We are CLOSED Monday the 4th of October for the Queen's Birthday Public Holiday. Rock 'N' Soil began as Tingalpa Landscaping Supplies (TLS) in 1981. Learn More

We are CLOSED Monday the 4th of October for the Queen's Birthday Public Holiday. Rock 'N' Soil began as Tingalpa Landscaping Supplies (TLS) in 1981. Learn More

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How to identify and get rid of lawn pests

How To

How to identify and get rid of lawn pests

damaged lawn

With springtime comes gorgeous blooms, fruiting trees and a period of stunning greenery for your lawn. The only thing that can ruin this springtime bliss is the addition of some nasty lawn pests determined to ruin your dreams of an emerald green backyard. Lawn pests can make your lawn look patchy, stunt your lawn growth, and create lasting damage that can require careful maintenance to hard work to repair. With this easy guide we can help you identify firstly if you have a lawn pest problem and secondly how to treat it if you do:

bird with a lawn grub in it's mouth

How do I know if I have a lawn pest problem?

One of the tell-tale signs you have a lawn pest problem is that you have a patchy lawn. This means that there are brown, dead, patches all around your lawn while the rest looks green and healthy. This is usually an indication that a lawn pest is chewing at the roots of your lawn, causing your grass to die. Another thing to look out for is an increase in the presence of bird life in your yard. This can indicate that there is a bug infestation, especially if you are attracting a good flock.

lawn grub in soil

How do I know what lawn pests I have?

Now that you know you have a problem, it is time to identify the ‘root’ cause. One of the most common offenders when it comes to lawn damage are lawn grubs. Luckily it is pretty easy to discover if these pests are tearing up your yard. Two common lawn grub identification methods include the soapy water trick and the overnight towel trick. Lawn grubs are attracted to moisture so if you leave a wet towel on the lawn overnight, they will rise to the surface. Simply remove the towel in the morning and see if there are any at the surface. Emptying a bucket of soapy water on your lawn will also produce the same results in a quicker amount of time. Check back in after 10 minutes and there should be some lawn grubs at the surface.

A few other common lawn pests include:

  • Armyworms
  • Japanese Beetle Grubs
  • Sod Webworms
  • Cutworms
  • African Black Beetles
  • Grasshoppers
  • Ants (can be beneficial for aerating soil but can also ruin lawn aesthetic and create mounds

If none of these pests seem to be the problem, these less common lawn pests might be to blame:

  • Wire worms and false wire worms
  • Two-spotted mites
  • Couch grass mites
  • Mole crickets

patchy lawn

How do I get rid of lawn pests?

Most lawn pests fit into a special category relating to the way they attack your lawn; usually pests of the same family will be able to be treated with the same solution. When your lawn is already infected you will need to use an insecticide to get rid of the problem. If you find that your yard goes through a cycle of infestation every year it might be worth it to look at the life cycle of your pest and apply an insecticide at the right time so you are pest free for the summer.

A great all-round turf insecticide solution is Acelepryn GR. It controls African black beetles, Argentine stem weevils, Argentinian Scarabs, Billbugs, lawns grubs, caterpillars and nearly all other lawn pests. Acelepryn GR is a season long solution and only needs a single application. It is great for treating armyworms and cutworms as it has the active ingredient Chlorantraniliprole.

To control ants, you will need to look for something with the active ingredient Fipronil and something that uses long-term residual control. For couch mites, an insecticide that uses Clofentezine and Abamectin works best and for grasshoppers look out for an insecticide with Bifenthrin.

armyworm chewing grass

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If turf had a resume then this would be it! But if you’re still wanting more than we totally understand. That’s what our product info page is for! Perhaps you want to know which turf you should use for your yard? Keep tabs on our how to page for a blog on this topic coming soon. And if there’s anything else, remember you can contact the expert team at Rock n Soil any time!