parasites. Common insecticides and insecticide soaps can be used to effectively control chinch bugs.

Japanese beetles may appear on the lawn, though it’s more common for them to stay below the surface and lay eggs in your soil. Other beetles and their offspring feed on the roots of lawns and can cause damage to the lawn if they are found in large quantities. A powder insecticide can effectively and safely treat your lawn for beetles.

Grubs are the larval form of beetles. Grubs make their presence known by devouring grass roots, creating large patches of brown, dying lawn. Additionally, grubs are a prime food source for woodland animals, so a grub infestation can lead to birds, raccoons, or worse, skunks. Predatory nematodes or certain chemicals can be used to eliminate a grub problem.

Moles are small critters that dig and tunnel through a lawn, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Moles tunnel underground to search for worms and grubs. This can lead to the creation of small mounds of soil on the surface of the lawn called mole hills. Mole hills make mowing difficult by creating bare soil for weeds to germinate in and destabilizing the lawn. Mole traps can be effective for ridding your lawn of these pests, or you can try to keep them away with castor oil.

Armyworms are moth larvae that subsist mostly on grass blades. These pests are not to be slept on. A large infestation of armyworms can completely defoliate a lawn in just a few days. Thankfully armyworms are surface feeders, meaning they can be easily controlled by insecticides if their presence is recognized quickly enough.

While pesticides and chemicals can be effective measures for controlling a pest problem, prevention is still the best course of action. Proper lawn maintenance is still the most ideal to keep pesky lawn pests at bay. Watch your watering habits, because certain pests can be drawn to an overwatered lawn. For questions about lawn pests and how we can help, contact Turf Shield today.