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Lawn & Garden

Bugs and Insects of the Lawn

Lawn insects are often overlooked, yet they can do such damage to a lawn. Sometimes these pests can destroy a healthy lawn in the matter of a couple days. There is seldom warning that your lawn will be attacked. There is however, a warning.


In the evenings when you arrive home, as your headlights pan across the lawn around dusk, look for moths dancing around the lawn. This is a sign that they are laying their eggs. Depending which moth it is, depends on which insect will be dismantling your landscape in a couple weeks.


In the cool months, most lawn-eating insects go deeper in the ground to avoid the cold weather. This is often below the root system of the lawn and out of reach of traditional lawn insecticides. As soil temperatures warm up, these insects come closer to the surface. This is also when many other bugs start to turn into adults and this is when you need to strike. May and June is the best time to kill lawn insects. 

Anytime you spray insecticides it can be harmful to beneficial insects like bees. Spray in the late evening just before dusk, when your bees which cross pollinate our crops, have left.

Grub worms

Having Grub worms in the lawn invite a host of other problems to the lawn and landscape. They will not only turn into Japanese beetles that will proceed to eat your landscape ornamentals like your roses and cherry trees, but also they are the food of choice for moles and armadillos that will dig up your yard practically overnight. Grubs eat the roots of grass, plants and trees.


Sometimes dead patches in the lawn is a sign of grubs. A spongy lawn is also a sign that your yard has grubs. Look for mole tunnels. Moles can dig tunnels across your lawn overnight. This is a definite sign that you have grub worms. The Home Depot has just what your lawn needs to eradicate these lawn pests. Triazicide and Bug B Gon  work well for grubs and they come in a spray or granular form. Safer options for killing Grub worms are Nema Globe Grub Busters and Milky Spore.


Image result for cutworms home depot

Cutworms come from the larva of a large number of moths. These moths are usually brown or grey and about 1.5 inches long and wide. Cutworms come in colors ranging from pink to green and grey to black. Black cutworms are most common, as their brown and tan bodies blend in well with the soil.


In fall, these moths will lay eggs in the soil, where they will survive the winter, to then hatch in the warmer temperatures. Cutworms can do quite a  number to your lawn and vegetable garden if you don't keep a close eye on it. Cutworms feed at night and hide in the thatch of the lawn during the day. If you notice a large number of birds foraging for insects in the lawn then this is a sign of a possible cutworm invasion. Triazicide and Bug B Gon will control cutworms in the lawn.


Armyworms love to attack Bermuda lawns and especially love to attack newly laid sod in august and September. This 1.5 to 2 inch brown caterpillar has distinctive green, yellow and brown stripes down their bodies. These pests will chew on the edges of the blades of grass or simply shear it to the ground, creating large dead patches in the lawn. Armyworms eat at night, not making it immediately clear as to what is happening during the day. Look for an unusual amount of birds in the lawn foraging around. This is a strong sign that you could have an armyworm invasion.

The adult armyworm is a small (less than 1 inch) tan or brown moth with a small white spot in the middle of its wing. They usually lay their eggs on the leaves of trees and other structures and not usually in the yard. Bug B Gon and Triazicide is the best solution for killing Armyworms in the lawn.


Sod Webworms

This grass eating menace is the larva of lawn moths. Once these eggs hatch into little ¼ to 3/4 inch pale yellow worms, they can kill a lawn in a matter of a couple days. They are called webworms for the white silky tubes that they live in during winter as mature larva. They will resume feeding on the lawn in spring around May and early June where the worm turns brown and then form cocoons made of dirt and other organic matter. Two weeks later, you will have an adult moth. This moth will live among the bushes during the day, where you will see it dancing around the yard at dusk, each laying up to 200 eggs. Triazicide and Bug B Gon would be the best bet for killing sod webworms in the lawn.

Tent Caterpillars

Tent caterpillars start out in the trees and eventually work their way into the yard. These caterpillars are active in early spring and you can spot their nests easily, as they will make a large tent or nest up in trees. This nest will be large and made from thick webbing, up in the forks of tree branches. These caterpillars can defoliate trees and shrubs in record breaking time, depending on the size of the nest.

Liquid Sevin is the most effective product for tent caterpillars but Bug B Gon works well also. If you want organic options then inviting birds into the yard will create a feeding frenzy, as many birds will eat tent caterpillars. If you spot the nest early then you can prune off the branch and destroy the nest.

European Crane Fly

You probably know this insect as a gigantic mosquito. Well, it is not a mosquito at all, even though I spent most of my life calling it that. This year they were extremely bad, hanging out in the grass, among the shade. The larva can damage the lawn, but the adult is harmless to you and the grass. The larva, which is found in the first inch or two of soil, is brownish grey and about 1 inch long. In addition, where a few per square foot is not a problem as the sparrows and robins can control that, but 50 per square foot is an infestation and should be treated. Triazicide and Bug B Gon will works well for these in the lawn.


