How to Detect and Treat Common Lawn Pests

How to Detect and Treat Common Lawn Pests

When your lawn is healthy, it can be a great addition to your overall landscape. However, those brown lawns lose their curb appeal. Along with that, browning and thin patches could be signs of a problem with your grass. You might have an infestation of pests that threaten your turf’s health. Here are a few ways to identify these common pests as you learn about treatment options for your yard.

Identify Those Common Lawn Pests

If you want to control any damage to your lawn, you need to understand the source of the problems. For many landscapes, lawn pests are the main culprits of diseases. Once you have identified these pests, you can treat them and prevent further damage. Brown spots, wilting blades, thin grass patches, and dead insects are all signs of an invasion. If you notice holes in the soil or missing roots, your lawn might have underground pest damage.

Common Lawn Pests

Here are a few things you need to know to identify these pests and prevent significant damage to your lawn. If you need additional help, a commercial lawn care service can remove these pests from your landscape.

Beetle Larvae (Grubs)

Some of the most damaging lawn pests are known as white grubs. These pests are the larvae of Japanese beetles, scarab beetles, and masked chafers. You might notice these larvae feeding on your roots throughout the growing season. Many of these pests complete their life cycle within one year. The adult beetles lay their eggs during mid-summer. These eggs hatch in two weeks, and the grubs begin to feed on the roots. As the cold weather approaches, the grubs burrow into the soil and go dormant. When the ground warms, these pests make their way to the surface by early spring. With this life cycle, you can expect big problems in your landscape.

You will notice grub damage by a few telltale signs. Wilted blades of grass turn into brown patches. In turn, that leads to dead grass. Grub-damaged turf is often spongy, and it will easily lift off the soil. If you are noticing crows or skunks in your yard, it could also be a sign of a grub infestation.

Sod Webworm

The larvae of the sod webworm moth can cause plenty of damage to your lawn. Younger sod webworms have a green or brown color with dark spots. Sod webworms have longer lifespans than grubs. You will notice they are active in the spring and summer. At night, the webworm moth lays eggs on the grass blades. Within seven days, the eggs hatch, and the larvae feed at night. During the day, the larvae hide in silken burrows found in the grass. By the fifth week, these larvae transform into adult moths.

If you have brown patches in your yard, it might be the work of webworms. These webworms eat the blades and stems of the grass. In turn, your lawn starts to brown. These pests can leave behind extensive damage with holes and silken tunnels throughout your yard.

Chinch Bug

There are several types of chinch bugs that can damage your lawn. These sap-sucking insects feed on grass blades and secrete an anticoagulant that causes the turf to stop absorbing water. As a result, the grass will brown and die. Chinch bugs will lay eggs on the lawn. Once the nymphs hatch, they start to feed on the grass blades. When the weather cools down, the adult bugs gather at the base of the grass stems and remain inactive until spring.

From June to September, you will notice the damage from chinch bugs. You might see some irregular patches of grass with a purple tint. In some cases, the damage is often attributed to stress. However, if you examine the grass, you will find these pests infesting your grass.


Like chinch bugs, there are several species of cutworms. Many of these pests have a gray-brown color with stripes. The cutworm adult moths feature a dull gray color with black or brown markings. In the spring, the adult cutworms lay eggs on the grass blades’ tips. These eggs hatch into worms that feed into the night. During the day, the worms are hidden from plain sight. After a month, the worms develop into moths. This cycle will repeat up to six times per year. If you live in an area with mild winters, you can expect more reproduction cycles.

Cutworms create underground burrows, and they feed at the base of the grass. In some cases, these pests will bite off the stems. Upon closer inspection, you might see evidence of sheared-off grass. Cutworms love shorter grass. All this damage leads to dead spots in your lawn.


Armyworms will destroy a lawn. These 2-inch pests often have a pink to gray color. An adult armyworm moth lays small white eggs on the grass blades. Within a week, those eggs hatch. The larvae feed for three weeks until they turn into moths.

These destructive creatures feed on your grass stems and blades. As a result, they skeletonize the leaves. You will see these pests eating grass blades in the late evening, night, and early morning. Once the armyworm has invaded your yard, you might see circular bare spots in your lawn. Severe infections might even make your lawn appear to move by itself.

Effective Pest Control

If you have a severe case of pests in your lawn, commercial lawn care services can help you. These pests will need to be removed with the right insecticides. There are so many choices on the market, and you want to find the right one for your lawn. You could try to tackle this job by yourself, but professional lawn care can guarantee that these insects are removed. With professional help, you will never see these destructive pests in your yard again.

At Charlestown Landscaping LLC, we can help you find the best solutions for your yard. We will get rid of these pests and bring your yard back to life. You can schedule a consultation by calling (610) 608-3965.

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