Lawn care is a year-round duty but unfortunately, the warmer summer months make lawn care even more difficult as pests attempt to feed off your lush, green lawn. There are many products and services, as well as prevention tactics, that can be used to protect your lawn. But before taking those steps to fend off pests, you must first know which pest is the culprit, how to identify that pest, and what product will be needed to combat the problem. So, what insects are the biggest culprits to your Atlanta lawn?
The four most common Atlanta area pests in your region are Army Worms, Japanese Beetles, Mole Crickets and Spittlebugs.
1. Army Worms
Army Worms can sometimes be mistaken for Caterpillars but the damage caused by this insect far outweighs anything a mere caterpillar could ever accomplish. The eggs from these Army Worms will spread across your lawn and feed off it, creating a brown patch that could spread quite quickly; (usually in the late Summer and into early Fall). Besides the brown spots on the lawn, another way of figuring out if you have Army Worms is to pay attention to any increase of birds flocking to your lawn, because they consider the Army Worms a good source of food. The good news is that Army Worms won’t cause any type of permanent damage to your lawn and contacting a lawn care professional will help solve your problem quickly.
What Army Worm damage to your lawn looks like:
2. Japanese Beetles (a.k.a. Grub Worms)
Japanese Beetles first become a problem in the early Summer months when they lay eggs in the grass. When the eggs hatch they actually become the dreaded Grub Worms, which you might notice when doing routine maintenance on your lawn –– they are pretty common. The Grubs will eat the roots of your grass which will continue the damaging process up until when Spring begins and then you have to once again maintain the problem.
What Grub Worm damage to your lawn looks like:
3. Mole Crickets
The tell-tale sign that you have Mole Crickets invading your lawn is when you start noticing holes in your grass that the pest dug to create a tunnel. Mole Crickets do this so that they can eat the stems, roots, and new growth of your lawn; causing the root system to weaken and can possibly even cause permanent damage. The Mole Crickets are dark brown with front antennas and large legs in the front that make it easier for them to dig the holes necessary to make the tunnels.
What Mole Cricket damage to your lawn looks like:
Spittlebugs are small, dark brown-almost black insects that tend to have red stripes on their backs. They could be mistaken as an insect in the Beetle family, so there are some warning signs that you will want to look out for when trying to diagnose any issue with your lawn. While Spittlebugs do mainly attack plants and other types of shrubs, they will also attack weeds in your grass so it is important that you continue to rid your property of weeds in the lawn as well. Look for a white, foamy looking substance on leaves and stems of plants as well as on your weeds. This substance actually protects the Spittlebugs from other insects or animals that might try to attack them. There are insecticides that can cure your lawn and flower beds of the Spittlebugs before they get worse.
What Spittlebug lawn damage looks like:
Have more questions about lawn care? Visit our Atlanta lawn care page for more information.