All mosquitoes need to reproduce is 6 ounces of water sitting around for about 2 weeks. Mosquito eggs will hatch and turn into an adult within 10 days. Prevention is the best option but it takes team work throughout the community. Be sure to change out the dogs water bowl outside with great frequency and make sure that the water in any outdoor water features like ponds and fountains has a pump circulating water. Mosquitoes will not lay their eggs in moving water.

Things as simple as a cat food can with water, tires, unused plant pots and anything that can hold water need to be drained and removed from the yard. Outdoor foggers are one of the most effective ways to eliminate mosquitoes from the yard. Hose end sprayers like Off and Cutter also work well. Tiki torches with citronella oil work well around sitting areas. Check out this great article on mosquitoes by our Boston girl Jen.

Chinch bugs

These bugs are especially evil because they will not stop with just sucking the life out of your grass. Once they have sucked your grass dry they will inject a poison, killing entire patches of grass in the lawn. This menace starts out yellow and then red to then mature to a brownish grey 1/3 inch flying bug. These bugs like to congregate and prefer the taste of Zoysia and St Augustine grasses. Bug B Gon, Triazicide, Bug B Gon works well for these in the lawn.

Mole Crickets

Mole crickets are more of a nuisance in the southeastern United States. These insects are rarely seen because the tunnel through the soil, eating the roots of the grass, thus killing it. Mole crickets prefer Bahia and Bermuda grasses but they will eat most others as well. Triazicide and Bug B Gon are recommended for killing mole crickets in the lawn.


Although this insect is quite small, this sap sucking pest is fairly easy to identify. This greenish, almost translucent insect will leave a sticky residue on your plants leaves called honeydew. This honeydew residue attracts black sooty mold and ants to your lawn and plant. Where there are ants, you will likely find Aphids.

Aphids will suck the sap out of just about anything. They will attack lawns, vegetable gardens and ornamental plants in landscapes. Ladybugs are a natural solution to fighting Aphids. Bug B Gon and Triazicide are the best choices for killing aphids in the lawn.


Ants and Fireants

Ants in the yard would not be such a big deal if they promised to stay out of the house. That will never happen because when it stops raining out for a short period of time and the summer heat heats up then the ants march their way into the air conditioning to take up residency and eat your food. Ants must be killed in the yard, otherwise they will work their way inside. Some ants can kill grass with their ant mounds and other ants help keep the aphid population booming which can be bad for your garden. Bug B Gon and Triazicide are great for controlling ants outside. 

Fire ants are not all throughout the lawn like other ants. Fire ants make the large mounds in the lawn. Where there is one fire ant, there are thousands of fire ants. You will not ever just get bit by one fire ant but instead, get bit possibly by hundreds of them. Although fire ants won't come in the house, they must be dealt with. Orthene, Spectracide fire ant killer or Amdro fire ant killer is the best choice for them.


These microscopic insects will not be seen by the naked eye and are usually suspected only after they have left red welts on your ankles. This pest is not a threat to the lawn but more for those who enjoy spending time in the yard. Chiggers will be found in moist, shady areas. Chiggers prefer taller grass and weedy areas with leaf thatch.

Proper lawn maintenance is the best way to prevent this lawn pest. Keeping grass cut low and opening up sunlight is a good way to prevent chiggers. To kill them. spray Bug B Gon on the lawn which will also kill all the other unwanted lawn pests like grubs and ants.


Ticks pose a threat, not only to you but to your pets as well. These blood suckers are the primary carrier of Lyme disease and pose other health risks as well. Ticks prefer overgrown yards and moist areas. Where there are ticks you will also find chiggers and fleas, therefore keeping up with your lawn and garden will keep you and the pets safe from ticks. Bug B Gon and Triazicide are great options for killing ticks that can be found in store, as well as several other insecticides.

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Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question
Posted 2017-05-25T18:33:02+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL

I really like the Hose End Spray Attachment that is pictured in the initial image.

The Ortho Dial N Spray is a great way to apply all kinds of liquid concentrated lawn care products.

Ortho Dial 'N Spray Hose End Sprayer

This sprayer is capable of connecting directly to bottles of liquid lawn care products, eliminating the need to transfer the chemicals into a container that will then require rinsing and cleaning after it is used.

By attaching the product bottle to the spray head, any unused product will remain in its original, labeled container! 

How easy is that!?

Determine how much concentrate is to be mixed per gallon of water and set the dial that is on top to that amount. Attach to your garden hose and pull the trigger!

Posted 2017-05-26T17:09:00+0000  by Travis_HD_ATL
Not what you were looking for ? Try posting a question