There’s no way around it…your lawn has insects…lots of them…and that’s the way that it should be.
This page will cover only the types of insects that can be harmful to you or your lawn, and how to control them. The key word is control. Your lawn is outdoors and part of nature. There’s no way that you are going to get rid of all of your bugs and our attempts to eradicate the little critters may also remove all the beneficial insects that do more good than the insects we’re trying to remove.
Before we go on, let me express my personal opinion on insecticides. Most of them are poison, and most of the major chemical insecticides have been discovered to have some sort of effect on humans. Many that were once thought to be safe are now known to be hazardous and some are banned in the US. If you need to use an insecticide, read the label carefully, follow the instructions, and use as little as possible.
Here are the most common insects that are found in, on, or under your lawn:
|Ants||Ants don’t eat your lawn, but their tunnels and hills might be a problem. Southern lawns might also have Fire Ants, a particularly agressive type that cause painful bites.|
|Earthworms||Earthworms are generally beneficial and don’t harm your lawn. Unfortunately, moles find them very tasty and dig underground tunnels looking for them.|
|Fleas||Fleas don’t harm your lawn, but they may fall of of a passing animal and lay eggs which grow up to look for their own animal hosts.|
Grubs are the larvae of several species of beetles. They are whitish or grayish, have brownish heads and brownish or blackish hind parts, and usually lie in a curled position. They hatch from eggs laid in the ground by the female beetles. Most of them spend about 10 months of the year in the ground; some remain in the soil 2 or 3 years. In mild weather they live 1 to 3 inches below the surface of the lawn; in winter they go deeper into the soil.
They burrow around the roots of the grass and feed on them about an inch below the surface of the soil. Moles, skunks, and birds feed on the grubs, and may tear up the sod in searching for them. You can estimate the grub population
|Japanese Beetles||The Japanese Beetle is about 1/2 inch long and has a shiny metallic-green body; coppery- brown wings and six small patches of white hairs along each side and the back of the body, just under the edges of the wings. They usually appear after the 4th of July and are active for 4 to 6 weeks.
Japanese Beatles dine mostly on broadleaf plants, where they gather the energy needed to lay eggs that become grubs that feed on your lawn.
|Earwigs||Earwigs don’t harm your lawn or people but their looks and crawling habit are intimidating to some.|
|Ticks||Ticks aren’t harmful to your lawn, but may fall of of a passing animal and live there until they can find another animal to bite.|