Today I’m answering one of the top lawn maintenance questions. Specifically, is my lawn just dry, or do I have bugs? This is a good question, and can be a tricky one to answer. It’s tricky because there are several types of bugs that can infest your lawn and make it appear dry and even dead. Here is everything you need to know about detecting and treating lawn bugs before they kill your lawn.
Lawn Maintenance: Detecting Lawn Bugs
So how do you know if you have lawn bugs? One telltale sign is seeing brown patches amid an otherwise healthy lawn, particularly when you know water is reaching those spots just as well as the rest. Take a closer look at the blades of grass, and if you find bite marks, wilting blades, and even insects burrowing into the grass–you’ve got bugs. Dig a little deeper, and if you see thinning roots and holes in the topsoil, you’ve got an underground infestation.
Part of detection is figuring out what sort of infestation you’re dealing with. One of the common lawn pests is a Chinch bug, seen above. Chinch bugs feed on your grass, first giving the grass a purplish tint which then turns yellow, then brown, and dies. The initial wilting and yellowing of the grass appears to be a lack of water, but a closer look reveals the true source of the trouble.
One other common lawn pest infestation is grubs. Grubs are the larvae of a variety of beetles that include the Japanese beetle. These pests feed on your grass just below the soil surface, destroying the roots and leaving holes. During the spring and summer, a grub infestation is easy to spot. Just pull on the damaged grass–it will lift easily away from the soil to reveal the grubs underneath.
Lawn Maintenance: Treating Lawn Bugs
If you discover that your dry grass is actually a pest infestation, how do you get rid of them? This is pretty easy to do, it just takes a little time.
- First, identify the type of bug you have.
- Visit your local garden nursery, and a resident master gardener can help you locate the right insecticide for the job.
- Apply the insecticide to your lawn–it’s wise to treat the entire lawn, not just the brown spots!
There are insecticides available that will kill the lawn bugs without harming the grass or the other plants in your garden. Try Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer for Soil and Turf from Amazon. It won’t harm honeybees!