It is no secret that landscaping is all about the improvement of appearances. Your landscape is the front door to your property and is the basis for how your outdoor space will be judged. Thus as the centerpiece of your landscape, your lawn is actually the first impression that anyone will have of your property. If your turf is browned and decayed, your property may not be looked favorably upon by visitors. This means that proper lawn maintenance is vital, as to create a healthy soil and turf combination that can fight off any potential problems, like drought or pests. It is the latter we will be discussing today, as pests are just one of many threats your lawn faces. In order to keep pests away from your property, you must be aware of the common lawn pests in Louisville, and how to fight them.
While the name itself might be misleading, this common lawn pest is one of the most prominent across the country and is actually the larvae form of the Japanese and June beetles. With six legs and a white, c-shaped body, they are easily distinguishable from other critters. They burrow underneath your turf, after being laid as eggs underneath the soil. What makes them so dangerous is the fact that they feed on organic matter, which includes the roots of your turf. This robs your turf of valuable nutrients and leads to brown patches and spongy turf. Damage is easily mistaken for drought stress, and turf can often be pulled up like a carpet. They typically prey on lawns that are poorly maintained, overfertilized, or overwatered. An excess of moisture and nitrogen will attract grubs, but there are a couple of ways to prevent them. Cutting your turf higher will help, as well as switching to more organic fertilizer options. If an infestation is really bad, you are going to want to take a look at our insect control product selection, and consult a Nature’s team member on your specific situation.
Just like their name would suggest, these crickets cause damage to your turf by tunneling around a couple of inches beneath your soil. As they dig they uproot both the blade and roots of your turf and pieces of your lawn are likely to dry out and die. The first signs of an infestation will be small mounds around your lawn or that same spongy feel caused by grubs. Once again damage can look eerily similar to drought, which is why it is always important to verify the cause of a brown patch. If you want to be sure about a pest infestation versus drought, dump a bucket of soapy water onto the affected area, and any grubs or mole crickets will rise to the surface. The earlier you catch mole crickets the better, and an insect control treatment will likely be needed to eradicate these tough lawn pests.
While the aforementioned lawn pests feed underneath your soil, chinch bugs damage your turf by feeding on the actual blades of grass. They love dry and warm conditions so you may observe them during the summertime. On top of feeding on your turf grass, chinch bug saliva is actually toxic and further harms the plant. This creates irregular brown patches, with the identifying damage being observably chewed blades of grass when you take a closer look. Effective irrigation is a great chinch bug defense, but an infestation will require the application of pest treatment.