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.