As we prepare our yards for spring, there are a number of threats that we need to be aware of. The most destructive of those threats are lawn pests. Lawn pests cost Texas homeowners millions of dollars in lawn damage each year. That’s why it is so important to stay vigilant and be able to identify problems before they get out of control. We have provided you a list of the most common and destructive lawn pests found in Texas to help you defend your yard this year.
Spider mites are tiny insects that have a yellow body with a black spot on either side of the chest. Spider mite damage appears as yellow or brown patches on the leaves of your grass or other plants. If enough mites are present, the plant’s health can deteriorate and even die. Other signs that point to spider mites is a web-like substance on the plant. That’s because spider mites are arachnids and produce webs to protect their eggs.
Grubs are notorious for destroying lawns here in Texas. These worms are the larvae of June bugs that emerge in the summer to feed on your trees and shrubs. When they get their fill, they lay their eggs under the soil in your yard. In the spring, the eggs hatch and feed on the roots of your grass. Grubs also attract the infamous yard antagonist, the mole. While moles feed on grubs, they tunnel under your lawn, disturbing the roots. When they breach, they pile mounds of dirt onto your grass, suffocating it and making it difficult to mow. Grub problems tend to worsen each year it goes untreated. If you notice a grub problem, it is essential to consider hiring a professional lawn care service like Ashton Waldon.
Armyworms are the larvae of a moth and can be identified by green, yellow, or brown stripes down the length of their bodies. They primarily eat grass blades of bermudagrass but will also munch on vegetables, like beans, cabbage, corn, onion, and peppers. Large armyworm infestations can decimate a lawn in a few days.
Chinch bugs are small insects that are hard to see with the naked eye. First signs of chinch bug damage appear as circles of brown patches in your grass. This is caused by the chinch bugs sucking the water and nutrients from your grass blades. You might be fooled into thinking the lack of water is the issue, but you will find that no amount of water will restore the damage. As they feed, the circles will grow larger, almost overnight, leaving behind large patches of unsightly dead grass.
Fire ants are an aggressive invasive species that has made itself home here in Texas and much of the South. Fire ants don’t just pose a threat to your yard, but they can also harm pets and children who happen to stumble onto their nest.
As their numbers swell and their tunneling can damage the tender roots of your grass. As they excavate, they dump massive amounts of dirt on the surface, which can suffocate your grass and cause problems when mowing.
Fleas are yet another annoying and dangerous pests that are difficult to see. While not a lawn destroying insect, they are still a big problem in Texas. As the weather warms up, fleas will come out of their overwintering spots, and eggs will begin to hatch. They hide in cool shady areas of your yard and lie in wait for an unsuspecting cat or dog to lay down for a rest. Then, when they get the chance, they will jump on your pets and hitch a ride into your house. There, where they can breed and become extremely difficult to get rid of. The best protection is to treat your yard for fleas to prevent an indoor infestation.