How many of you can relate to this scenario? You spend all summer working and toiling in your yard only to look outside one day and see lawn damage. It’s enough to make your stomach turn. Not knowing what is causing the problem could have you pulling your hair out for answers. Usually, the problem is lawn pests and there are a lot of them to contend with here in Pennsylvania.
Japanese beetles are an invasive species that emerge in the summer to feed on your trees and shrubs. These insects may seem small but, in large numbers, they can cause a lot of damage to young and vulnerable trees. You battle these pests with a homemade concoction of hot sauce, garlic, water, and dish soap and spray it on the leaves of the plants you want to protect.
Sod webworms live thatch just above the soil and feed on your grass. They only feed at night and you may see the first signs of damage appear the next morning. Damage first appears as small brown circles in the grass. As they continue to feed these areas become larger and may join other large dead patches of grass. Left unchecked, webworms can cause a great deal of damage. A solution of water and dish soap applied to the affected area will bring them to the surface where you can then rake them up.
Chinch bugs are a common lawn pest here in Pennsylvania. Affected areas may exhibit signs of drought but if you water the area and it does not green up then you know you have a chinch bug problem. These bugs feed on your grass by sucking the water out of the blades then moving on to the next. Damaged grass will appear as a small brown patch and grow larger as the insects move outwards and even merging with other brown patches. Damage becomes visible from early July through late August.
If you’ve never seen a mole cricket then you’ll probably think this insect was part of an alien invasion. These skin-crawling insects are 1 ¼ inch long and have large mole-like digging claws and large bulbous heads. Mole crickets live under the thatch in your grass feeding on the grass at the surface and tunneling under them, disturbing the root systems.
You can control them by keeping your grass cut short to make your yard more appealing to them or you could aerate your lawn to disrupt their living areas by removing thatch.
Grubs are some of the most destructive lawn pests in Pennsylvania. Grubs are the larvae of June bugs and Japanese beetles that feed on the roots of your grass until they emerge as adults in the summer. After adults lay eggs in the late summer they hatch and overwinter beneath the soil until the warmth of spring brings them back to the surface where they continue to cause damage.
As successive generations are born it can cause compounding damage to your lawn and can even decimate your entire landscape, turning it into a barren wasteland.
Moles and grubs go hand in hand but they get their own section here because of the amount of damage and money they cost homeowners. These critters don’t feed on your grass, but instead, are attracted to grubs and other insects under the soil. If you have a grub problem then it’s only a matter of time before moles start showing up. They cause damage to lawns when they breach and dump out large amounts of dirt onto your grass. These patches are hard to repair and can take months to fully recover. Grub control is the best answer to a mole problem.
After working so hard on your lawn it’s hard to watch it be destroyed by lawn pests. Let the professional lawn care specialists at Delaware Valley Turf take care of it for you. We offer comprehensive grub and pest control solutions so you can keep your yard protected and looking its best.