Your lawn may be one of the places at home that you love the most. But did you ever stop to think that you might not be the only one? Especially when your lawn is vibrantly green and the grass in there is thick and healthy, it’s possibly very appealing to pests that might ruin its beauty and even harm you and your family’s well-being. That’s why it’s important that you look out for the following pests that you can commonly find in your lawn.
Chinch bugs are pests categorized under surface feeders. Hairy chinch bugs are the most common type among many several types that may attack your lawn. A female chinch bug delivers approximately 300 to 500 yellow eggs. Nymphs will emerge from the eggs after a week or two and immediately begin to suck sap from grass. They grow so quickly that within 40 days, they become dark and then shed five times.
When the area begins to wither because they fed on the grass and secreted an anticoagulant that causes grass to stop absorbing water, the chinch bugs migrate by either crawling or flying in search for food and habitat for the second generation, leaving your lawn dry and lifeless. These pests usually invade lawns from June to September, so you can often see them scurrying about in your lawn in the summer. If left uncontrolled, they can cause widespread damage.
On the other hand, Sod webworms or “lawn months,” are a large species of insects that infest turfgrasses in the United States. They are tiny wheat-colored moths seen zigzagging around when you mow your lawn. In spring and summer annually, sod webworms can have two to three generations of eggs. Their adults lay eggs at night on the blades of grass, and after a week these eggs hatch. The larvae feed on the grass at night, and during the day they hide in burrows they’ve created within the grass. This results in several holes in the ground, plus the hollows left by birds raiding for worms. The baby sod webworms mature into adult webworms in five weeks. They then start eating entire stems and a lot of foliage, causing brown patches in your lawn.
We also got Cutworms to add to the list. Although, it is commonly mistaken as beetle grubs, are actually caterpillars. “Cutworms” is the name for the larvae of adult moths. And they are called as such because they cut down young plants as they feed on stems. Unlike the previously mentioned pests, cutworms feed on roots primarily, chew entire plant stems, and destroy the bottom part of a plant that leads to the overall shriveling of the whole plant. They usually begin to feed in the evening, and hide in the daylight. Cutworms often target vegetables like cabbages and other crucifers, and your lawn’s turfgrass.
Armyworms are similar to cutworms in that both are big, fleshy caterpillars that love feeding on grass leaves. A big group of these caterpillars move in unison across lawns, leaving what used to be green to become brown. In fact, its name comes from its behavior of marching across a lawn, with a trail of destruction left behind its wake. Adult armyworms lay a group of eggs that will hatch after seven days. Two or three weeks of feeding later, these turn to grown moths. Just like cutworms, they hibernate and hide from the heat of the sun, but feed heavily at night on grass blades, stems and leaves. You will know there is an armyworm infestation when you see circular bare spots in your lawn due to their feasting on the grass.
The life of a white grub, or the larvae May beetle, is one year. In the summer, eggs are laid and they hatch during fall where they feed upon grassroots. To avoid becoming frozen when winter arrives and temperatures decrease, white grubs go down into the soil to hide and become dormant. But when spring comes, they resurface and begin feeding on grassroots again. They sever the roots of plants, causing the plants to lose its ability to get water from the soil and thus, wither and die. Grub damage includes wilting of grass blades, followed by brown patches in your lawn. You will also notice crows and skunks frequenting your lawn in search for a grub meal, and that’s one sign there are pests present in your lawn.
There are actually a lot more varieties of pests that you might encounter in your lawn, but chinch bugs, sod webworms, cutworms, armyworms, and white grubs are few of the most common pests you’ll find there. If you have found any of these, or you need help finding and remedying pest infestations, don’t hesitate to call the pest control authorities.