Common Lawn Pests
Grubs are one of the most damaging of all lawn pests, so we dedicated an entire page to these insects. These small, worm-like critters feed on grass at the roots and cause large grass sections to die in a short period.
Chinch Bugs love to feed on warm summer grass, and the South has a unique species of these tiny lawn-dwellers. Chinch bugs can damage large sections of grass, sucking moisture from the blades and injecting them with a poison that slowly kills your turf. Regularly mowing can help with a chinch bug infestation, but professional pesticides are the best antidote for this invasion.
Mole Crickets are noisy, dig tunnels in your lawn, feed on your grass, and destroy its roots. Although they are most active during the summer, the evidence of their damage may not become visible until it’s too late and the damage done.
Spittle Bugs are most likely to be found in lawns that have Bermuda or centipede grass, although they’ve been known to feed on and damage St. Augustine grass, bahiagrass, and various ryegrasses. If your grass has what resembles a white foam where the leaf attaches to the stem or where two branches meet, this is evidence of spittlebugs. They make their arrival in the spring, but spittle bugs can last through the winter if left untreated. If you notice any, you can try removing them with a steady stream of water, but be careful not to overwater your lawn as many of these critters thrive in wet and humid conditions.
Armyworms are another pest to look out for, starting as one- to two-inch-long worms before hatching into moths. Laying eggs that feed on the grass blades and stems after they hatch, they can reduce what was a green lawn into a field of skeletonized grass. In fact, they’ll do the same to just about any plant in their path. Even worse, they tend to travel in packs – hence, the name “armyworm” -- and can produce multiple generations in a single growing season.