There are a number of threats to the wellbeing of your lawn. Drought, overwatering, under watering, improper fertilization, and improper maintenance are a few of the things that can keep you from having a healthy yard. Pests are another type of threat to your lawn because they can quickly do major damage. The damage that pests cause can range from a few brown spots throughout your yard to mounds of dirt and tunnels that destroy a large portion of the root systems. Part of protecting your lawn from pests is being able to identify them so you can choose the appropriate treatment. Learning how to spot the most common lawn pests will help you get rid of them quickly and efficiently.
- Grubs and worms
There are several common types of grubs and worms that can cause problems in your yard. Grubs typically feed on the roots of the grass and other plants in your yard. They damage the grass from below and can kill it before you notice a problem on the surface. There are worms, such as armyworms and cutworms, which can destroy the grass from above the surface by feeding on the blades. You may notice dead/brown patches of grass or bare patches-either can be a sign of grub or worm activity. Although damage on the blades indicates that your problem is with a pest other than grubs such as worms.
- Rodents and other harmful animals
There are both burrowing and digging animals that can damage your yard. Burrowing rodents include moles, voles, and gophers. They generally spend their time just below the surface of your yard. If you see raised tunnels, crevices in the ground, mounds of dirt, or small holes throughout the yard you may have a burrowing rodent problem. Voles like to eat on the roots of your grass and other plants. Moles, on the other hand, feed on grubs but cause damage by digging through the roots of your grass. Solutions for these types of pests include baiting, exclusion, and trapping.
There are a number of animals that may dig in your yard including skunks and raccoons. When they dig it is because they are on the search for food. If you notice disturbed areas in your yard or garden it may be from one of these animals. You will have difficulty catching these animals in the act because they are most often active during the night. The good news is that exclusion methods, such as fencing, work better with these pests than they do with pests that burrow. Attempting to trap these types of animals on your own is not a good idea, especially if you have a skunk problem. If you think trapping is the best solution you should get professional help so you do not risk getting sprayed or bitten by one of these creatures.
Now that you understand what to look for you can examine the damage in your yard more closely. Once you have determined what type of pest is causing problems you can start exploring the different treatment options.