Insect damage to a lawn is one of those things that can make you think it's all over from there. Well it doesn't have to be. There are several types of insects that can infest a lawn create an extensive amount of damage. Fortunately there are some precautionary measures you can take to help avoid the damage all together. If preventing insects wasn't possible, there is still some hope. Most insect damage starts in small spots on the lawn and begin to grow bigger and bigger. If you monitor your lawn on a regular basis then you should be able to notice any irregularities in the lawn and be able to detect any problems early.

The same applies for any lawn disease as well. I remind my customers that i am only on their property once a month. There is a lot of damage that can appear in a months time if the lawn isn't monitored. It is very important that they work with me to monitor the lawn while I am not there. I ask that they walk the lawn every three days or so to see of they notice anything that looks abnormal. If they notice anything they can call me and I will come out to evaluate and take care of whatever needs to be taken care of.

When working as a team with the homeowner, I am able to satisfy my customers a lot more than I am with the customers that simply ignore any problems or irregularities until i return on the next visit. So if you have a company that is working on your lawn, please work with them as a team so that they can provide a much better service to you.

For those of you that do not have a lawn service treating your property, I will do my best to help you determine what type of insects you have so that you can prevent any further damage to your lawn.

There are two main classifications of insects that we will focus on.

Surface Feeding Insects: Surface feeding insects generally stay above the soils and feed on the plant itself. You can usually find surface feeding insects crawling on top of the soil by moving the grass blades aside and sitting completely still for about one minute. ( Most detectable where the damaged turf and the healthy turf come together).

Subsurface Feeding Insects: Subsurface feeding insects are found underneath the soil. some can be found less than an inch under the soil and some can be found as deep as three to four inches down. Subsurface insects feed on the root system of the plant causing damage. To locate these insects, digging a small small spot in the areas may be required.

It is important to determine which type of insect that is present before trying any control method. If you are looking to control or prevent the insect using as few pesticides as possible then you will need to learn about the life cycle and the habits of the particular insect. If you are planning on using a pesticide as the only method of control then it is important to know what type of insect so that you know what type of control.

Most subsurface insects are controlled with a different product than Surface Insect controls.

The most important thing to remember when maintaining a healthy lawn is if something doesn't look right, it probably isn't right and should at least be investigated immediately. Not every situation may need to have something done but if it isn't addressed it can easily become a serious problem.

Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect lawn with absolutely not disease, no weeds, no insects etc. There is always something that may not be perfect but the question is, is it tolerable or going to become intolerable.


Insect Photos and Descriptions


Another helpful tip from

The Lawn Care Dr.