Pest Infestations That Can Destroy Your Lawn

Pest Infestations That Can Destroy Your LawnMaintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn can be a complicated job, with many different factors and potential difficulties to take into consideration, which is one of the reasons why the specialists at Turf Shield offer customized lawn care treatment packages that can be tailored to specific lawn care needs.  Among the most irritating and vexing of these concerns are common garden-variety pests, the tiny insects that can sometimes take root and cause major damage before you even realize that they are there.  Georgia is home to a wide variety of these lawn pests, but the most common fall into three basic categories: soil-inhabitants, thatch-inhabitants, and the ubiquitous fire ants.  At Turf Shield we believe that educating our customers about all issues involving lawn care is the best way to ensure that they can enjoy a truly top-notch lawn.

Soil Inhabitants

These insects spend the majority of their life cycle deep underneath the soil feeding on the parts of the grass that are below the ground’s surface.  Their presence results in patches of wilted, dead, or dying grass and the sod may be disturbed in areas where wildlife or pets try to dig them up.  Soil-Inhabiting insects include mole crickets, billbugs (a form of weevil), and white grubs, which are thought to be among the most damaging turf insect pests in the United States.  Treating an infestation of pests living beneath the soil often requires the application of insecticides at the root zone of the grass.  Because the correct timing and method of application are so important for optimal results, we recommend you consult with one of our lawn care specialists before attempting any pest control treatment.

Leaf, Stem, and Thatch Inhabitants

These insects live in the cut and broken plant matter that cover the surface of the soil, feeding off the grass stalks themselves.  They are usually most apparent when the grass is cut off close to the ground, and they can cause irregular spots of yellowish turf or dead spots where their infestations go unchecked.  Thatch inhabitants like cutworms and armyworms are actually the caterpillar stages of different species of moths, but they can also include tiny beetles like chinch bugs and spittlebugs.  Because these insects thrive in areas with heavy thatch accumulation, periodic thatch removal is often the best way to address an infestation, but specialized irrigation techniques can also be used to both diagnose and treat the problem.

Fire Ants

The Red Imported Fire Ant, common to most areas of Georgia, does not actually feed on the turf grass itself; it preys on other insects and dead animals.  However, the mounds that they build (which can reach up to two feet in diameter and up to eight inches tall) are unsightly and rob the grass they cover from much-needed sunlight.  Moreover, because the toxins released by the ants disrupt the vascular systems of surrounding plants and because the ants themselves are very aggressive and will swarm out of their nest to attack if disturbed, most people are eager to get rid of them as quickly as possible.  At Turf Shield we offer a unique, specialized fire ant treatment that can help eliminate these pests to make sure your lawn is a more enjoyable place for your family to spend time throughout the year.

Pest control is a vital part of any lawn care treatment plan, but due to the wide variety of insects and symptoms that may be involved, it is important that the pests be accurately identified so that the most appropriate method of control can be used.  If you have questions about your pest problems, or about any of the customized lawn care treatment packages that we provide, please contact Turf Shield to get more information.  Don’t forget to follow Turf Shield on Twitter or Facebook to get all the latest updates and lawn care tips.