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How to Identify Lawn Pests

How to Identify Lawn Pests | Southern Botanical | Dallas Landscaping Services Company

Even if it carves out a huge chunk of our time, having a lush, green lawn is one goal every homeowner strives for. When it’s healthy, thick, and vivid green, your lawn is one of the most attractive parts of your home. However, when your turf becomes sickly and brown due to pest invasion, it loses its appeal.

A well-tended, healthy lawn is a beautiful thing, but it can also experience an assortment of issues. First, understand that very few of the insects you see in your lawn are damaging. Be careful not to go crazy and spray all kinds of harmful chemicals to take care of the problem. Insecticides labelled as ‘broad-spectrum’ can kill all types of insects, both good and bad.

Your best approach in managing lawn pests requires a basic understanding of the pest itself. Learn how to identify lawn pests that threaten the health and beauty of your turf.

1. Grubs

Grubs are one of the most damaging lawn pests. These c-shaped, plump larvae feast on your lawn’s roots, creating patches of brown, dying lawn. The majority of grubs have a 1-year life cycle. They lay their eggs during summer and feed upon grass roots during late fall. During the colder months, the grubs go into the soil, but in springtime, they return to feed on the grass roots once more.

Treatments for grubs include granular pest control, milky spore, and nematodes.

2. Cinch bug

Cinch bugs are the primary surface lawn feeders. They are most visible from June to September. It is black, about the size of a pencil tip, and has a hourglass shape on its back. It typically can be seen scurrying about during the summer. This lawn pest damages grass by taking its sap, secreting saliva that causes grass to stop absorbing water. The grass eventually withers and dies. Cinch bugs can cause widespread damage if left untreated.   

3. Sod webworms

If you see small, wheat-colored moths flying in a zig-zag pattern around your lawn mower, those are sod webworms. It matures to about one inch in length and becomes green or brown in color, oftentimes with dark spotting. This type of lawn pest not only eats the grass blades, but the entire stems, causing ugly brown patches. The damage they cause is extensive and swift.

Lawn pest damage typically goes unnoticed until there is major damage. Certainly, there are ways to manage these lawn pests, and preventative measures can be taken once the problems are detected. Taking proper precautions can reduce the need for applied pesticides. To learn more about how to best identify lawn pests, control, and stop them in their tracks, get in touch with us at Southern Botanical, your Dallas landscaping services company.


“The Top 5 Turf Insects,” Turf Magazine,

“20 Lawn Pests and How to Fight Them,” SaferBrand,  

“How to Identify and Get Rid of Common Lawn Pests,” DIY Network,