Just like in any other garden, grubs can be a big problem for lawns. There are a variety of insects that can take over your lawn if you’re not careful. Some of these can be harmful to your plants, flowers, and grass, while others may just be a nuisance.
Thankfully, there are ways to get rid of most of these lawn grubs without too much trouble. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common lawn grubs and how to get rid of them. Keep reading to learn more!
What Are the Most Common Lawn Grubs and Insects?
There are a lot of insects and grubs that can make your lawn their home, such as Billbugs and Weevils, Grasshoppers, Sod Webworms, Earwigs, Stink Bugs, Grubs and Larvae, Cutworms, Lawn Mites, Lawn Gnats, Ants, Beetles, and many others.
These bugs can be very harmful to your lawn, and can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time. However, even if they’re not dangerous, they can still be a nuisance to you and your family and pets, and many people simply want them gone as soon as possible.
Below we have a list of many of the possible grubs and insects you might come into contact with in your backyard or garden, as well as how to identify them and how to get rid of them.
Weevils and Billbugs
A Weevil the name given to a number of small beetles that feed on grass roots. Billbugs are simply a subspecies of Weevils, which is why we’ve listed them in the same category.
These beetles and others like them are considered pests and damaging to your lawn because of their ability to kill or damage crops and plants. They often tunnel their way into grains such as corn and cotton, and can do similar to the roots and stems of grass or plants that are planted in your garden, damaging your grass and leaving it vulnerable to other problems.
They also feed on flower beds and other areas outside of the lawn. It takes time for them to cause destruction, but it’s easy to identify when they’re around due to their damage. Even their larvae can cause harm – the adult Billbugs burrow through grass blades and plant stems and deposit their eggs inside, which, when they hatch, then eat their way out.
What Do Weevils and Billbugs Look Like?
Although they can vary slightly in appearance, and there are approximately 97,000 different species of Weevils out there and 11 different species of Billbugs alone, you should be able to recognize these beetles and classify them as Weevils.
Firstly, they have an elongated snout (called a rostrum) for a mouth, like an elephant or an anteater, instead of the normal pincer-like structures that many ants or other beetles have. Weevils also have 6 legs and 2 antennae, and other than their snout look like normal beetles.
These insects are no longer than 6 millimeters usually – they’re very small. The majority of Weevils and Billbugs have wings and the ability to fly.
How Do You Kill Weevils and Billbugs?
The best way to get rid of Weevils and Billbugs is to use an insecticide pesticide, which you can buy at your local garden center. Additionally, keeping a well-fertilized and healthy lawn are also great ways to keep the population of Billbugs and Weevils down. Keep the lawn watered and the grass cut to manageable levels, as well as thick and fertilized.
Grasshoppers are some of the most common lawn destroying insects there are. They can cause damage to your grass by eating it, causing unsightly holes in what was once a smooth and even blanket of green. They love to eat plants, and particularly cereals, vegetables, and pasture, so it’s important to get rid of them quickly.
Their larvae (called nymphs) can also do this, as well as burrowing into the soil where they’ll remain for up to two years.
What Do Grasshoppers Look Like?
Grasshoppers are identified by their long, powerful hind legs and wings – these two structures should be easy to recognize if you see them in your lawn or garden. They usually vary in size from 50 to 110 mm long, and they come in a variety of different colors, such as red and green.
They are most well known for their ability to jump large distances, and can use wings to fly an extra length as well. They also tend to move in swarms, so they are quite easy to spot.
How Do You Kill Grasshoppers?
You should avoid trying to kill them yourself, but instead, call a pest control company. They use special chemicals that can kill grasshoppers without hurting your plants or flowers. There are a number of ways to get rid of grasshoppers, but the most effective way is to use pesticide on your lawn after turning off any automatic sprinklers you might be using. This will ensure that the chemicals go straight into all the areas where the grasshoppers are, and not onto your flowers or other areas.
Other, more natural ways to kill grasshoppers is to take away their natural environmental stimulants. Grasshoppers love sunlight and drought conditions, so providing shade and water in your backyard can help deter them. Also, they are less likely to infest an area that is predominately cloudy or rainy. They may be kept from spreading by removing rough vegetation from fallow ground and field margins, as well as slowing thick growth on roadside verges and ditches.
