Know Your Pests: 4 Pests that Enjoy Cincinnati Lawns

white grubs on a ground

Protecting your lawn from pests throughout the entire calendar year is important, but during the warmer summer months it becomes the main task at hand. There are many products and services as well as prevention that can be used to preserve your lawn. But in order to take those steps you must first know what pest is the culprit and what product will be needed to combat the problem. So, what should you be looking for? Chinch bugs, billbugs, sod webworms, grubs and many more are all common pests in Cincinnati.

1. Chinch Bugs

Southern Chinch Bug on green blur background
Photo Credit: Christina Butler / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

There are symptoms that you should look for when it comes to Chinch Bugs. Your grass will tend to look brown even though you may water and tend to your grass frequently. This is a telltale sign of a Chinch Bug invasion. If you look at your lawn closely you might actually be able to see the Chinch Bug so that you have a proper diagnosis. If you have never seen a Chinch Bug before, they are either black and white or in a red/brown tone, depending on the age of the insect.

In the cold winter months of Cincinnati, Ohio, insects like Chinch bugs will actually hibernate in the bushes and then lay their eggs (on average hundreds at one time) when the warmer summer months arrive and that is when the damage occurs. The Chinch Bugs will bite the lawn to get the sap out of the healthy grass and while doing so actually give the grass a disease that will stop the hydration of the grass causing it to succumb to the effects of the Chinch Bug. As the Chinch Bugs travel across the lawn, “dead” spots will actually continue to grow making one think that there might be a lack of proper watering. If you are wondering if your lawn could be a “hot” spot for Chinch Bugs, then there are some things you should know as well. If your lawn is thick and full and gets a significant amount of sunlight then that is the perfect environment for Chinch Bugs to lay their eggs.

2. Billbugs

A close up of a billbug
Photo Credit: Joseph Berger / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Billbugs are another pest that can not only be found in the lawns of the Cincinnati, Ohio areas and around the entire United States in various types of Bluegrass and turf. Like other pesky insects, Billbugs will spend the colder winter months hibernating in any time of brush or even leaf piles. The damage from the Billbug will usually occur when the grass is in a drought and more susceptible to insects. In April and May, they lay their eggs and the Billbug invasion will soon begin. Billbugs will leave a brown colored substance at the top of the grass which will make the grass weak.

If you suspect that your lawn has Billbugs, there is a simple “test” that can be a big warning sign. Take a few blades of the grass and very carefully pull, if the grass has been damaged by the Billbugs it will break very easily and be moist and brown. Unlike Chinch Bugs, Billbugs are very hard to find in the blades of grass, but sometimes can be found on the sidewalk or even the driveway when the weather becomes warmer. Billbugs are less than an inch long and are dark in color ranging from gray to brown and sometimes even black.

3. White Grub

3 white grubs in soil
Photo Credit: Pixabay

In terms of Grub, Cincinnati, Ohio usually sees the White Grub infest lawns more frequently. White Grubs are very each to spot if you see one because they are usually rounded into a “C” and are white in color and are actually larvae from Beetles. The White Grubs will eat the roots of the lawn and cause the grass to turn a shade of yellow in certain areas. White Grubs cause the most damage in the Spring, Summer and Fall and if you don’t treat the area within a significant amount of time the yellow patches will continue to grow and get bigger and eventually die. The lawn is then more susceptible to weeds once the original grass is no longer alive.

Homeowners may also Think that that the lawn isn’t getting enough water and in drought when in reality it’s the damage from the White Grub. Lawns that have been affected by White Grub are also attractive to skunks, raccoons, and even birds all of which will cause their own damage to the lawn. Grubs usually appear in the Spring and Fall months and although can be treated by a lawn care professional, can’t bring the grass back, only stop the invasion of the White Grub.

4. Sod Webworms

Sod webworm
Photo Credit: Christopher Stephens / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

If you are experiencing brown spots that aren’t related to any of the other insects. Sod Webworms are one inch long and white with yellow and brown marks and are considered the larvae of the caterpillar. Sod Webworms actually live and cause the majority of the lawn damage from just above the soil. The Sod Webworms spin a web in the soil and will usually find a spot under leaves and other brush. As with most pests, Sod Webworms breed in lawns that get direct sunlight and most particularly facing the south direction. So, if your lawn is shaded and surrounded by lots of trees, your lawn should be safe from this type of insect, but if you aren’t sure, always get a second opinion from a lawn care professional.

As with anything, prevention is key to keeping your lawn protected from any pest in actuality. Hiring a lawn care service is an integral part of maintaining a healthy and lush lawn.

Have anymore questions about lawn care? Visit our Cincinnati lawn care page for more information.

Main Image Credit: VIKAS KUMAR / Canva Pro / License


Jake Hill

Jake Hill grew up working for his dad's landscaping company, and spent over 6 years covering the lawn care industry for LawnStarter. His expertise has been featured in The Huffington Post,, and more.