Watch Out – These Pests Can Spoil Your Lawn

Having a healthy lawn can increase your home’s value. Beautiful shrubbery and landscaping can also help you feel more satisfied with the beautiful property you own. But watch out! If you don’t keep up with pest control, your yard could get damaged. Here are a few common pests to look out for.

Chinch bugs

Chinch bugs start their lives as yellow creatures but turn red as they mature. Adult chinch bugs are generally less than ¼ inch long. The adults have white wings folded across their black bodies. Chinch bugs are especially prevalent in the south, and they typically live in Zoysia grass or Augustine grass.

Chinch bugs can create what looks like drought damage on your lawn. A lawn infested with chinch bugs will have light patches that look yellowish or brownish. The bugs suck on grass blades and inject a poison that kills grass. They even have the power to destroy a whole lawn.

Sod webworms

A sod webworm is about one inch in length. The webworm is the larval stage of a small whitish-brown moth. It has light yellow or brown marks on its wings. The moths can fly in a zigzag pattern.

Webworms live just above the soil. They spin webs and feed on the undersides of leaves. You might notice small, brown spots on your lawn. These spots are created by the webworms feeding on the grass and they’re the first sign that something is wrong. If the webworms continue to feed on the lawn, they can create widespread damage, which means the lawn will eventually look like a wide swath of dead grass. Webworms tend to attack grassy areas that have a lot of direct sunlight. Well-shaded areas are rarely attacked by sod webworms.


Armyworms have several different colors. In their early stages, the worms are tan or green, but as they mature they will turn brown or nearly black. Most adult armyworms are about 1.5 to two inches long.

Armyworms are a type of insect mostly known as a garden pest. The worms get their names because they tend to travel in small armies. They may eat the grass in your yard, but they eat crops and plants, too. For instance, armyworms will often eat corn, beets, millet, flax, and other grains.

Armyworms can attack a lawn in large numbers. When this happens, an entire yard of grass can be eaten within only a few days. One telltale sign of armyworms is a brown lawn with the edges chewed off the blades of grass.


Cutworms vary in appearance according to species. The worms may be grey, green, pink or black. They can also range from striped or spotted to solid coloured. They typically grow up to two inches in length. Cutworms tend to curl up and hide in the daytime. At night, they come out to feed.

A cutworm is the larvae (caterpillar) stage for certain species of moths. When cutworm eggs hatch in autumn, the larvae may overwinter in a woodpile or in the soil. Then they emerge and cause damage during the early gardening season.


Billbugs are beetles. They generally measure between ½ inch and one full inch in length. In their larval stage, they are white with no legs. Adult beetles are grey or brown with a snout.

Billbugs are a common pest in North America. They thrive in various types of weather and climates. In warm weather months, billbugs can travel to infest new lawns. While billbugs rarely come indoors, they sometimes gather on the exterior of a house. However, the bugs won’t typically survive for very long away from yards or gardens.

White grubs

White grubs encompass several species of beetles and chafers. One common species is the Japanese beetle. Another common variety is the European chafer. In their larval stages, these types of beetles and chafers are C-shaped. White grubs are white and have six legs near the head.

In springtime, white grubs actively feed. In the summertime, the white grubs turn into pupae and become beetles. The beetles mate and lay eggs that hatch several weeks later. In autumn, the hatched grubs feed on grass roots. As winter grows nearer, the grubs burrow in the soil to prevent freezing.

How to treat these pests

Many of these pests will attack your lawn and can wreak havoc on your garden. Depending on where you live, you may have certain pests in particular that gravitate to your lawn and cause damage, so it helps to understand the threats that are unique to your region. To do that, you need to partner with a knowledgable pest control specialist.

That said, not any pest control company will do. It’s important to work with a company that uses eco-friendly, sustainable solutions that are safe for your home, family, pets, and the environment. It’s also a good idea to seek out a company that’s well-reviewed by your community, so you know you’re in good hands.

Fortunately, modern search engines and social media platforms make it a piece of cake to find quality pest control companies that meet those criteria. Start with a Google search like “pest control in San Diego,” then see what your neighbors have to say about the top results. Check their website to see how much they prioritize sustainable solutions and look for indicators that you’re dealing with a knowledgable company that can help you come up with a specialized treatment plan for your unique situation.