Sod webworm caterpillars spin webs across blades of grass which causes them to wither and die from lack of sunlight. They also eat plants by chewing holes into leaves or buds at night then hiding during daylight hours.
These pests are the larvae and caterpillar stages of the Grass Moth, and are pests primarily to sod, grasses, maize, sugar cane, and rice, but they can damage other plants and vegetation as well. If you suspect you have sod webworms, especially if your grass shows drought-like conditions, you can dig under the thatch and see if you find small tunnels lined with silk.
What Do Sod Webworms Look Like?
Sod Webworms are only in the larvae stage for six to ten weeks, and during this time they are small and appear as any other larvae would. The larvae of the sod webworm (and caterpillars) are gray to tan with small black spots on the body and brown heads. When fully grown, they reach approximately three-quarters to one inch in length.
How To Eliminate Sod Webworms
If there are only a few sod webworms in your lawn and garden, then good lawn care practices will help it outgrow any damage done by the insects. However, if there are over 15 larvae per square foot, then you will need to use an insecticide to kill sod webworms.
To improve insecticide movement into the turf canopy, the grass should be mowed and the clippings removed first. In order to get the best outcomes, apply the pesticides in late afternoon or early evening when the larvae are active.
Earwigs tend to live in the soil, so they may attack your plants from below. Earwigs are mostly nocturnal and hide in tiny, moist cracks during the day, and they become active at night, consuming a variety of insects and vegetation.
They can do a fair amount of damage to grasses and foliage, as well as flowers and a variety of crops. However, they do often eat other insects, such as aphids, that also damage your lawn and garden, so their negative impact is lesser than other grubs and insects on this list.
What Do Earwigs Look Like?
Earwigs are usually dark brown in color and have small skin wings on their backs. The female earwigs have a pointed stinger on their rear end, and the male earwigs have pincers at their back instead. They have six legs and antennae growing from their head as well.
How to Kill Earwigs
Earwigs can be very difficult to get rid of; you should try using a pesticide or contacting a pest control company for help. Natural homemade insecticides can also be effective, such as mixing dish soap and water or rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle and spraying the places you see them living and crawling.
Officially called the Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, these insects are native to China, Japan, and other Asian regions, but have since been naturalized and have become a massive problem in the United States, and have been introduced in many countries all over the world.
Stink bugs are an agricultural pest that has damaged a variety of crops in the Eastern United States. They feed on a wide range of plant species, including apples, apricots, Asian pears, cherries, corn, grapes, lima beans, peaches and tomatoes. When these plants dry out, they can lose essential fluids, causing seeds to be deformed, destroyed, fruit structures to be destroyed, delayed plant maturation, and increased disease susceptibility. Because they feed on a wide range of plants, they are extremely adaptable.
What Do Stink Bugs Look Like?
Stink bugs are about 1.5 to 2 centimeters long, and almost as wide, creating a spade-like shape. When viewed from above, they are usually a dark brown on the top with a creamy white-brown underside. Some bugs are various hues of red, grey, light brown, copper, or black. The markings of this species, such as alternating light-colored bands on the antennae and alternating dark bands on the thin outer edge of the abdomen, are termed “marmorated” by scientists.
How You Can Get Rid of Stink Bugs
Some insecticides are ineffective against stink bugs since they insert their probosces below the surface of fruit and drain it. Stink bugs can also be mobile, and a new population may fly in after the original one has been destroyed, making complete eradication practically difficult.
It’s difficult to control this insect species because there are no approved pesticides for use against it. Spraying around the perimeter of a yard may be the most efficient technique to keep stinkbugs from spoiling your grasses and plants.
Grubs/Larvae and Cutworms
Grubs are the larvae of beetles that feed on grass roots and can cause brown patches in your lawn. These pests may be hard to spot because they live underground feeding near the root system.
Cutworms will eat through the stems of your young plants and flowers. When you go out to water your garden at night, you might notice that some of the stems have been cut off quite a bit. These grubs can be very hard to get rid of, but they’re most attracted to young plants with small roots and leaves.
What Do Grubs Look Like?
Grubs are small, typically white or cream-colored, round insects that kind of look like small worms or caterpillars. Their diet is actually the roots of grass, which is why they’re such a common pest in lawns. Once they grow into adult beetles they can look very different, according to which species they are.
