Keeping Pesky Lawn Invaders Out: Your Guide to Ridding Your Lawn of the Problem

Florida is a wonderful place to live, sure, but when it comes to keeping a pest-free lawn, it’s essential the worst place to live. With our warm, moist soil, drought conditions, swampy and salty climates, we’re essentially providing the best of the pests the perfect palace to make their homes and thrive. It probably seems like you can’t go a single week without dealing with fire ants, webworms, grubs, or spittlebugs.

It’s endlessly frustrating. Hey, trust us, we get it, we’ve been dealing with these bad boys on a daily basis for over 20 years – if anyone hates these little pests more than you, it’s us. But because of all of our experience, we’ve figured out the best ways to deal with these critters and keep your Florida lawns looking fresh, healthy, and happy as ever.

Join us as we delve into the top pests our Florida lawns face and explain how we deal with these issues. We’ve got the cures you need for Florida pest problems, as well as prevention tips to keep these issues from happening in the first place.

Check them out below!

Pest Problems – What You’re Probably Dealing with and How to Fix Them

Like we said, there are a myriad of pest problems in Florida lawns, and while you can do a few regular maintenance tricks to try to keep them at bay, it’s likely that you’re going to be dealing with pests no matter what. Here’s a few of the most common Florida pests and some solutions that we use to keep them out!

Fire Ants

You know about these bad boys. In fact, if you’ve ever spent more than six seconds in Florida, you’ve probably been bitten by a fire ant. These little bugs are native to central south America and love to hang out in Florida. They nest under patios, in lawns, and under sidewalks, especially after heavy rains (something that Florida just loves to do, right?).

Fire ants can tear up your lawn, cause serious cosmetic damages if they overrun it, and of course, make your yard an inhospitable place to run around and play.

So, how do you get rid of them if they’re a popular pest in Florida? Unfortunately, you can’t get rid of them entirely, but can you eliminate huge populations of them. Try things like individual fire ant mound treatments, barrier and spot treatments, and broadcast bait applications.

Mammalian Issues

Moles, rabbits, and more – these tiny little mammals are adorable, sure, but they can wreak serious havoc on your yard. Your little colony of bunnies might be cute, but they’re grazing away your hard-earned blades of grass. The moles might be sort of funny-looking-in-a-sweet-way, but they’re tunneling below your lawn and leaving gaping holes in the landscape.

Not so funny or cute anymore, right? We get it.

One of the best ways to combat these little buggers is to work with animal control and set out humane traps to catch these guys. Simply put some tasty treats in these trapping cages and wait for your little friends to fall prey to this (harmless) trap.

Want another way to rid yourself of these guys? Try repelling them with natural things like caster oil. You can buy from stores or mix some up yourself!

Sod Webworm

You might think you don’t know what these little guys are, but trust us, you’ve definitely seen them before if you live in Florida. These tiny pests are quite destructive and affect warm season turfgrasses all over the US, especially newly established sods and athletic fields. That being said, if you’re just putting in new turf, you better be on the lookout for these buggers. You can tell that sod webworms are affecting your turf quite early on, as you’ll notice significant differences in grass heights throughout your turf area. This is where the larvae are undoubtedly feeding.

Sod webworms are hard to combat, but they’re not entirely impossible to defeat.

First things first, water and fertilize regularly. The best defense is a good offense, right? Ensure that you have a well-maintained yard. Next, consider using broad spectrum insecticides – whether you decide on chemical insecticides or natural insecticides will depend on personal preference, just ensure you get something that works well.

Consider working with a Florida landscape company to test your lawn and destroy sodworms before they take over your entire turf.

Southern Chinch Bug

Let’s talk Chinch bugs. This is one of the most vital pests in all of Florida, especially when it comes to turf problems. These little bugs can feed on most Florida turfs, especially St. Augustinegrass. They will cause severe damage to your turf and lawn (typically) from March through November, and then again from April through October. In other words, you’re not liable to get a break from them…ever.

These tiny bugs live in the thatch of grass and suck out fluids from crown and stems with little needle-mouths. The worst part? They feed in groups, leaving giant patches of dead or ruined grass in their place.

So, how do you get rid of them? It starts with scouting and monitoring. If you don’t catch chinch bugs quick, you’re likely to deal with huge issues. Try scouting your area with a hand-blower or hand-vacuum in order to blow or suck tiny chinch bugs off your plants or your grass. If you suspect you might have chinch bugs in an area, use a bagged vacuum in that area, then assess if you have chinch bugs in your bagged portion afterward.

Another strategy? Try using pest-resistant turfgrasses or plants in your area. Mowing will also work wonders for getting rid of chinch bugs – it’s one of the best ways to combat them.

Did our Florida Lawn pest guide give you the knowledge you needed to fight the terrible insects, mammals, and invaders that are plaguing your lawn? We hope so! If you want to chat with us about your personal pest problems, need more advice than our blog offered, or simply want to discuss a free quote, give our office a call at (727)-201-3947 today! Want to get some more landscaping insight? Want a wonderland of landscaping inspiration at your fingertips? Your wish our command. Check out our regularly-updated blog for tons of landscaping tips, tricks, and advice!