According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the most effective strategy for controlling lawn pests combines several methods in a process called integrated pest management (IPM). A healthy lawn requires less chemical pest control and survives better than a stressed lawn.
Healthy grass begins with soil preparation that encourages root growth by tilling soil and adding amendments before sowing grass seed or laying sod. Mow at the correct height and add only fertilizer and nutrients recommended in a soil analysis plan. Water grass deeply, but infrequently, when grass blades lay flat when stepped on or appear wilted in the morning.
Problems in turf grass usually come from physical factors in the environment rather than pests. However, diseased areas that expand over time suggest possible insect damage. Grubs, armyworms, cutworms, billbugs and sod webworms may damage turf grass areas. Irregular spots of brown in otherwise healthy grass indicate the possibility of billbugs, black turfgrass ataenius, chinch bugs or grubs. Destroyed roots suggests grub damage.
Cultural control of lawn pests includes correcting mowing height, and supplying adequate supplemental water and nutrients. Chemical control of lawn pests includes applying pest control products containing halofenozide or imidacloprid. When using chemicals, follow package instructions carefully if you have small children or pets that may use the treated area.
- Environmental Protection Agency: Pesticides controlling pests
- Texas A&M University: Landscape IPM
- University of Wisconsin: Crop moisture stress
- University of California Berkeley: Guide to Health Lawns - Managing Pests
- University of Delaware: Lawn Insects and Their Control
treat lawn pests, dealing with pests, lawn care
About this Author
Barbara Brown has been a freelance writer since 2006. She worked 10 years in health care, testing children and training parents before moving into information research. She has been certified as a psychological associate and professional counselor in Texas. She is studying to be a master gardener and has a master's in psychology from Southern Methodist University.