Help, I Have Bugs Eating My Grass! Lawn Insect Control Tips for Memphis, TN & Northern MS

If it’s your goal to have a beautiful lawn, then the last thing that you want is bugs eating grass right under your nose, working against your efforts. But that can certainly happen as lawn insects can be quite sneaky. One day your lawn could look perfectly fine and the next it could have brown and bare spots that seemingly appeared overnight.

Since lawn insects are a common problem here in Memphis and Northern MS, we want to help fill you in on what you might be dealing with and how to address it.

Grubs in the Lawn

We’ve already written pretty extensively on lawn grubs, which you can read about here. While you can peruse that article to find out more specifics, we would be remiss in at least not mentioning them again in this article. 

Lawn grub

After all, lawn grubs are an aggressive pest that can do quite a bit of damage. 

Grubs are the larvae of beetles and they cause damage by feeding on the roots of your grass. But the trouble with lawn grubs here in Memphis and Northern MS is not just the fact that the grubs can destroy your grass by eating its roots. It’s also the fact that they attract moles—one of the most problematic rodents in our area. Moles feed on grubs and can tear your lawn apart in the process.

Grubs are best addressed with preventative grub control that prevents them in the first place. However, this type of product has a timeline. If you do not apply it before grubs hatch, it will not work. If that’s the case, there are curative products as well.

Surface-Feeding Lawn Insects

Whereas grubs feed beneath the surface of your lawn (on the grass roots), there are also bugs that feed at the surface, on the grass blades themselves. 

The two surface-feeding insects that we are most concerned about in Memphis, TN and Northern MS are chinch bugs and armyworms. Let’s take a look at each.

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are lawn insects that have a blackish-gray body with fine hairs and white wings which bear a distinctive triangular mark. However, there’s a good chance that you’ll never see those details. The adult chinch bug is only 1/6-inch long! 

chinch bugs on grass blade

While they’re tiny, these pests are mighty and have the power to do a lot of damage. 

That’s because both the nymphs and the adult chinch bugs feed on lawns. They do so by sucking the fluids out of individual grass blades. As this occurs, they also inject a toxin that can cause grass to turn yellow or brown and eventually die.

Early detection is definitely key to successful lawn insect control. Spotting a chinch bug problem quickly and implementing a swift solution will prevent serious damage. 

At Master Lawn, we utilize an all-in-one type of product that is both curative and preventative. It will take care of your existing chinch bug problem while giving you protection against a future invasion.

Armyworms

The other surface-feeding insect that we are most worried about here in Memphis, TN and Northern MS is the armyworm. This pest gets its name due to the fact that it travels in large groups. And in large groups, it can do quite a bit of damage.

Armyworm

The first sign of armyworm-related lawn trouble is spotting small patches of brown grass with the edges of the blades chewed. Some blades may be entirely consumed. As the grass is eaten, it will begin to die, forming brown patches around the lawn. 

Another sign that you might be dealing with armyworms is an increase in bird activity around your lawn. Since birds eat these lawn insects, an increased presence of birds in your yard could mean you’ve got an armyworm problem to address.

Early detection is important to prevent severe armyworm damage. Since armyworms are not a problem every year, you do not need to treat for them every year. However, at the first sign of trouble, we can implement lawn insect control for armyworms. 

Creating a Lawn with Natural Pest Resistance with Professional Lawn Care

In addition to lawn insect control treatments, another important step is to implement a lawn care program that will help produce a thick and healthy lawn that resists pests naturally. When your lawn is thinned out and struggling, any damage from insects is going to really show and your lawn problems will only seem to compound. 

On top of that, an unhealthy lawn with a thick layer of thatch can actually attract pests. Many of these lawn insects like to hang out in that thatch layer of grass. Reducing that build-up can make a huge difference in reducing these pests.

lawn care technician insoecting lawn

Of course, the other major benefit of utilizing professional lawn care is that you’ll have the eyes of a professional on your property, scouting for problems during their visit. If they spot a patch of brown grass, they’re going to determine what’s causing it and what needs to be done. With so many of these lawn insects, early detection is the key to success. When a solution is implemented at the first sign of a problem, damage can be mitigated. 

That being said, at Master Lawn, we do recognize that sometimes problems arise in between our scheduled visits. That’s why we also encourage homeowners to call us at the first sign of trouble. We want to work with you in order to help you get the best possible results.

Winning the Battle against Bugs Eating Grass

If your wish is to know that your lawn is in good hands and that any problems which arise will be taken care of, then we are more than happy to grant it.

Healthy lawn with no insects

That means you do not have to let lawn insects win! 

You can stop bugs from eating your grass by partnering with a professional who will have your back. At Master Lawn, we want you to be able to feel confident in knowing we will help get your pest problem (or any other issues that arises) under control before it gets serious. Instead of worrying about bugs causing you trouble, you can get back to enjoying your lawn to the fullest.

Want to feel confident that lawn insects won’t destroy your Memphis, TN or Northern MS lawn? Talk to a lawn care expert, choose from 3 program options, and become the master of your lawn.  chinch bugs,

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Image source: grub, chinch bugs, armyworm   

Joey Steele, Lawn & Plant Health Care Manager

Since 2004, Joey has been using his B.S. in Landscape Construction and his turf and ornamental certifications to transform properties in our area. He loves seeing the fruit of his team's hard work and enjoys the many relationships he's formed since joining our team in 2008. He's an Olive Branch, MS native and enjoys spending time with his wife and three young boys, fishing and going to football games.

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