The majority of lawn insects are found in specific types of grasses grown for lawn and turf areas. The problem with lawn insects is the damage done to growing areas is often mistaken for other lawn problems or lawn diseases. Home owners and landscapers may not realize lawn insects are causing lawn damage until a large infestation of common lawn insects has invaded. Learn about common lawn insects to identify and control these pests prior to extensive damage.
White Lawn Grubs
White lawn grubs are common lawn insects that are non-specific to grass types. The presence of these insects can be seen as brown patches of dying roots and grass blades. To make a final check, gently lift back the sod. Several white, c-shaped larvae will be present in the area. White lawn grubs not only cause damage to lawns but attract predators, such as raccoons and moles, which dig up lawns hunting for the grubs to eat. The University of Illinois Extension recommends treating lawn grubs with insecticides or nematodes.
Anywhere gardeners and landscapers plant St. Augustine grass, chinch bugs may soon follow. These bugs are common lawn insects in warm and dry regions, where St. Augustine typically grows best. Identification of chinch bug infestation is through irregularly shaped patches of yellow grass. This area expands over time as the chinch bug infestation increases. According to Texas Agriculture Extension, the most common cause for chinch bug infestation is the buildup of lawn thatch. Reducing and eliminating thatch drastically reduces the chances of the lawn being attached by these pesky and damaging insects.
Billbugs are a common pest in Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass and fescue grass lawns. Billbugs pose a problem because they are not easily spotteded in lawns. The larvae do the most damage by eating away the insides of grass shoots. Lawn patches can suddenly turn brown or die from an infestation of billbugs. According to Penn State College, billbugs are most often identified as a problem when the adults are present on driveways and walkways near lawns. Insecticides and nematodes are recommended for controlling billbugs. Decrease the amount of thatch in lawn areas infested with billbugs to prevent further damage and decrease the amount of food available to these insects.