Pests of lawns

Well cared-for lawns in Texas have relatively few insect pests. But there are exceptions.

Well cared-for lawns in Texas have relatively few insect pests, with some notable exceptions.

A well-maintained lawn is a source of pride to many Texas homeowners. In addition to providing a soothing relief to the summer landscape, lawns are wonderful places to relax and play.  Lawns provide a relatively low-maintenance way to stabilize urban soil, clean the air, and help moderate temperatures around a home.

While weeds are probably the biggest challenge to maintaining a neat yard, insects can also be a problem. White grubs, chinch bugs and fire ants are the top three insect pests found in lawns in the state.  Fortunately, most of the other potential insect and mite problems of turfgrass in Texas can be prevented, or damage minimized, by regular watering, appropriate fertilization and frequent mowing.

Choosing an appropriate variety of grass is an important decision.  Click here for information about the principal turfgrass types appropriate for use in the state.

Key pests of turf in Texas

  • Armyworms in Turfgrass An occasional pest of lawns and sod, damage from this caterpillar appears quickly.
  • Chinch bugs (E-420) An important pest of St. Augustinegrass, especially in the more humid, eastern and Gulf coast areas of the state.
  • Grasshopper control tips (ENT-1005) While not commonly lawn pests, grasshoppers do feed on a variety of grasses, flowers, shrubs, and occasionally trees.
  • White grubs (E-211) One of the most widespread and damaging pests of turfgrass around the state, white grubs are the underground life stage of the June beetle.

Other Pests

  • Common turfgrass insects This link connects you with the Texas AgriLife Landscape IPM page for more, in-depth information about turfgrass pests.
  • Land planarians (ENT-1004) Like earthworms with a triangular-shaped, flattened head, land planarians are one of the oddest soil inhabitants of Texas lawns.

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