what insects are harmful to lawns

It's getting to the time of year when you need to start thinking about lawn care again. With warmer nights bringing family BBQs, garden parties, and more - it's vital that you spend some time making your lawn as green and healthy as it can be. Our lawns are often the heart of the garden, with children and dogs running around and playing all summer long, so giving your lawn the treatments it needs to grow strong and healthy will pay dividends in the long run. Today we're going to talk about one of the biggest garden pet peeves - insects! 

Insects play a vital role in our garden, pollinating plants and breaking down dead organic matter, but there are some insects that are actually harmful to our lawns. If they're left to multiply in your garden for too long, they can cause serious damage - they might even cause your lawn to die completely! Here at Lawn and Weed Expert, we deal with all kinds of lawn insects & have a lot of experience in identifying and treating different infestations. So, if you think you've spotted some insects that are harmful to your lawn, be sure to get in touch. We can carry out a FREE survey and let you know whether we can tackle the problem before it gets worse. 

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What insects are harmful to lawns?

Let's take a look at some of the common critters that can cause damage to your lawn. Being able to identify them and get a treatment plan in place quickly will minimise the damage they cause. 

chafer grubs

Chafer grubs

A common type of insect that's harmful to lawns is chafer grubs. They hatch between May and June and can appear in large numbers out of nowhere! The adult insects (the chafer beetles) are actually pretty harmless, and won't go out of their way to damage your lawn. However, the larvae (the chafer grubs) can be harmful to your lawn. 

Why? Because they like to dine on the soft, fleshy roots of the grass! As they crawl around under the surface of your lawn, they feast on the roots and cause the plants above to suffer. As you can imagine, if chafer grubs are left to get out of control, they can do a pretty good job of eating their way through large patches of your lawn - causing damage that's difficult to repair. 

What signs indicate I have chafer grubs on my lawn?

There are a few common signs of chafer grubs that you should look out for. These include:

  • Brown areas on the lawn that appear to be growing in size (as the chafer grubs continue to eat through your lawn). 
  • Loose turf can become a problem if the chafer grubs eat enough of the grassroots that the turf starts to lift. 
  • Excessive birds on your lawn could indicate that they're looking for food. Birds enjoy eating chafer grubs, so an increase in birds could be a sign of an infestation. 
  • More damage in summer suggests that the chafer grubs are getting bigger and multiplying. If your lawn's condition continues to deteriorate over time, it could be a sign of chafer grubs. 

At Lawn and Weed Expert, we have plenty of experience dealing with chafer grubs. So if you suspect you have chafer grubs harming your lawn, give us a call! You can find out more about our chafer grub treatment below.

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Leatherjackets are another insect that can be harmful to lawns. Like the chafer grubs, the leatherjackets aren't the adult insect, they're the larvae - in this case, of the crane fly. In the UK, there are two different types of leatherjackets that are harmful to lawns, tipula oleracea, and tipula paludosa. You'll be pleased to hear that both are completely treatable, so they shouldn't cause irreparable damage to your lawn. 

The time of year when leatherjackets are most prevalent is summer (end of July/early August) so be sure to keep your eye out for signs of them during the warmer months. Here are a few things you should look out for:

  • Yellow grass can be sign of leatherjackets or dehydration. If your grass is still yellowing after a period of watering/rainfall then this could be a sign of leatherjackets. 
  • Bare patches in shady areas of the garden indicate that the leatherjackets have been eating away your lawn. 
  • Birds pecking at the lawn could also be an indication of leatherjackets because they make a tasty snack!

 At Lawn and Weed Expert, we know exactly how to deal with leatherjackets. So if you believe you have a leatherjacket infestation harming your lawn, give us a call! You can find out more about our leatherjacket treatment below.

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So there you have it, if you've been wondering what insects are harmful to lawns, we hope this helps. You can always get in touch with the Lawn and Weed Expert team for advice if you suspect something is wrong with your lawn. We're happy to give you advice or attend your home for a FREE lawn survey. 

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