Dealing with pests is something all lawn owners will have to experience at some point. Their arrival is often outside our control and can do a lot of damage in a very short space of time. Thankfully there are a number of quick and easy ways to eradicate them.
Having a small number of birds in your garden can be a great sign. It often means that you’re looking after your lawn, providing them with a healthy spot to reside and forage for food. However, if you’re noticing a sudden influx it may be a sign that something is wrong.
Birds will flock in large numbers to areas that are filled with bugs to feed on. They can help us out by hunting insects and removing weeds that could do damage to our lawns. Unfortunately, they can also be destructive when there’s an unusually large number of bugs present. In this situation, birds will dig and tear up the lawn, harming its structure and leaving it patchy. If you’re looking to prevent birds from damaging your lawn, it’s best to first control the bugs they’re hunting.
African Lawn Beetles, or Black Lawn Beetles, are quite common and usually harmless. They are most active when your lawn is in its peak growing cycle and continuously move through the soil as they feed, meaning damage is minimal. They can also assist in naturally aerating the soil as they burrow beneath its surface.
African Lawn Beetles need treating when found in large populations, as they will heavily feed on the roots. In this case, simply water an insecticide through your lawn, and the bugs will be killed quickly.
If you’re noticing brown patches of lawn that spread over time, it might be due to an infestation of Armyworm. These caterpillars are spread via the Spodoptera Mmauritia moth, which lays hundreds of eggs under the turf overnight. The eggs hatch in around 10 days, leading to a large population of Armyworm that spreads through the soil.
Armyworm can cause a lot of damage in a very short space of time, so need to be treated quickly. They can be difficult to detect as they bury beneath the soil during the day, only appearing at night. To check if you have Armyworm, drench the damaged area of your lawn with a garden hose for a few minutes and the bugs will rise to the surface. You can also take a strong torch out at night and investigate.
To kill armyworms, you need a particular pesticide which is applied just before night time. The bugs will ingest it as they feed. The process will usually need to be repeated several times until all the bugs are eliminated.
The Sod Webworm is similar to the Armyworm. The eggs are laid by a moth, and the larvae do a lot of damage in a very short space of time. It’s best to check for Sod Webworm first thing in the morning when there’s still dew on the grass. They leave a silky substance across the grass overnight, which is still visible the next morning. Make note of the location of the silky patches, and check them with a torch at night. Sod Webworm should be easy to spot, being less than two centimetres in length with a white body and different coloured head.
Treating Sod Webworm is also similar to that of the Armyworm. Apply the pesticide just before night time, and repeat.
If you suspect you may have bugs and pests in your lawn, reach out to us at Rivers Edge Turf on (02) 4579 9009. We’ll be able to help you identify them, and give you some advice on how to keep your lawn healthy.