Here in the Lubbock area, our lawns are visited by many insects. Three of the most common are grubs, Bermuda mites, and big eyed bugs. We put together this quick tutorial to help you recognize these bugs and learn the best ways to eradicate them…or not.
Grubs – Underground Destroyers
Grubs are common in Lubbock lawns. The trickiest thing about grubs is that they are invisible to us through most of their lifecycle. They hatch, grow, and feed underground…ON YOUR GRASS. Grubs hatch from beetle eggs like June bugs.
The larvae feed on roots in July and August, slowly killing the grass. Unfortunately, you don’t see the damage they’ve caused until late August or early September.
The best time to treat for grubs is at the end of July and the beginning of August because that’s when the grubs are the most vulnerable. That is when the grubs emerge from their eggs and burrow up into the top layer of soil where they eat the roots of the grass.
Here, they are more easily reached by the grub control products. In early fall, they burrow down four to eight inches into the soil away from the cold and out of reach of the treatment.
When they return in the spring, they will be older and hardier. Get your grub treatment down by the end of July or early August to be the most effective.
Bermuda Mites – Too Tiny to See
The Bermudagrass mite is so small it can barely be seen even with a 10X magnifying glass. Adult and immature mites suck juices and inject toxic saliva that shortens internodes and swells leaf sheaths, forming a witches’-broom growth pattern.
Damage first appears in spring and is followed by dieback and browning in summer. If you suspect Bermuda mites, confirm their presence by examining leaf sheaths of stunted plants with a magnifying glass.
If you see small, white bugs or eggs, you’ll want to treat the lawn. First, mow the turf closely and remove clippings.
This serves two purposes – it physically removes most of the mite population, and it may also displace remaining mites so that they are more readily contacted by the miticide. After mowing, water the lawn and spray miticide while the grass is still wet so it sticks to it.
Related Reads: 8 Tips You Need to Know Before You Mow
Big Eyed Bugs – Not So Bad
Big eyed bugs are small, oval, stout bodied insects that have relatively thick antennae. They are only 3/16 inch or less long. Their head is broad with large, widely separated bulging eyes providing them with a wide field of vision.
The good news about big eyed bugs is that they are actually beneficial because they eat other bugs. They consume a wide variety of small prey including insect eggs, mites, aphids, and small caterpillars. Big Eyed Bugs are proof that not all bugs are bad!
If you think you have destructive bugs harming your Lubbock lawn, give the lawn experts at Ashton Walden Turf Services a call at (806) 632-3571 or contact us online.