Cutworms, similarly, are the caterpillar stage of many different types of moths. They appear as regular looking caterpillars, and they can be brown or green with patterned markings on their backs.
How to Eliminate Grubs
The easiest approach to manage grubs is to target them as grub worms while they’re larvae and before they become adults, preventing them from producing eggs.
Bifenthrin, imidacloprid, and carbaryl are effective grub killers if they have already been established in your lawn. GrubEx, Merit, and Sevin are commonly insecticides that contain these active chemicals and kill when they come into touch with grubs.
Prevention, however, is best, as that is the most effective way to fully keep these insects from finding a home in your lawn in the first place. To prevent them from invading your garden, you should lay mulch or peat moss around the base of your plants and flowers.
Lawn Mites and Lawn Gnats
Both lawn mites and lawn gnats are small, nearly microscopic insects, but they can both cause massive problems in your lawn and garden if left unchecked. Lawn mites are more likely to occur in drought, under-watered conditions, particularly dry winters into spring.
Lawn Gnats, on the other hand, are more attracted to over-watered and waterlogged lawns, as well as decaying plant and organic material, so also be careful to not cause moist or puddle areas in your lawn or garden.
What Do Lawn Mites and Lawn Gnats Look Like?
These insects are almost too small to see with the naked eye, so they are hard to tell apart, as well as hard to exactly identify the species and type. Lawn gnats are little mosquito-like creatures that may be seen in huge swarms over grass.
Lawn mites, on the other hand, have either round or flat bodies and eight legs when fully grown. They can be a range of colors, like brown, black, yellow, red, and green. Some are so tiny that they can’t be seen with the naked eye, while others may be easily spotted.
How to Control Lawn Mites and Lawn Gnats
You should keep your lawn well, first of all. For lawn gnats, eliminate damp plants vegetation and sources of still water. Between irrigation sessions, allow the surface of the soil to dry to the touch in landscape areas that have been overwatered. For lawn mites, keep the lawn well watered and fertilized, and it will outcompete and damage that could be done by the mites, and you might not even know they’re there anymore.
To keep these pests away from your house, make sure to not have any long grasses or vegetation close to the foundation of your house.
Ants can fill an entire article themselves on problems that they can cause homeowners and gardeners, as well as how to get rid of them. In fact, we have written multiple articles on the subject!
What Do They Look Like?
Ants are usually found in large colonies, so you will see hundreds of ants at one time moving in tandem. They also produce ant hills all over your lawn, so look out for small mounds of dirt that look like little volcanoes.
How to Kill Ants
There are many ways to get rid of ants in your lawn. Firstly, you can use natural and homemade remedies to remove them. For example, pouring boiling water into an ant hill can be effective, or combining soap, olive oil, or white vinegar with water in a spray bottle and spraying the infected areas.
You can also use borax and other chemicals to eliminate any ant colonies. These are more effective than natural remedies, but could potentially harm your grass or other plants.
Preventing Lawn Grubs and Other Insects
One big thing to prevent lawn grubs and other pestilent insects is to avoid overwatering or over fertilizing your yard so that there is less food for these insects. However, you shouldn’t leave your lawn under-watered either. A full and healthy lawn, one that is fertilized and watered correctly, will be able to fight off many infestations.
Also, keep your grass short. Longer blades of grass may seem easier to maintain, but they also provide more cover for the grubs and other pests lurking in soil underneath your plants.
It’s best if you go out at night with a flashlight when there is no rain to look for any insects or larvae activity in your yard. That way you’ll be able to see any activity or find where the problem may lie.
It can be difficult to decide which pest you are dealing with when it comes to your lawn. But if you know what they look like, how they act and where they live in the soil, this will help narrow down your choices for treatment. One of the best ways to prevent lawn grubs and other insects is by keeping your grass healthy. Be sure to fertilize your lawn and water it regularly, and also keep the weeds away with a good weed killer or chemical-free alternative.
Also, once you’ve taken care of the problem make sure that they stay gone for next season – continue fertilizing, watering and weeding out any future invaders. We hope this blog post has helped you learn about the different types of lawn grubs and insects and how to get rid of them.