Monitoring for Lawn Insects

Mar 28, 2016

Spring is a good time to begin monitoring for any lawn insect pests. Pest examples include various root, crown and leaf-feeding caterpillars, grubs like masked chafers, billbugs and chinch bugs.

Although insects can be serious pests of lawns, lawn damage is more frequently due to lack of proper cultural care and/or improper grass species selection for your area. An unhealthy lawn is more easily attacked by insects, weeds and diseases.

Insects are sometimes are blamed for lawn damage when the culprit may actually be disease-causing pathogens, dog urine, or abiotic causes such as leaving an item on the lawn for some time and inappropriate use of garden chemicals such as fertilizers and herbicides.

It's important to monitor your lawn for insect pests, as this is the only way to determine if insects are causing damage. Confirm that insects are present at numbers high enough to cause damage by digging around roots looking for grubs or performing a drench test for other insects.

Learn more about monitoring by reading the Lawn Insects Pest Note or Quick Tip on the UC IPM website. See the UC Guide to Healthy Lawns for much more information about diagnosing pest problems, proper lawn care, and how to keep your lawn healthy.