There are a few different types of insect that become a ‘pest’ when they invade your lawn in large numbers. Some can do significant damage very quickly and therefore need to be treated as soon as you notice signs of their presence. If you’re not such whether the damage inflicted on your lawn is due to bugs, here is a simple test you can perform to see.
Bugs can be a nuisance, but aren't always!
Finding bugs and worms in your lawn isn’t always a sign that there is a problem, in fact it can mean that your lawn is thriving! Learning to identify the ‘problem’ bugs is the best way to ensure rapid and appropriate treatment without further damage to your lawn. Things like ants, spiders and worms, although annoying, are unlikely to damage your lawn.
Prevention is better than cure! When it comes to damaging bugs, there are now preventatives on the market that, when applied at 6 monthly intervals, will give year-long control of bugs. This is a much better option than waiting for the damage to be done, that’s why we recommend adding an Acelepryn-powered product such as Grub Guard Ultimate to your lawn care regime.
Bugs in lawn
Black Beetles or Grubs
The one pest we come across most frequently in South Australia is the black beetle and its earlier, more damaging, larvae stage – more commonly known as ‘grubs’.
Black Lawn Beetles are often blamed for damage to lawns but often this is not the case. As Black Beetles feed, they will continue to move throughout the soil, never staying in a single place too long. Lawn Beetles are active at the same time as your lawn – through the warmer months. When the lawn goes dormant over Winter, so do the beetles and their grubs.
Black Lawn Beetles and their grub offspring feed regularly on the roots of lawns, and if ever found in concentrated very large quantities then this feeding can cause damage to the lawn and at this stage, treatment should be considered.
How to treat Black Beetle or Grubs?
Grub Guard Ultimate and Acelepryn GR provide safe and effective control of a wide range of insects while minimizing environmental impact and non-target organisms like Bees and Earthworms. Acelepryn works by targeting a specific muscle receptor that is common in damaging causing insects. Other non-target organisms like Bees, Earthworms, Birds, Fish, and mammals don’t use the same muscle receptors, making it one of the safest insecticides on the market!
Armyworm, luckily for us South Australians, are more of an issue in QLD and NSW. They are a caterpillar pest that can devastate a lawn within a matter of days.
As their name suggests, during the larval stages they move together in large numbers ‘marching’ their way across foliage exhausting plant material as they go. During the day they can be found grouped together hiding near the stem of the grass near the soil. You may notice your lawn appears completely scalped of green leaf growth with an almost uniform line of damage that is continuing to spread rapidly. Once the lawn is stripped bare the Armyworms then move on to find another source of food. Armyworm unfortunately will have a preference for healthy lawns, these will be the most appealing to them in the street, so stay alert if that lawn is yours!
At maturity, the caterpillar works its way into the soil and pupates before emerging as a moth after approximately 10 to 14 days. These moths are pale brown and identifiable by a distinct white spot in the middle of their wing. The moths then lay eggs that are sometimes visible on house eaves or similar areas around the home.
How to treat Armyworm
Apply a fast knock down liquid insecticide such as Battle Insecticide to the leaf of a recently mown lawn during the afternoon. Repeat applications may be necessary over the coming weeks to ensure the Armyworm is completely eradicated. When the Armyworm become active again in the evening they will eat at the recently treated leaf. Granular grub treatment products can also be used, but for faster efficient treatment a liquid option will provide the best results.
Mole crickets are common but are rarely seen as they tunnel through the soil, eating at the roots of your lawn. As these insects burrow down in the soil, they can be difficult to treat as an insecticide needs be washed down into their burrows to make contact with them.
How to treat Mole Crickets?
We recommend finding an insecticide with the active ingredient Fipronil for the treatment of Mole Crickets in your lawn.
Increased bird activity on your lawn can be a sign you have bugs!
Birds are wonderful guests to our homes and gardens. It’s actually a great sign you have done something right in your garden. While birds foraging on lawn is natural, they can become a pest when they begin digging and making a mess of the lawn.
The presence of birds on the lawn can be a sign there is a bug infestation, as birds will flock in numbers if there is enough bugs for them all to feed on. They can be our friend by removing bugs and weeds, but destructive behaviour begins when bugs are in abundance.
A quick test for bugs!
A great way to test for bugs in your lawn is with the ‘soapy water test’.
Simply mix some water with soap in a bucket and pour over the area you suspect is infested with bugs. Wait a few moments and any bugs in the ground will rise to the surface. This is a great opportunity to snap a quick picture and send it through to us so we can easily identify them for you.
How to get rid of lawn grubs, beetles and pests
To get rid of lawn grubs and other pests, an application of insecticide is necessary. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may need more than one application. There are a few different products on the market, we recommend Acelepryn GR, Grub Guard or Amgrow Patrol.
Ensure you follow the product label and directions during application and that the product is safe to use on your lawn variety