We all want our lawns to look beautiful but lawn pests chew grass blades and munch grass roots as well as cause green tops to die and dead yellow patches to appear. Rentokil outlines how to deal with these damaging lawn pests

White Grub Identification & Control

White grubs are most destructive in turf grasses and can cause extensive and severe damage. They are stout, dirty white-colored, soft-bodied and robust lawn pests that have a brown head. If you lift up turf that has been affected you will find them lying on their sides in a C-shape. Their size will depend on the stage of growth they are in, with the adult grub ranging in size from 3/8 to 2 inches in size. They cause lawn damage when they chew off the grassroots that are just under the surface of the soil. When the roots get damaged, it prevents the turf from absorbing the water nutrients it needs and makes it harder for the turf grass to deal with the stress of hot temperatures and dry weather. The lawn will have scattered, irregular patches of dead turf that are yellowing and the sod will start to wilt. White grubs also prevent the sod from being anchored well and it will pull easily like lifting a carpet. The affected turf will feel spongy when you walk over it and you might also have birds and wildlife present because the turf provides them with grubs.

Cranberry Girdler Lawn Damage

Cranberry girdlers, also called subterranean sod webworm will kill grass with heavy larval infestations. They overwinter as larvae and become a problem in the spring and later in the season. They look like slender white caterpillars with tan heads. They do not have brown spots like other sod webworms and mature larvae are 5/8 to ¾ inches long. They get their name because they feed on cranberry runners at or below the soil surface and will remove the bark and the conductive layer. They love eating grass too! The males and females are active at night and the adults have wings with the front wings being buff-colored with cream stripes and have three black spots near each wingtip. They will kill turfgrass by pruning the roots or destroying the crown. This will make the lawn unstable. The damage looks a lot like the damage caused by white grubs. To limit the chances of getting cranberry girdler damage, make sure the grass is irrigated correctly and fertilized.

Sod Webworm Damage & Treatment

Regular sod webworms are the larvae of lawn moths. The first indication of damage caused by regular sod webworms will be found in the spring. They will chew and remove the tender top growth of grass and leaves behind thin patches of shorter grass that will lead to larger areas of brown sod. If you notice tiny moths flying above your grass at dusk, they might be sod webworms. You may see small white tubes made of silky web and even the worms themselves that are about ¼-3/4 inches long.

Lawn Pest Control

Lawn pest control is most effective if you deal with these pests at the larval stage because as they grow the damage will get worse because the grass is already distressed. These pests can kill an entire lawn in a matter of days so feed your grass regularly to give it the nutrients it needs. This will help it protect itself from damage and make sure to keep your lawn watered. Try to identify problems early and call Rentokil to treat any issues you might be having with these and other lawn pests.

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