In Texas, we have many things we are thankful for; warm weather, short winters, and the most beautiful lawns in the country. As we move into spring, we are also reminded that Texas is blessed with pests as well. Not just annoying biting ones but pests that can wreak havoc on our lawns and landscapes. To help you better identify pests before they become a problem, we put together a list of some of the most notorious turf damaging pests in Texas.
We occasionally find a grub here or there in our gardens and flower beds. This is normal. However, if you find multiple grubs in a small area, then you might have a problem. Grubs are the larvae of June bugs and Japanese beetles that feed on the young roots of your grass. Over several seasons, grubs can destroy vast areas of grass that can take years to repair. Grubs take the prize for causing the most lawn damage in America. If you have a grub problem, call a lawn care specialist immediately and remedy the situation before it’s too late.
Mole crickets are large, subterranean insects that can be recognized by their gray-brown, velvety bodies and spade-like front legs that are used for digging. Adult mole crickets are about 1 inch and ¼ in length if you include their wings. Mole crickets are attracted to lawns that have too much thatch caused by grass clippings on the soil surface. Improper mowing and too much water can lead to this condition. Mole crickets feed by tunneling under the surface and hunt for larvae, small worms, and even roots of your grass.
Armyworms get their name for the way they march across your yard like an invading army. As they march, they consume everything green. They feed mostly on oats, rye, corn, wheat, and barley, but they can also feast on garden vegetables like corn, cabbage, and beans. Armyworms cause most of their damage in the fall as they march from host plant to host plant in search of food.
Have you noticed small patches of grass not greening up or turning brown? Does watering the area have little or no effect? There might be a bigger problem. Chinch bugs are tiny insects that suck the nutrients out of grass blades. Their feeding disrupts the grass’s ability to draw up water, which gives it its drought-like appearance. Chinch bugs feed from the inside out, creating larger and larger rings of dead grass. If you have problems with chinch bugs, call your local lawn care service.
Another unique species lucky enough to call Texas home is the fire ant. Fire ants came to the United States in the 1930s from South American fruit imports. They settled here, and with no natural enemies, they flourished. Fire ants are a nuisance to homeowners because their large mounds, caused by the excavation of tunnels, can bury grass and make it hard to mow. They can also pose a threat to children and animals playing in your yard. In single queen colonies, there can be anywhere from 500,000 ants to over a million in just one acre of land. If you have any problem with these pests, call a fire ant specialist today.
At LawnLab we have years of experience dealing with Texas lawns and the pests that damage them. Our lawn care program is not only designed to give you a healthy, weed-free lawn, but it also treats for surface insects that can damage your grass.
Secure your lawn care program today by calling us at (972) 287-7400. You could also easily request a free quote here. Check out our blog for monthly tips on lawn care, tree care, and pest control and make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest LawnLab deals and news.