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Named for their habit of moving in large numbers from yard to yard, armyworms are known to cause significant damage to your lawn. These pests are plump, striped caterpillars that feed on all types of grass. There are two types of armyworms: true and fall, and each come out in different seasons depending on the type of grass you have. Find out how you can prevent them and get rid of them if they ever appear in your yard.
Armyworms are a type of caterpillar with green, brown, and yellow stripes. They feed mostly on grass, plants, vegetables, and grains. They are common in the southern states and occasionally feed on turfgrasses. Once they infest, armyworms can cause substantial damage to your lawn and can be hard to eradicate due to how fast they can multiply.
The first thing to look for when preventing armyworms are patches of brown grass, eaten tips of grass blades, and birds picking throughout your lawn. You should monitor your yard routinely for any of these signs. An easy way to discover if armyworms have infested is by pouring a mixture of soap and water over a small section of your lawn. These pests will soon rise to the top of the mixture, indicating an armyworm infestation.
Another tip is to keep your lawn cut short and to water it regularly, which makes the grass less attractive to pests. Look to keep your outside lights off at night as they attract moths, which lay eggs that turn into armyworms.
If an armyworm invasion occurs in your yard, the damage can be devastating but given time you can rebound to a lush, healthy lawn. The grass can recover on its own as long as the growing point at the base shoot is undamaged. In other cases, some people may have to resod, re-seed, or aerate any dead patches that worms have left behind. Some DIY methods can be done to rid your yard of armyworms but applying insecticide is the best choice.
If you suspect armyworms are taking over your yard, contact your local lawn care company or pest control provider who can provide you with an effective lawn care plan to help prevent armyworms and recommend effective products.
The last thing any homeowner wants is to invest time and money into getting their landscaping exactly how they want it only to have it destroyed by lawn pests. Lawn care is difficult – finding the perfect balance between overwatering and underwatering, fertilizing and aerating, mowing and maintenance. Pest control for your lawn is just another step in your lawn care plan. Here are 5 pests that can destroy your lawn, along with options to treat and prevent them.
Armyworms are smooth skinned pests that range in size from 1 to 2 inches long. Armyworms turn into brown moths when they reach adulthood. Colors range anywhere from yellow and green to dark brown and black with stripes running down their sides. Armyworms feed on grass blades and stems and will also skeletonize leaves on other plants. They will seek shelter from the sun and heat during the day and emerge at night and early morning to feed heavily on your grass. They are known for creating circular bare spots in the lawn as they eat the grass. Signs of armyworms include clusters of eggs, caterpillar frass, and the presence of live worms. Armyworms can be treated with chemical insecticides, diatomaceous earth, or by removing them by hand and dropping them in soapy water. Armyworms can be prevented by aerating annually, fertilizing regularly, and checking for their presence monthly.
Grubs is a broad term for the larvae of most species of beetle including white grubs, masked chafers, june beetles, and japanese beetles. While looks vary among species, grubs are commonly c-shaped pests that are whitish to yellowish in color. Grubs usually feed in late spring, summer and into early fall. Once the weather cools, they burrow deep into the soil and go dormant for winter. Grubs will feed on the roots of grasses just under the surface of the soil, creating irregular patches of damaged turf. The damage usually begins with wilted grass blades and then progresses to brown colored patches and eventually death of the grass. While chemical insecticides will be effective in eliminating grubs, there are non-chemical treatment options, as well. Nematodes are microscopic parasites that can be added to your lawn which invade the grubs’ bodies and kill them. This process takes longer but is less harsh than typical insecticides. Grubs also require moisture to survive. Putting your lawn into drought by not watering for 3 to 4 weeks will make the environment inhospitable for grubs.
There are several different species of chinch bugs that feed on different types of grass. They are easy to recognize but hard to see. Chinch bugs are tiny, measuring about 1/5″. They have black bodies with white wings folded across their backs and a telltale white stripe across their bodies. Chinch bugs are usually active from June to September. These pests literally suck the life out of your lawn by sucking on grass blades and releasing an anticoagulant that makes the grass unable to absorb water, thus drying it out and killing it. Chinch bug damage causes irregular turf patches that start with a purple tinge and then subsequently wilt, yellow, and then turn brown. This damage is commonly mistaken for drought damage. Chinch bugs can be treated with insecticides.
Mole crickets are common lawn pests in the southeastern United States. These destructive pests are 1 to 2 inches long and grayish brown in color. They have spade-like front legs that they use to burrow through the soil along with beady eyes. They are not good at jumping like their cricket cousins. Mole crickets consume grass and roots while burrowing through the soil near the surface. Signs of mole crickets include small mounds of dirt, a spongy lawn, and brown or dead grass. They leave a path of destruction in their wake with raised burrows and brown patches on your turf. You can check for the presence of mole crickets by adding 2 tablespoons of dish soap to a gallon of water and pouring it over a 1 to 2 square foot section of your lawn. If mole crickets are present, they will come to the surface. Once you have identified them as a problem, you can treat with the appropriate insecticides.
