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There are a number of insects that affect some lawns.
Both the adult and larval stages of the African Black Beetle can cause damage to roots of a wide variety of plants. The favoured plant of the black beetle is grass. The adult beetles appear in Spring and can lay large numbers of eggs so treatment is important. They may cause some damage but the larvae (curl grubs) are voracious feeders and will cause significant damage if left untreated.
The grass dies in patches for no apparent reason. The lawn has a damaged root system and looks brown or discoloured. In lawns heavily affected with larvae, grass turns yellow then brown and dies and the lawn can be lifted and rolled back like a carpet. You may also notice Magpies or other birds digging into your lawn foraging on the Larvae. This is an early warning sign.
This destructive garden pest gets its name because it travels in small insect armies and consumes just about everything in its path. This caterpillar of the Spodoptera mauritia moth is most prevalent throughout the warmer months of the year, and repeat infestations can occur. The damage caused by Army Worms is most obvious by the speed at which damage occurs, as the caterpillars form very large numbers and behave as a colony to eat away at the green leaf of lawns. Army Worms can vary in colour from green to brown to black, they can reach a maximum length of about 4 cm, and will become plump as they feed and matureSymptoms
Army worms are very difficult to find, they spend their days hiding at soil level, and deep inside the thatch layer of the lawn. It’s at night time that army worms will come out and spend the entire night feeding on our lawns. For this reason, it can be difficult to track down these lawn grubs and pin the proper responsibility on them for the damage to our lawns. When your lawn is becoming damaged in areas which seem to be spreading across the entire lawn, then caterpillar damage should be considered as a possibility.How do I kill black beetle lawn grubs in my lawn?.
Black beetle lawn grubs and their larvae feed in the root zone of the lawn. Application of a pesticide will be required, followed by a heavy watering to get the chemical into the root zone. Click here for pest chemicalsHow do I kill Army Worm in my lawn?.
Lawn Army Worm are nocturnal feeders and will hide in the thatch layer of your lawn during the day. You will need to apply a lawn pesticide late afternoon to evening just before they come up to feed on the leaf to get a good result. You may need to apply follow up sprays to ensure they are eradicated. Click here for pest chemicals.