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Maintaining healthy lawns, thriving gardens, and gorgeous landscapes is something Northern Florida and Georgia property owners take pride in. Sometimes, however, annoying lawn pests can move into your yard and feed on your precious plants and green grass. If you’ve noticed yellow or brown patches in your lawn or other signs of an unhealthy landscape, you may be in the midst of a lawn pest infestation.
Lawn pests are naturally drawn to the humid, subtropical climate of the southeast, feasting on all types of grass and ornamentals in your yard or garden. Here at McCall Service, our lawn care experts can quickly identify common lawn pests and provide you with a pest control treatment plan to ensure your yard looks lively all year round.
But in order to understand how to keep your grass and flowers in pristine condition, it’s important to know what types of bugs may be moving into your yard without your permission:
Chinch bugs are the most well-known pests to take up residence in St. Augustine grass, causing severe damage to large swaths of your lawn. Adult chinch bugs are black with small white patches on their backs, growing to be about 1/5-inch long. Chinch bug nymphs are reddish-brown with a white band around the middle of their backs. These nymphs will eventually turn black as they mature into adulthood. These bugs withdraw sap from St. Augustine grass with their sharp mouths, turning your lawn from green to yellowish-brown in patches.
With four different species found in Florida and Georgia, mole crickets can cause severe damage to your lawn during the end of summer into late fall. Mole crickets are a shade of light-brown and range anywhere from 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch. These crickets target all types of grass but are most prevalent in Bahia and Bermuda grass – tunneling through your soil just near the surface while cutting roots and ripping out blades of grass.
Growing to a length of nearly 3/4-inch long, sod webworms are a type of moth caterpillar that can destroy your lawn during spring and fall. Ranging from yellowish-brown to pinkish-white with a light- to dark-brown or black head, webworms rest in shrubbery during the day and chew on blades of grass during the early evening – causing immense damage to your lawn as large, brown patches can appear rapidly.
Highly active during the fall, army worms feed on grass, foliage, and even the roots or stems of certain plants. Growing to be 1 inch to 2 inches long and ranging from light-tan to shades of green and grey, these worms reach the width of a #2 pencil during adulthood. With reflective black or brown heads, a prominent yellow or white inverted “Y” marking on their fronts, and stripes around their bodies, army worms have incredible appetites and can damage your lawn in the blink of an eye – stripping grass blades or shrubs completely.
Fire ants are aggressive, reddish-brown to black ants that are 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch in length. These ants construct nests which are often visible as dome-shaped mounds of soil, sometimes as large as two feet across and nearly one foot in height. (In sandy soils, fire ant mounds can be flatter and less visible.) Fire ants usually build mounds in sunny, open areas such as lawns, pastures, cultivated fields, and meadows, but they are not restricted to these areas. Mounds or nests may be located in rotting logs, around trees and stumps, under pavement and buildings, and occasionally indoors.
As fire ants feed on fruits, sugars, insects, grease, and meat, they tend to stray away from targeting your grass or ornamentals – but they will go after you, your family, or your pests if their nests are disturbed. Fire ants cause burning stings that can cause intense itching and allergic reactions, so it’s best to stay far away from their nests and let your pest control professionals at McCall handle it.
Lawn pests can turn a pristine landscape or garden into a dull, lifeless one. No matter what time of year in Northern Florida and Georgia, insects can feed on your well-manicured yard and destroy all of your hard work groundskeeping. If you see any telltale signs of lawn pests invading your space, don’t hesitate to call your pest control experts at McCall Service to identify and treat your lawn pest problems.