Moles are small, burrowing mammals that are mostly blind but have a keen sense of smell. Moles range from 4 to 11 inches long with greyish-brown fur, long thin snouts, and large powerful front feet they use to burrow. Moles live underground and feed on earthworms, grubs, and insects. While these pests don’t eat plants, their burrowing can cause damage to roots and their tunnels allow other pests to access your turf. Moles leave visible trails in your yard and cause brown patches from subsequent root damage. Their tunnels can also cave in easily, putting you at risk for injury and leaving you with a spongy feeling yard. Moles can be trapped and baited. Eliminating their food sources (grubs, earthworms, etc.) can also make your lawn less attractive to them, helping to keep them away.
Whether you have an existing problem with lawn pests or you just want to get a head start on prevention, a local lawn care company can help! Contact them today for a free lawn analysis and an ongoing prevention and maintenance plan tailored to you.
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Are you noticing patchy areas of brown grass throughout your yard? This could be a sign that you have armyworms! While armyworms themselves are small, if found in large groups they can cause considerable damage to your lawn.
A type of caterpillar and a larva of moths, armyworms are striped with green, brown, and yellow colors. These pests will mostly feed on grass, plants, and vegetables. While one armyworm won’t cause significant damage, if they do end up multiplying, it can be tough to eradicate once they’ve infested the plants or grass. It’s important to know the signs of armyworms and the steps to prevent them from destroying your yard.
Signs of Armyworms
The first step in prevention is looking for signs that you have lawn and plant damage. Keep an eye out for patchy areas on your lawn that are turning brown. Brown spots in your yard are a major sign that your grass is being eaten by armyworms. Additionally, if armyworms are active on your property, you might see more birds, as well, as they will eat armyworms as a food source. You can also find these pests in their adult form as brown moths with a white spot on each wing. You can usually spot them feeding on nearby plants.
How to Prevent Armyworms
Preventing armyworms is easier than you think. Making sure that your grass is well-maintained with a good lawn care routine can help. Ensure that your grass is short by regularly mowing, frequently watering lawn and plants, and providing necessary nutrients for healthy green grass. It could be beneficial to consider reaching out to your local lawn care company or pest control provider who can provide you with an effective lawn care plan to help prevent armyworms and recommend effective products.
As their name indicates, armyworms travel in large groups and can create a significant amount of damage to your lawn. Find out more about armyworms, how you can prevent them, and how you can get rid of them if they’re eating your grass and plants.
Armyworms are a type of caterpillar and the larvae of moths with green, brown, and yellow stripes. They feed on mostly grass, plants, and vegetables. Chances are, you’re seeing fall armyworms right now, which are very common in Southern states. These armyworms can cause substantial destruction to your lawn which is unsightly and detrimental to your lawn care program. They multiply very quickly and can be tough to eradicate once plants or grass is infested.
Check for signs of lawn and plant damage often. This includes patchy areas in your lawn that turn brown, where grass has been noticeably eaten. In their adult form, armyworms are brown moths with a white spot on each wing. If you see these moths, it’s likely that larvae is feeding on nearby plant sources. You may also notice more birds in your yard when armyworms are active, as birds eat armyworms. Spotting armyworms early is critical in successfully eliminating them and will cause the least amount of damage. It’s also important to continue a good lawn care program so that your your grass can return to its previously healthy state.
Keep grass maintained with a good lawn care program including regular mowing to keep grass short, watering your lawn often, and giving it the proper nutrients needed to maintain healthy grass. Apply an insecticide specifically for the treatment of armyworms; your local lawn care company or exterminator can take care of this for you or recommend effective products.
After armyworms are treated and eliminated, the process doesn’t stop there. It’s important to continuously check for armyworm damage as a reoccurrence is common. Because this pest cannot withstand cold temperatures, early Spring is when you’re likely to have another infestation.
It’s summer time, so you and your family will likely spend a great deal more time outside enjoying the weather. However, your household won’t be the only ones wanting to take advantage of your lawn. Especially during the summertime, certain insects can cause damage or even kill your turfgrass. Signs of insect feeding include grass turning yellow or brown and eventually dying. This begins as small patches of grass but can eventually lead to widespread damage. It’s important to eliminate lawn damage using preventive measures and Northwest Lawn Care offers just that!
One pest in particular that you may be used to seeing is a white grub. These insects are the larvae stage of several species of masked chafer beetles. This said, if you spot beetles in your yard, you’re likely to have white grubs. They are small, white “C” shaped bugs with six legs. When these insects infest, they can destroy grass roots, which weakens the affected area. If ever you’ve been able to lift your grass easily from the ground, it’s likely to be due to these insects.
Another common insect pest is the armyworm, which is actually the larva stage of a moth and is therefore, a caterpillar. Like all caterpillars, army worms like feed of plants, including all types of grass. They like to chew on leaves as well as the base of leaves, leaving irregular patches of grass. Once again, if you notice a fair amount of brown or gray moths in your yard, you’re likely to already have an armyworm problem.
Other common insect pests include billbugs, black turfgrass ataenius, fiery skipper, lawn moths, sod webworms and the southern chinch bug. Keep in mind that these pests are perfect treat for larger pests such moles, skunks and raccoons. If you feel like your lawn may be at risk, call the Northwest Lawn Care Team and they will meet your needs.