Pest Insects In The Lawn

In most cases, when you have a lawn with an insect problem, you have a lawn that is in stress for some reason. Insects will bother the lawn when the grass is weak.

 The solution to the problem is twofold.

First you must deal with the immediate problem; the insect causing the immediate problem.

Then you must evaluate why the lawn was in stress creating a condition in which the insect would become a problem.

There is a file for dealing with each of the insects listed on the symptoms chart below. You will find that in most cases, we give you three solutions to the immediate insect problem: a do-it-yourself solution using no pesticides, solutions using natural insecticides, and solutions using synthetic insecticides.

This table gives you a summary of the symptoms you might face that are a function of pest insectsc described in detail in the buttons on the left.

Possible Pest Insect Problems in Lawns
Possible Symptoms Probable Cause
Mounds appear in middle of lawn and kill grass Ants or Moles
In the fall you may see round, bare areas in the lawn. Armyworms look like caterpillars and can appear in large numbers, and will eat the grass right down to the soil. Armyworms usually feed at night. The damage they do resemble that caused by sod webworms. If you lift up the dead sod in these areas, you'll find armyworms in the soil. Armyworm
In June or July damage is noted where the grass appears brownish or there may appear small circular patterns that turn yellowish and brown. Dead sections of grass will lift away easily from soil. Billbug
In August and early September, suspect chinch bugs when you see large, distinct, circular patches, primarily in the sunny areas of your lawn, that turn yellow, then brown, and then die. These patches often first appear near sidewalks, driveways, streets, and other borders such as railroad ties or flagstones that reflect heat onto the lawn. The yellowish spots eventually spread outward into the rest of the lawn, showing the greatest damage at their centers where the chinch bugs congregate. Chinch Bugs
Usually you don’t see fire ants first; you feel the stings Fire Ant
Cats and dogs bring fleas in from outside, you see them in rugs and on white socks Fleas
In late spring the webworms’ feeding causes small brown patches, 1 to 2 inches in diameter, to appear in the lawn where the thatch layer is exposed. These dead patches may be round spots or may look like lightning bolt streaks running across the lawn. By midsummer the damaged areas join together into larger patches. Infested lawns look their worst by July and August. Sod Webworm
Grass seedlings in newly seeded lawn disappear, cut off at the base of the grass blade Cutworm
Starting in June or early July you see irregular brown patches of grass. Increasing gradually over the season, the brown spots are most extensive by fall after a full season of grub activity. Suspect a grub problem where turf appears scorched. The sod lifts up easily in these spots because the roots have been destroyed. Grubs
Areas of lawn turn brown and die; small mounds of soil become evident Mole Cricket