As long as you don’t have a bug infestation inside your home, you likely don’t give too much thought to the countless creepy, crawly creatures wandering around outside. But here in Indiana, there are a number of lawn pests that can damage your beautiful yard and set back any progress you’ve made at keeping nature at bay.
Thankfully, with a little information, these pests can be identified and eliminated from your lawn.
Of all the bug problems you could have in your lawn, grubs may be the most damaging. These curled, white, worm-looking insects are really larvae of various beetles. They are not visible as you scan the yard, because they are nestled underground feasting on the roots of the grass you’ve worked so hard on. During the winter, they take a break from eating your lawn for a while, then in the spring, they’ll get right back to it.
If you want to know if there are grubs, one way to tell is by gently tugging on clumps of grass in a few areas of the lawn. If its roots have been eaten away by grubs, it will begin to pull from the ground without much effort. Also, brown spots in the lawn may mean, without a deep root system, grass in that area was unable to get enough water and is dying.
People tend to like caterpillars because they look relatively harmless, and because we associate them with the butterflies and moths they will later become. But like grubs, these are larvae (insects in their infant stages) that can be very harmful to a lawn. Several types, known as cutworms, armyworms and sod webworms will eat vegetation as they slowly advance to adulthood.
You can identify them by finding their burrows and seeing where they have eaten the vegetation directly around it.
An ant infestation is more difficult to ignore, because they arrive in large numbers. Their colonies, depending on the species, will cause major damage to your yard, bringing ugly dirt mounds. In Indiana, the most common ant is the carpenter ant, a big black ant that lives in dead wood but eats grass and other vegetation — which can be a problem for a lawn.
We also have a species of ant, formica indianensis, that is native to the Hoosier state and is found nowhere else, except a couple who’ve wandered into Ohio. There are also other common ants, like the red pavement ant, any of which can cause trouble in large enough numbers.
Another killer for lawns is this black and white common pest. They destroy yards across the country by sucking fluid from the grass, like a plant vampire. If that’s not bad enough, after sucking out the fluid, they insert their own saliva which is poisonous to the plants, causing them to turn brown and die. In Indiana, only the hairy chinch bug is known to attack turf grass, but they can be a big problem if present.
Need help identifying and eliminating lawn pests? Call Anthony’s!
For Bloomington, Indianapolis and the surrounding towns of Clear Creek, Dolan, Ellettsville, Elwren, Handy, Kirby, New Unionville, Unionville and Whitehall, Anthony’s Lawn Care and Landscaping is the trusted name for help with all manner of lawn care issues. Freeing your lawn of pests is no exception. Call us at (812) 345-5694 and we can clear out the grubs, caterpillars, ants, chinch bugs or whatever else is bugging your lawn.