A lawn is a thriving hot spot for insects that can help or harm a lawn. Knowing the insects that populate a lawn can help a beginning gardener understand how to deal with them. Proper care for lawn insects can improve the look of a lawn by removing insects that are damaging the grass. For a more lush, green and thriving lawn, understand the role of insects in lawn care.
Common insects which can attack and damage a lawn include weevils, webworms, aphids, ants and white grubs. White grubs are the larvae of Japanese beetles, and are white, curved larvae with brown heads. Webworms are gray and black caterpillars that are around 3/4 of an inch; their presence can be indicated by a large number of moths around your lawn. A billbug is a small, inch-long black beetle with a long nose.
Insect damage on a lawn can appear in many forms. Overall, a lawn infested with insects may appear weak and may look underwatered, even with sufficient watering. When an ant infestation is present, it will appear as a number of crater-like sand holes and ants on the lawn.
Beneficial nematodes are a form of biological treatment for insect pests. Beneficial nematodes can help treat white grubs and webworms. Insecticidal soap is a non-toxic method of control which works on grubs, billbugs and webworms. Ant problems can be treated by saturating the anthills and the surrounding areas with Diazinon, a chemical which kills most insect pests.
Not all lawn insects are pests. A healthy lawn should have some insects. The presence of beneficial insects helps a lawn thrive by naturally depositing fertilizer and aerating the soil. Certain pests, like fire ants, are harmful to humans and must be eliminated completely. Many other insect pests need only be controlled if they begin to damage the lawn.
Though it is the fastest way to get rid of insect pests, chemical treatment for insect lawn infestations should be used as a last resort. Chemicals can be harmful to the beneficial insects that help a lawn thrive. Some chemicals render a lawn unsafe for humans and pets to touch. Carefully read the label for any pesticide products before using them.