Making your lawn a priority means more than mowing. Lawn maintenance involves aeration, fertilization, and keeping the lawn destroying insects out of your yard. In this article, Summit Turf Services gives tips on how to prevent lawn destroying insects from entering your yard. You will learn about common lawn pests along with tricks to treat the problem. Ensure your lawn stays healthy and beautiful with the following information on lawn destroying insects and more.

Common Lawn Destroying Insects and Pests

Below are common insects and pests that can cause damage to your manicured lawn.


White grubs are one of the most destructive lawn insects in the midwest. Lawn grubs are the larval mold of Japanese and June beetles. They feast on grassroots during the spring, summer, and early fall. White grubs’ life expectancy is usually around one year. 

If your yard has been infested with grubs, you will notice brown patches of dying grass. Crows, moles, and other pests tend to search for grubs to snack on, so pay special attention if your lawn is being invaded with grub-eating visitors. 

Find the best white grub killer treatments, like milky spore and nematodes, at your local garden center.

how to get ride of white grubs

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are small red and black insects with white markings on their back. These lawn destroying insects attack turfgrass by sucking on grass blades. While indulging on your grass blades, the sap-sucking insect exudes the chemical anticoagulant. Anticoagulant cause your lawn to stop absorbing water, leading to your grass wilting and dying. 

Damage is usually seen from June to September. The first sign of chinch bugs is turf taking on a purple tint. Next, the turf will start to wilt and go from yellow to brown. Try not to mistake the signs of chinch bugs for drought, and inspect the area closed for lawn destroying insects.

Prevent chinch bugs with watering and fertilizing your lawn regularly and removing thatch in the late fall. If chinch bugs do invade your lawn there are insecticides that work including chlorpyrifos and diazinon. 

Lawn Destroying Insects – Cutworms

Cutworms are the larvae of a variety of adult moth species. Most cutworms are approximately 2 inches long. Attracted to newer lawns, cutworms burrow during the day and feed at dusk into the night. 

Cutworms accomplish a high level of damage in a short period of time. Mainly feeding on roots of young plants, cutworms often chew through the plant stems at the base and cut off the entire plant from beneath the soil. 

There is an assortment of ways to prevent and treat cutworms. To prevent cutworms, keep up with cultivation, and create your lawn to be bird-friendly. Rid your lawn of cutworms by handpicking the worms at night, sprinkle your hard with coffee grounds, or applying insecticide late in the afternoon. 


Like cutworms, armyworms are moth larvae. Armyworms, however, are a lighter green color with colored stripes down the back and sides of their body. Similarly to cutworms, armyworms take shelter during the day and feed later at night. You will find armyworms mostly in the cool, wet spring weather. 

Armyworms feed on grass stems and leaves, oftentimes leaving skeletonizing leaves on plants. You can tell if armyworms are battling your grass if you see a circular brown, bare spot in your lawn. If the armyworm invasion is heavy, the lawn will appear to be moving. 

Combat armyworms, the vicious lawn destroying insects, using pheromone traps, releasing Trichogramma wasps, or applying fast-acting organic insecticides.  


Greenbugs are tiny, egg-shaped, almost transparent insects with longer legs. Greenbugs gather on grass blades, sucking the plant’s juices out. Especially common in the midwest, green bugs can turn your grass blades yellow and burnt orange, eventually brown if the pests are not controlled. 

Usually, beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings control green bugs and keep them out of your lawn. If the beneficial insects are not enough to keep the green bugs from damaging your lawn, try an insecticide.

preventing and treating greenbugs invasion


Another species of lawn destroying insects are billbugs. Both billbug adults and larvae feed on grass. What is the difference between billbug larvae and other larvae mentioned? Billbug larvae have no legs. Most billbugs are cream-colored and c-shaped. The destructive pests feed on grass stems while working their way to the roots, eventually destroying your lawn blade by blade. 

Billbug lawn damage is similar to white grub lawn damage. If your lawn is infested with billbugs you will notice brown dead patches and oddly shaped bare areas on the soil. To differentiate the damage caused by billbugs from white grubs, try pulling the dead patches away from the soil. Sod damaged by white grubs can be rolled away, but the damage caused by billbugs can be pulled straight up. 

Mowing regularly, fertilizing, and watering often are all ways to avoid these lawn destroying insects. Beneficial nematodes can also be used to rid your lawn of billbugs.

Japanese Beetle

Japanese beetles are small pests that can pack a punch to your yard and crops in the midwest. This insect is about ½ an inch long with metallic blue-green heads and copper backs. This invasive species feeds on your roots in the early spring and fall, making it difficult for your grass to absorb the water it needs. 

Signs your yard may have an infestation of the beetles are skeletonized leaves and plants and unhealthy brown patches in the lawn.  

To get rid of the Japanese beetles, try handpicking them from the plants along with fruit cocktail traps and insecticides. 

handling japanese beetles in your lawn

Concluding How to Take Care of Lawn Destroying Insects

Even though insecticides, home remedies, and nematodes are strategies to rid your lawn of destructive insects, Summit Turf Services recommends a more natural, preventative method. Maintaining a healthy, well-manicured lawn is one of the best ways to prevent lawn destroying insects from entering your yard. With proper fertilization, aeration, watering, and mowing, you can eliminate the possibility of destructive pests. 

This may sound like a lot of work, but Summit Turf Services professionals are the experts at lawn care in Lee’s Summit and the surrounding areas. Scheduled fertilizing, weekly lawn maintenance, sprinkler adjustments, and quality aeration services are all just a click away. Get in touch with our lawn care professionals today!