Grow Tips

Pest Control

Diagnosing Lawn Pests

One way to find out if you have lawn pests is to simply keep your eyes open. Look for moths flying up from your lawn as you mow. Watch for billbugs crossing your sidewalk or driveway during the evening hours. And keep an eye out for other pests such as grubs, which do the most damage in fall. A professional can also help halt house and yard pests before they become a bigger problem.

Damage Identification

Damage to turfgrass from insect pests takes many forms. Feeding by soil-inhabitants such as white grubs, billbugs, and mole crickets usually shows up as wilted, dead or dying grass. Sod may be disturbed in areas where wildlife or pets dig up soil-inhabiting pests.

Damage to turf by thatch inhabitants such as sod webworms, armyworms and cutworms is apparent when grass is cut off close to the ground.  

Damage by chinch bugs and spittlebugs, also thatch inhabitants, is similar to damage caused by soil inhabitants. Irregular spots of yellowish turf and dead spots may occur where chinch bug or spittlebug infestations go uncontrolled. Identifying your pest will save you time, money and your lawn.

Yard and Perimeter Pest Control

The best time of year to control pests varies depending on the type of pest. Some pests are best controlled when they are newly hatched or immature. Eliminating adult pests before they have a chance to lay eggs is also useful. If you see dead, brown patches on your lawn, you may think it is due to severe drought stress, but it could indicate a problem with grubs or other yard pests instead.

Grubs cause damage to grass plants by feeding on their roots. Turf that is damaged by grubs is easily lifted up (like a carpet) due to a lack of root system support. Large numbers of grubs left untreated in a lawn can be devastating to the turf.

Controlling yard pests is always a good idea. However, some insects – like bees and butterflies – are beneficial for your lawn, as they are natural enemies of insects we consider to be pests.

Using Pesticides

Just like household cleaners, pesticides are safe if handled, applied and stored according to their directions. All pesticides are labeled with application guidelines and dosage restrictions as required by state or federal laws and regulations.

To avoid incorrect dosage amounts or overuse, have a professional handle your pest maintenance schedule. If using a home pesticide, dispose of it properly to protect the environment. Never pour chemicals down the sink, toilet, storm drains or in creeks. Instead, use them up by giving them to a friend or relative or take them to a hazardous waste collection facility in your community.