There are a number of insects that cause substantial damage to lawns across America. Understanding these destructive insects' life-cycle will help homeowners understand how to better cope and control them.
There are two types of turf-damaging insects: those that feed above the soil on the blades of the turfgrass and those that cause damage below the soil surface.
By far, there are more beneficial insects in your backyard than harmful. Great care must be taken not to do anything that will harm those beneficial bugs.
There are a number of above the soil feeding insects that can cause damage. Chinchbugs are a good example.
Chinchbugs feed on the blade of grass and causes it somewhat block water intake up through the leaves. The grass plan will usually recover if not infected with a fungus. The chinchbug's activity causes stress on the turfgrass plant and it is this stress that further weakens the plant so that opportunistic diseases can gain a foothold and cause havoc.
Other surface feeding insects are actually larvae of moths. These larvae, or more commonly called caterpillars, come out at dusk and begin feeding on the turf blades. Usually their damage is limited in scope.
Mole crickets are another example of surface feeding insects. These hungry pests come out at night during warm weather, especially after a rain.
Grubs are the most common below ground insects that can cause extensive turfgrass damage if their numbers reach a critical stage.
Most lawns can stand up to having a few of these harmful insects, however, the adult Japanese beetle can actually lay 100s of eggs that could, under optimum conditions, could reach the larval stage before they turn into the beetle.
Besides the Japanese beetle larvae, there are a number of other beetles found across North America that cause damage.
Although the above insects look especially dangerous, that are actually harmless earwigs that feed only on decaying matter found on top of the soil.