Grass cutting on golf course
How-To's & Guides

Top 10 Tips for Getting Rid of Lawn Pests

Maintaining the perfect lawn is an involved process that takes considerable work. The last thing you want is for all your hard work to be undone by a swarm of lawn pests, and unfortunately, lawn pests are a reality of life. So here is a list of the 10 most common lawn pests you're likely to encounter and what you need to do to get rid of them!

1. Ants

In most circumstances, ants can generally provide some benefits to your lawn, such as soil aeration and the addition of organic materials. However, in large numbers, they can get out of hand and damage the look of your lawn. With an overpopulation of ants in your yard, you will see small mounds and tunnels that litter your lawn. This can cause long-term damage to the grass and the soil in which it grows.

There are several dedicated ant control pesticides available at your local garden centre, all of which will be effective. Ant Sand or Ant Granules can be used to form a barrier around your lawn, preventing large colonies of ants from migrating. A quick fix is to simply pour boiling water onto the ant mounds. This is an effective short term method but should always be supplemented by an insecticide which will offer more long-term protection to your lawn.

2. Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers can grow up to 12 cm long and will eat both grass and plant leaves. They can also be extremely noisy, especially in large numbers; during the day, male grasshoppers rub their legs and wings together, making a high-pitched buzzing/droning noise that can get quite loud.

An insecticide that features the active ingredient Bifenthrin will offer long-term control of grasshoppers. It should be deployed as soon as you see any indication of grasshoppers damaging your plants or lawn.

3. Mole Crickets

Similar to grasshoppers but smaller, Mole Crickets are brown in colour and grow up to 5 cm long. They can damage your lawn through extensive burrowing, and like the Grasshopper, they can also be noisy, but you will find that the difference is that Mole Crickets will be more active at night.

You can prevent Mole Crickets by promoting a healthy and thick lawn by regularly deploying a good fertiliser. If you begin to notice signs of crickets, utilising an insecticide that includes the ingredient Abamectin will control these pests long-term.

Hybrid grass, Before and after

4. Armyworms

Armyworms look more like caterpillars or grubs rather than worms and can vary significantly in colour. The parent moth of an Armyworm can lay hundreds of eggs per night, resulting in an overnight infestation that can generally cause devastating damage.

The biggest problem with Armyworms is that they can be challenging to find and identify even in their large numbers. Once you're sure that you know what you are up against, a lawn-specific insecticide that includes Chlorantraniliprole is a good place to start. However, to be sure you are free of them, it is best to talk to your local garden centre as they aren't always an easy pest to be rid of.

5. Cutworms

Like Armyworms, Cutworms more resemble caterpillars. They vary in colour but are generally darker than Armyworms. They can also grow considerably larger, up to 6 cm in length. Cutworms will cause damage to your lawn by effectively cutting off the top of the leaves and storing them in their tunnels or burrows for later consumption. They can be a threat to your yard, as they are non-seasonal breeders, making it hard to get on top of them.

Like Armyworms, a lawn-specific insecticide that includes the ingredient Chlorantraniliprole is your best course of action.

6. White Curl Grubs

Because White Curl Grubs feed on the roots of the grass, they can be especially damaging to your lawn. They are easy to identify due to their white body and orange head. The initial indication that you have a White Curl Grub infestation is patches of dead grass. If you notice odd dead patches, try pouring a bucket of hot, soapy water over it, this can be a simple way of diagnosing the issue. The grubs will emerge within minutes if they are the contributing factor. However, if you don't see any, it could mean that you have another problem. Check out other blogs here for other gardening tips and advice on maintaining your lawn.

As with Armyworms and Cutworms, an insecticide that features Chlorantraniliprole will control White Curl Grubs, offering great long-term protection.

Hybrid grass, Before and after

7. Sod Webworms

Similar to White Curl Grubs in appearance but with a darker, browner body and spots, the Sod Webworm is the larvae of the standard small brown moth. Also, the cause of dead patches of lawn, the Sod Webworms like to feed on grass leaves more than roots.

As with the other worm and grub species, an insecticide that features Chlorantraniliprole will be what you need to get the job done.

8. Couch Mites

It is a tiny mite that targets Couch grass (also known as Bermuda grass) and is so small that it is next to impossible to spot with the naked eye. Couch Mites are quick breeders that are active during the warmer months and like to feed on leaves. You can identify Couch Mites by looking for yellowing of the leaf tips and growth stunting. Getting on top of Couch Mites quickly is important, as they can easily be spread through lawn clippings during mowing or even in strong wind.

It is best to talk to your local garden and lawn expert to determine the best course of action to tackle Couch Mites, but a grass species-specific insecticide that features the active ingredients of Abamectin and Clofentezine is a suitable place to start.

9. African Black Beetles

Sometimes mistaken for a small Christmas Beetle, the African Black Beetle is a small, black scarab-like beetle that will grow up to 1.5cm long. They are common during the warmer months and can get out of control quite quickly, causing considerable damage to your grass.

At the first sign of African Black Beetles, you'll want to deploy a Chlorantraniliprole-based insecticide to control them.

10. Two-Spotted Mites

These tiny creatures are arachnids. They have eight legs and can become most-prevalent during hot and dry periods, as they strongly dislike humidity. The easy way to know if you have any Two-Spotted mites around your yard is if you notice both yellowing/browning of your grass and fine webbing across your lawn.

A Chlorantraniliprole-based insecticide will offer control and long-term protection against Two-Spotted Mites.

The Gear You Need to get the Job Done

In combating lawn pests, a sprayer is going to be an invaluable tool. Husqvarna has a wide range of sprayers that will assist in ridding your lawn of pests, from the large 15L Backpack Sprayer for large lawns down to a small 1.5L Handheld Sprayer. Check out the entire range here to determine what's ideal for your yard.