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Lawn pest types

There will always be insects in your garden and having a few of them does not necessarily pose a threat.


It is when certain insects multiply out of control that steps should be taken to control them.


Here are three of the most commonly found lawn pests:

White grub

A white C-shaped insect with six legs. These grubs live beneath the soil and feed on the underground plant parts, destroying the root system of a lawn and causing the top part of the lawn to turn brown in large, irregular patches.


In cases where there is a severe infestation, the roots are eaten away to such extent that the lawn feels like a loose carpet underfoot.


Treatment: Spray with an insecticide containing deltamethrin.


Mole cricket

These are brown, fearsome looking insects that can grow up to 5cm in length. Mole crickets are active under the soil’s surface, living in channels and eating away at the lawn’s roots.


To test if there are mole crickets present in your lawn, fill a bucket with water and add some dishwashing liquid. Pour the solution onto the lawn and after a while, if there are any mole crickets present, they’ll start to come to the surface.


You can then collect the mole crickets and set them free again somewhere far from your home.


Treatment: Spray with an insecticide containing cyfluthrin.


Lawn caterpillar

Lawn caterpillars live just below the soil surface underneath lawns and come out during the night to feed on the blades of grass.


This causes large, yellow patches. Lawn caterpillars are ferocious eaters and if the population is left to build up, they can become a serious problem.


Treatment: Spray with an insecticide containing cyfluthrin or deltamethrin or cypermethrin.


Read about different lawn types, lawn diseases and lawn weeds common to South Africa.

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