Lawn Care 101: Insect & Pest Information
Florida is the insect capital of the United States. Pest control is imperative in keeping a Florida Lawn healthy and beautiful. At Spectrum Lawn & Landscape we know pest problems can happen suddenly and unexpected. That is why we provide preventive care for pests. This reduces the chances of having pest problems on your property.
Some of the most common harmful insect for a Florida lawn is the chinch bug. Chinch bugs are very small destructive insects. These pests only measure 1/6th-1/8th of an inch long, have black bodies, and feed primarily on St. Augustine grasses. The nymph and adult chinch bugs cause damage to the lawn by feeding on the root base of the lawn and the most common damage areas begin near driveways or the sidewalk. Chinch bugs can reproduce every 14 days.
There are 3 species of mole crickets, the tawny, the short-winged, and the southern. They primarily feed on Bahia grass but can also be found in other turf varieties. Adults are about 1-1/2 inches long, light brown, and have forelegs well adapted for tunneling through the soil. They usually damage seedlings, feeding above ground on foliage or stem tissue, and also below ground on roots and tubers.
These caterpillars mostly feed on Bermuda grass, but can be found in other types of turf. The mature larvae are 1-1/2 inches long and are greenish with dark stripes. Unlike webworms, fall armyworms feed during the day and are problematic earlier in the season. The life cycle and damage symptoms of the Army Worms are very similar to that of Sod Webworms.
White grubs are immature scarab beetles. They lay their eggs in the soil and feed on the root of the grass. They are most commonly found in the soil. When the grubs feed on the root of the grass, the grass will gradually thin and turn yellow then die. The ground might feel spongy when walked on.
This is the most common caterpillar attacking turf grass and can be found in all varieties of grass, especially Bermuda. The larvae are greenish with numerous black spots and grow up to 3/4 inch long when mature. Grass damaged by Webworms has notches chewed along the sides of the blades of grass and is eaten back unevenly. They only feed at night and rest in a curled position on the soil surface during the day.
Cut Worms are considered a grass caterpillar and their traits and damage symptoms are very much like Sod Webworms and Army Worms.