5 Common Lawn Pests and How to Manage Them

December 20, 2020
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Is your lawn being harmed by a pest? Find out how to identify the culprit and the best way to treat them organically.

You’ve spent precious time and effort tendering to your grass to achieve the perfect lawn. The last thing you want is for pests to ruin your efforts.

Lawn pests and diseases can attack your lawn, leaving it discolored and weak. Promoting healthy soil and cutting with sharp blades help keep lawn pests at bay, but if you do find yourself with an infestation, it’s important for you to identify the pest causing the issue so you can find out how best to treat it.

Common lawn pests

Grubs (beetle larvae)

These  pests are among the most invasive of all lawn pests. They feast on lawn grass roots just below the surface of the soil in spring, summer and fall.

Signals that you could be dealing with this lawn pest include limp, discolored grass and an overall patchy lawn. Lifting the soil for inspection should reveal the grubs below. If the lawn has already been ripped up by birds or animals feasting on the grubs, they did the pest control already for you–focus on what you can do next year to improve the health of the grass.

Beetle grub damage

Ward Upham, Kansas State Univ., Bugwood.org

Sod webworm

The larvae of the sod webworm moth eats entire grass blades and stems, leaving brown, sparse patches on your lawn. Compared with other lawn pests, the damage is fast and extensive.

Chinch bug

Chinch bugs feed on your lawn by sucking the sap from grass blades. After feeding, this pest secretes an anticoagulant that prevents the grass from absorbing water.

The result of this is that water uptake to the grass stops, and it dies. The impact of the chinch bug is most visible in the summer and fall months, which is when the bugs feed. The key indicator that you’re dealing with this particular pest is dry grass that appears to be suffering from drought stress.

Chinchbug damage on leaveblade

Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Cutworm

Cutworm is another moth larvae  that can cause havoc on your lawn. Adult cutworm moths lay their eggs in grass in the spring, and in summer the larvae feed on the base of the grass.

You can identify if this pest is present by examining the grass on your lawn. If you can see cut-off grass and dead spots on your lawn, this is a clear indication that the lawn is infested with cutworm.

Armyworm

Armyworms are yet another moth larvae that does harm to your lawn. They eat entire grass blades and stems and they also feast on other garden plants.

A key sign of army worm is sparse, bare patches on your lawn, and skeletonized leaves on other plants.

Armyworm eating grass blade

Clemson University, USDA Cooperative Extension, Bugwood.org

How to treat lawn pests organically

All pests in lawns, from bugs to fungi, are a result of poor soil, drainage, or nutrients, and easily prevented by improving soil health and good lawn management. Before reaching for pesticides, figure out how to manage your lawn to prevent pests from returning.

If you want to prevent the pests infesting your lawn organically, find tips and advice on the best course of action here.

This blog post was written by Lawnmowers Direct, an online lawnmower and garden machinery store.

 

 

 

 

 



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