Homeowners go through a lot of trouble to have a beautiful lawn and keep it picture-perfect all year round. Some insects, however, can kill your grass, and worse, take up permanent residence in your garden. And once they do, it can be tough to get rid of them.
But before calling in a pest control company, find out what you have first. Experts from getgreenside.com list some of the most common pests that can ruin your lawn.
White grubs typically attack grassroots, so you may not even see them. They are the larvae of scarab beetles, and usually hatch from eggs in the summer. After feasting on grassroots, they go deeper into the soil to hibernate during cold weather. They come back up in early spring to eat more grassroots before finally pupating and becoming beetles.
You can check if you have these pests in your lawn by lifting up wilted grass in summer or spring and checking the soil. They are white and shaped like a C.
Chinch bugs are bolder attackers of your lawn, preferring to suck the sap from the grass instead of the roots. The bugs lay eggs on grass blades from June to September, and they hatch in about 20 days into nymphs. The nymphs feed on grass for up to 6 weeks, when they mature, mate, and lay eggs. When the cold weather approaches, chinch bugs burrow at the base of the grass and lay dormant until spring.
You can tell if you have a chinch bug problem when the grass turns purple before wilting and turning brown. The anticoagulant secreted by the nymphs keep the grass from absorbing water, eventually killing it.
Armyworms are also larvae, and they turn into brown moths. Armyworms can be pink, gray, or yellow, and are about an inch long. Brown moths lay clusters of white eggs that hatch in about a week. Once they do, they feast on the grass, grass stems, and leaves of plants and trees for about two weeks before becoming an adult moth, which in turns lay more eggs. Armyworms are most active at night and early morning.
If you see circles of dying or dead grass or skeletonized leaves, you might have armyworms marching against you. In some cases, the infestation is so bad that your lawn seems to be moving.
A professionally laid lawn is a thing of beauty. You want to make sure common pests do not eat up your investment. If you see any signs of an infestation, act quickly. Identify the culprits before calling in a pest control company.