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Banish the Most Common Lawn Pests Fast

Two pests, more than any others, wreak havoc on thick, green lawns:

Chinch bugs and grubs.

robin-grub-lawn1

Want to know if your brown spots are due to chinch bugs?

  1. Does the damage generally begin in late June/July?
  2. Does the damage appear as irregular shapes of frail grass before turning brown?
  3. Does the damage start in more sun exposed or stressed areas?
  4. Is there a thick layer of thatch (more than half an inch)?
  5. Do the patches appear to expand every day?
  6. Does the dead grass pull up easily?

If you answered yes to the majority of the questions above, you probably have chinch bugs. If not, some other evil is at work.

Chinch bugs are small and they spend the winter hunkered down in mulched beds and thick undergrowth. They migrate into the lawn in late June, nibbling on grass stems and feeding on a minute release of sap until the grass dies.

Often the damage will appear as irregularly shaped dead patches of grass extending out from a flowerbed or hedgerow.

How we get rid of the troublemakers

Some populations of chinch bugs can resist lawn treatments others can’t. So we employ a handful of options to make sure your chinch bug problem is resolved quickly.

  • Targeted overwatering
  • Soap traps
  • Vacuuming
  • Removal of damaged turf and soil

Keeping the bugs away is important too. So we pay extra attention to watering and could mow higher to reduce water stress further. We may fertilize less too, depending on the extent of the chinch bug problem.

Then there are grubs

Lawn grubs are the larval stage of many different insects. The most common are European Chafer, June Beetles and Japanese Beetles.

  • European Chafers do the most damage months after they first arrive in the lawn. They migrate from deep underground to the surface when the frost leaves in spring, consuming the shallow roots and crowns and the turf.
  • June Beetles lay eggs in early June and lay eggs that feed on plant roots and decaying organic matter for the rest of the summer. They hibernate through the winter and resume eating in the following spring. They eat your turf for 2 years of their 3 year lifecycle.
  • Japanese Beetles emerge in early July, and feed on everything from foliage to flowers and fruit for more than a month.

An easy sign you have a grub infestation is an abnormal presence of animals – skunks, raccoons, birds – digging around in the yard. These critters are looking for a delicious meal, and they don’t know how rude tearing up your lawn is.

The Gardener’s trained lawn care specialists have tools available for effective control of both insects as well as options for repairing any damage that may have already occurred.

Ultimately, regular lawn maintenance and inspection will help to ensure lawn pests don’t get the best of your yard!

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