When we think of curb appeal, one area we tend not to factor in is our lawn. If you have a neighbor with a yard full of spotty, brown grass, you know how bad it can make their home – and the whole street – look. Sometimes, despite your best lawn care practices, you may find your grass is not all it should be. There could be something at work here other than poor lawn maintenance. In a word: bugs.
You work all year to keep your lawn green and perfect, then one day you notice a small brown patch. Before you know it, that patch has spread, and your once beautiful grass – the pride of the neighborhood – is now a shell of its former self. You have checked your sprinkler system, adjusted your sprinkler timer and fed your lawn plenty of delicious nutrients, yet still it refuses to come back. What gives?
Most homeowners are aware of wood destroying insects such as termites and carpenter ants, but there is another group of pests – known as lawn destroying insects – that can wreak just as much havoc on your carefully manicured lawn.
Lawn Destroying Pests and Insects
Below you will find a list of some of the most insidious lawn destroying insects that can cause great harm to your home’s grass.
For residents in the southern parts of the United States (such as Florida and Georgia), and parts of the west from time to time, no lawn pest is more well known than the chinch bug. Particularly fond of St. Augustine grass, the chinch bug thrives during summer months, with infestations peaking in July.
Depending upon the weather, chinch bugs can lie dormant during the winter or remain active. In the event that chinch bugs go dormant, they will typically begin efforts anew in the same spot they left off when spring rolls back around.
Infested lawns tend to display brown, discolored patches that are usually round, though this same behavior can result from other lawn issues. If your lawn is significantly infected, you may even be able to spot the pests on blades of grass.
If you have St. Augustine grass and suspect you may have a chinch bug infestation, we suggest calling in a pest control service that specializes in lawn destroying insects.
White grubs are particularly nasty, appearing as fat white “worm-like” larvae. They are technically an immature beetle and feed on grass roots, gradually killing patches in your lawn. Infected areas will feel soft to the touch and visually display as irregular brown patches that gradually get larger as the white grubs move on to new feeding areas.
An easy way to test for this type of lawn pest is to pull up a corner of your grass. If it rolls up similar to carpet, you may have an infestation of white grubs. In addition, you will usually see the plump white grubs underneath the pulled up grass, though they can exist up to three inches below the surface.
Another sign of a white grub infestation is the appearance of animals such as raccoons, birds and moles – all of which feed on the grubs and, as a side effect, damage your lawn even further.
Getting rid of this type of lawn destroying pest can be difficult, and as such, we suggest you contact a local pest control expert if you suspect a white grub infestation.
Webworms resembles gray or green caterpillars that reach an inch in length. They feed on St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia types of grass and leave behind signs of chewing or bite marks on blades of grass. Infected areas turn brown in baseball sized spots around your lawn.