Lawn pests are one of the most common causes of brown and yellow spots and other damage to your lawn. The first step to treating them is to identify which of these pests are the culprit. Here are three of the most common lawn pests found in Florida and how to treat them.
Mole crickets prefer Zoysia, Bermuda and Centipede turf but will also occasionally feed on St. Augustine. They damage your lawn by feeding on the roots of the grass and tunneling through the soil, leaving your lawn feeling spongy and squishy when you walk on it. Because they cause such significant root damage, your turf won’t usually recover from mole cricket damage and will have to be reseeded. Adult mole crickets are difficult to treat; most products used target them in the nymph phase. Breaking the life cycle is critical to controlling mole cricket populations.
Chinch bugs prefer St. Augustine turf. The early stages of chinch bug damage appear as dry spots on your lawn. These pests are tiny and are difficult to see without the use of a magnifying glass. If caught and treated early, your turf should recover with the use of additional fertilizer. If the damage is significant, you may have to reseed. Chinch bugs will return to the same place year after year so prevention is necessary for ongoing lawn protection.
Sodworms & Armyworms
Sodworms and armyworms will destroy just about any turf type in Florida. These lawn pests are active from mid to late summer. Moths will lay their eggs in the thatch of your turf and the worms hatch and feast on the grass blades. These larvae resemble caterpillars. Like chinch bugs, if the worms are caught early and treatment started quickly, your turf can recover. If the damage is substantial, you may have to reseed your lawn. It’s important to examine your lawn often looking for these worms and catch them quickly to prevent damage.
If you have an issue with any of these common lawn pests, contact your local pest control company for a comprehensive evaluation and ongoing treatment plan.