Spring Lawn Pests: Identifying Lawn Damaging Insects in South Carolina

South Carolina homeowners put a lot of work into their yards only to be completely helpless when an invisible enemy attacks their yard. You may work hard to make your lawn attractive to humans, but it’s also appealing to lawn pests. Being able to spot lawn pests in your yard will help you solve lawn issues before they cost you an arm and a leg.

Mole Crickets

These bizarre, alien-like creatures are not only the things of nightmares but also a nightmare for your lawn. The southern mole cricket is known to damage grass, pastures, crops, and gardens by tunneling under the surface of the soil in search of food, disturbing the fragile root systems of your lawn. Mole crickets usually live in the thatch layer of your grass. Aeration can break up the nesting grounds of these pests and prevent them from moving into your yard.

Japanese Beetles/Grubs

Another very notorious pest in the Palmetto State is the Japanese beetle. These beetles can cause extensive damage to the foliage of your trees and shrubs as they feed at night. Sometimes infestations are so bad that you can hear the trees buzzing with beetles if you are near it. Come morning, and you’ll notice bare twigs and branches at the tops and edges of your trees. After they have had their fill, adults lay eggs in your grass. Eventually, they become adult grubs and feed on the roots of your grass in the spring and fall. In just a few seasons, grubs can decimate a lawn. 

To check for grubs in your yard, pull up the sod in affected areas, and check. If there are several grubs in a square foot of dirt, then it’s time to call the professionals before permanent damage is done.

Chinch Bugs

A common lawn pest in both North and South Carolina is the chinch bug. Chinch bugs can affect Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, zoysia grass, fescues, and Bermudagrass. Chinch bug damage usually presents itself between early June and late August, when you’ll notice small circular patches of grass turning yellow and brown. As chinch bugs feed, they inject a toxin into the blades of grass that block the transport of water and nutrients up the stems. The problem can be even worse during drought conditions. Proper irrigation techniques can help reduce chinch bug damage by promoting the growth of pathogens that can kill chinch bugs

Sod Webworms

You probably don’t even second guess the small grey moths that flutter about your grass when you disturb them. These moths aren’t a problem themselves, but their offspring are. The sod webworm can skeletonize grass blades and even cut them down. They pull the blades into their burrows to feed on as they mature into adults. If enough worms are present, your grass can take a lot of damage, which results in brown patches and bare spots.

Hire a Professional Lawn Care Company

When pests become a problem, they can cause long-lasting damage to your lawn that could take weeks or months to repair. Spotting lawn pests early can save your yard and your bank account in the long run.

When you have a pest infestation, call the pros at Coastal Turf. We have years of experience dealing with pests that damage South Carolina lawns. We offer lawn care programs that not only promote growth but also protect against lawn damaging pests.

Call us for a consultation at (843) 875-5000 or send us a message here. Make sure you follow our monthly blog for the latest tips and tricks in lawn care, pest control, tree care, and more!