Types of Turf Insects in Georgia

Army WormArmyworms

Damaged turf has ragged individual blades with signs of chewing damage. With high populations, grass may be devoured down to the ground and large numbers of birds may be seen feeding in your lawn in the mornings and evenings. Young larvae skeletonize grass blades; older larvae feed on entire blades. Check for armyworms and sod webworms by mixing one ounce of lemon dish detergent with one gallon of water, then pour the solution over a one square yard area where an infestation is suspected. The detergent irritates the insects, causing them to come to the surface quickly.

Fire AntsFire ants

Fire ants can be a painful pest and cause major disturbances to your lawn and landscape. Fire ants are most active when the temperature is cool and when the ground is moist, making March – May the best time for treatment. Our treatment kills existing colonies of fire ants and prevents new colonies from establishing for up to one year.

GrubsGrubs

Grubs feed underground on the roots, leaving the tops to wither and die. In heavy infestations, roots are pruned off to the extent that turf can be rolled back like a carpet. Symptoms include yellowing or browning of the grass and signs of drought stress when moisture levels are good. Grass may feel spongy when infestations are heavy.

Photo:  David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

 

Bill BugsBillbugs

Zoysiagrass and bermudagrass are most often injured. When infestations are heavy, roots of grass are destroyed and the turf is killed in irregular patches. Early damage resembles dollar spot disease, with small spots of dead or dying grass. The most damage occurs in June and July. Damage from billbugs differs from white grub in that infested soil usually stays firm.

Photo:  David Shetlar, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

 

SpittlebugSpittlebugs

Spittlebugs are associated with heavy thatch. A heavily infested area will feel “squishy” when you walk across it due to numerous spittle masses. Centipede grass is especially prone to spittlebug infestation along with  zoysia, and bermudagrass. Populations often begin and increase in shady areas. Damage, can be especially high during years with high spring and summer rainfall.

Photo:  Clemson University – USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org