Identifying Turf Insects

 Turf insects that do damage can be a major concern especially in poor weather.   If certain insects go without being diagnosed or treated immediately a lawn can literally be lost overnight in the case of severe infestations.  One of the biggest issues with turf grass damaging insects is that many times they have already begun to do their damage by the time they are even noticed.

 As a turf manager it is very important that you become familiar with all of the signs of potential turf damage when it comes to insects.   A lawn growing from a healthy soil rich in organic matter and microbial activity will be far less apt to be damaged by turf insects but you must continue to be vigilant about searching for populations that could do damage.  This is especially true during the transition period from chemical to organic.


Turf-damaging insects can attack three different areas in a lawn: the upper leaf surface, the thatch area or below the turf in the soil. Insects above ground are either chewing grass blades or sucking fluids from plant parts. If they are underground, they are feeding on roots. Three of the most common turf-damaging insects that we deal with are sod webworms, chinch bugs and grubs.