Lawn pests are an avid gardener’s worst nightmare. Whether they crawl, fly, burrow or hop, they can often cause a lot of damage in an alarmingly short amount of time. The challenge for every genuine lawn-lover is to correctly identify and treat lawn pests before they make destroy all your hard work.
It’s generally not hard to recognise the handiwork of lawn pests. It’s not always quite so easy to pinpoint the critter behind the damage. However, unless you can correctly identify what’s causing the trouble, it’s difficult to carry out an effective treatment plan, so to get you onto the right track, we’ve compiled this list of common lawn pests and their trademarks:
Are you noticing yellowish-brown, dead patches appearing in your lawn? Are patches of grass able to be lifted and pulled away easily? Have you noticed small, greyish-coloured moths flying low over your lawn in the evening? Your trouble is likely coming from underground: lawn grubs. This general term is used to cover the larvae of a range of different beetles, all of which love to feed on the roots of your healthy turf, below the surface. A broad-spectrum insecticide will deal with these nasty little critters; however, it may take several applications to break the life-cycle and clear up the problem completely.
Not all grubs feed below the surface. Some, such as armyworm, webworm, and cutworm, feed on the blades of grass and destroy it from above. These caterpillars generally feed at night, so take a walk after dark with your torch and you may well be able to spot them. Again, there are products available from most hardware stores to treat this issue, although you may experience several bouts of trouble in a single season. Spray for lawn feeding grubs at sunset so that they receive a good dose when emerge to feed after dark.
Although you mightn’t class your adorable pooch as a pest, it could be doing serious damage to your lawn. Large dogs urinating on the lawn can cause burning, which kills the grass and leaves dead patches. Bored pets tend to dig or scratch up the lawn and they can ruin a beautiful turf in a very quickly. To prevent these issues, train your dog to do its business in an area away from the grass, and ensure that he/she has occupation during the day and receives plenty of exercise.
Wild birds are a beautiful addition to the garden; however, they can do a lot of damage to your beautiful lawn. Birds could be digging up your grass to get at lawn grubs, so a dose of insecticide may well ‘kill two birds with one stone’ so to speak!