How to Control Lawn Insects


Insects are present in most lawns, but can be kept under control with basic maintenance measures and some organic methods. Maintenance measures may include thatching the lawn every spring to remove dead organic matter from the soil. This will reduce the food supply for some lawn insects. Also, homemade detergent solutions applied to the lawn will drive insects to the surface.

Step 1

Attach the thatching blade to your lawn mower. Run the mower over the lawn in one direction. The springs on the thatching blade will pull up any dead grass and debris that lies beneath the blades of grass.

Step 2

Use the leaf rake and collect the dead material from the lawn. Move the material to a compost pile in your yard or set it out for collection toward a community compost service. Dead grass and debris will make good compost for additions to other garden beds.

Step 3

Perform the thatching operation to the lawn, but run the mower in the opposite direction. This will pull up any remaining debris from the soil surface. Rake the debris to collect. Add the material to your compost pile.

Step 4

Observe the lawn as it progresses in growth throughout the season. Note any yellow or brown spots.

Step 5

Mix a solution of ¼ cup dry laundry detergent to one gallon of water in the bucket. Pour the solution over the brown and yellow area. The solution will treat one square yard of surface area. The detergent solution will drive any insects or grubs to the surface in approximately 15 minutes. Collect the insects and dispose of them. If no insects surface over the treated area, the problem may be a soil or grass disease. Consult your local agricultural extension service for disease remedies.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you must use a lawn insecticide, read the manufacturers labeling. Keep all children and animals from lawns that have insecticides applied.

Things You'll Need

  • Thatching blade attachment for lawn mower
  • Leaf rake
  • ¼ cup dry laundry detergent
  • 1-gallon water
  • Bucket


  • Colorado State Extension Service: Insects in the Lawn
  • UC Davis Extension Service: Pests in Homes, Gardens Landscapes and Turfs
Keywords: grubs, lawns, insects

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.