3 Common Lawn Pests Invading Your NW Houston Lawn
Chinch Bugs: Signs and Symptoms
Chinch bugs are a common nuisance for many types of grass, but St. Augustine grass is known to be especially vulnerable. They are very small lawn insects with black bodies and white wings as adults. At younger stages, they’re identified with wingless red bodies. Chinch bugs feed on the grass blades of your lawn, sucking out vital nutrients while injecting the plant with toxins. It’s safe to say they can do a great deal of damage to your lawn despite their size. Signs you may have chinch bugs in your lawn include irregular patches of yellow-stunted grass that seem to expand. While chinch bug damage looks similar to drought stress, the damaged turf won’t recover with watering which is a surefire sign of these sap-sucking pests. They thrive in hot, dry weather, and begin emerging in late spring and early summer.
What are Armyworms?
Armyworms are named appropriately for the reputation they have marching through Texas lawns. They are small caterpillars that feed on grass blades with a vengeance and are known to enjoy bermudagrass, though not exclusively! These caterpillars can be identified by their brown bodies, yellow stripes, and the infamous inverted ‘Y’ shape on their head. The most common type to invade east-central Texas lawns is the fall armyworm, and they begin to appear in late summer to early fall. Most active at night, they can do a great deal of damage to turfgrass in a short amount of time. Signs you may have armyworms in your lawn include expanding brown patches of turf or seeing an increased presence of birds. In severe cases, it may look like the lawn is moving in a wave-like pattern. The first sign of armyworms should be treated with an insecticide immediately.
The Lifecycle of White Grubs
Grubs, also referred to as white grubs, are the larval stage of the Japanese beetle. The beetles have a full life cycle of about 1 year. The real problem begins when they lay eggs in late summer. Eggs hatch larvae in late summer to early fall to begin their feast! Grubs have thick c-shaped bodies, and they spend most of their time beneath the soil surface to feed on the lawn’s root systems. As they mature, feeding on the grassroots becomes more aggressive causing brown patches to appear in the lawn. Over winter, grubs burrow deep into the soil until they emerge again in the spring. During spring, grubs continue feeding before transitioning into an adult Japanese beetle to start the process again. Grubs can be treated with preventative insecticides or treated with insecticide when actively present.
How to Prevent and Control Lawn Pests Infestations
When it comes to protecting your Texas lawn from damaging lawn insects, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of trouble. But with certain insects working so quickly, a preventative insecticide that is strategically timed is crucial. Preventing damage before it can start is the best way to ensure the health and resiliency of your Texas lawn. For pests that can’t be prevented, an insecticide should be applied as soon as possible. Even then, an infestation could mean bad news for your lawn when dealing with DIY pest control. The best rule of thumb to protect your grass from invasive lawn insects is to keep up with good cultural practices. Healthy mowing, watering, fertilization, aeration, and thatch removal will help build your lawn’s defense and deter unwelcome visitors.
Lawn Pest Control in NW Houston, and Bryan-College Station
If you’re looking for a reliable provider for pest control in NW Houston, Bryan, College Station, and surrounding areas, Aggieland Green is just a call away! Since 2008, we’ve provided homeowners with peace of mind and high-quality lawn care designed for Texas grass types. Our services include perimeter pest control, aeration, mosquito control, and more. As a locally operated lawn care company, we know Texas lawns and just what Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine grass types need to thrive. Leave the lawn problems to the Aggieland pros so you can focus on enjoying your outdoor space. Our pricing is based on lawn size and square feet. Contact us today for a free quote!