Insect Control

Lawn Insect Control

At any given time, insects of almost every description can be found as part of the typical turfgrass environment. Those that feed on turf rarely reach populations great enough to cause serious injury. Many insects are actually beneficial to turfgrass, helping in the decomposition of organic matter and serving as a vital part of the food chain.


Grub worms are the larval stage of several species of beetles. They can cause damage by eating the root system of turf at certain times of the season. Adult beetles will lay their eggs in turf areas in early summer. Once the eggs hatch, they develop into small larvae, usually about August through October. It is at this time that control is most effective with application of special grub-killing insecticides. Over the winter, the grubs move deeper into the soil, before moving closer to the surface to feed on roots again as spring approaches. After they continue feeding and pupate, the adult emerges sometime in early summer to start the cycle again.

Grubs are found in most soils, and are usually no cause for alarm. They are an important part of soil ecology, as long as their numbers do not get out of hand. If more than 5-10 grubs are found per square foot in turf, then treatment is advised. At this level, grubs can eat away much of the root system of grass, leaving dead areas in spring or fall.

Grub control is much more critical on cool-season turf such as fescue, bluegrass, and ryegrass, compared to warm-season turf.

Fire Ants

The red imported fire ant is an introduced species from South America which is becoming more and more of a pest in the southern states. It is very aggressive, and can inflict a painful sting to humans and pets. Fire ants live in colonies, making conspicuous mounds in home lawns.

LawnAmerica is a licensed Top Choice applicator. Top Choice is a revolutionary granular product which eliminates fire ants for one full year. Top Choice can only be applied by professionals and is much more effective than conventional methods. Early spring and fall are ideal times to apply Top Choice.

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are small (1/6” long) slender bugs which can cause severe damage to lawns, especially St. Augustine lawns in the south. They damage the turf with their piecing/sucking mouthparts, causing irregular patches of yellow, stunted, or dead grass mainly in sunny open areas. Chinch bug damage can be confused with certain lawn diseases or drought. Detection of significant numbers of the insects themselves is the best proof that chinch bugs are causing the damage.

The best defense against chinch bugs with St. Augustine grass is to use a resistant variety, such as Floratine. Proper cultural practices, with good watering, mowing, thatch control, and annual aeration play a big part in controlling damage. Application of granular or liquid insectides are sometimes needed with high populations. LawnAmerica can provide these on an as-needed basis. You’ll need to inform us promptly when you suspect Chinch Bug damage.

Army Worms

The fall armyworm can sometimes be a devastating pest on turf grasses, as we experienced during the late summer of 2006. Armyworms are the caterpillars of a moth, which migrate every summer up from Texas. The full-grown larvae are greenish to brown, about 1.5 inches long at maturity. They can come into an area almost overnight in great numbers, devastating turf by eating down grass blades to the ground.

Early detection is critical to prevent serious armyworm damage. Nobody can predict when armyworms will come into an area, in what numbers, or if they will even be a problem during certain years. Because of the inconsistency and speed of their invasion, early detection is very difficult.

The good news is that armyworms are fairly easy to control with application of insecticide. If bermudagrass turf is damaged by armyworms, it will recover with good cultural practices.

Fleas & Ticks

Most of the insecticide treatments we do at LawnAmerica are actually for flea & tick control. Fleas and ticks can multiply rapidly and can infest pets, people, and even the inside of your home. For best control, we recommend consistent treatments of insecticide in the lawn, while treating your pets and even inside the home if needed. Treatment programs are essential where ticks become a problem in the home landscape because ticks can carry Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

We can help keep fleas and ticks away from your family with consistent treatments of insecticides in your lawn and landscape.