There are many common pests found in north Texas lawns and gardens, and these insects and critters can be difficult to control. But with some prevention and planning, you can keep these nuisances at bay and enjoy a beautiful and healthy lawn year-round.
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If you have a lawn in the Dallas, Frisco or McKinney area, you are probably familiar with these black insects. They can be hard to see since they’re tiny, but they are one of the most damaging pests on your lawn.
Besides killing your grass, they can be a big problem because of their ability to suck plant fluids out of individual blades. When they do this, they inject a chemical that can cause your grass to turn brown and die.
The larval stage of the June bug, grubs can attack several different types of grasses. They’re a bit larger than a worm, with three pairs of legs and can be up to an inch long.
They live in the soil and thatch layer beneath your turf, feeding on the roots of your grass as they go. These little worms can cause significant damage in the summer and fall because of their ability to break down the roots and kill your lawn.
During the spring, these slender caterpillars appear and feed on the grass and sprouting plants in your yard. They also can eat other vegetables, like peppers and carrots, and fruits, like tomatoes and potatoes.
These slender caterpillars are about 2 inches long and come in various colors, including black or red. They also have distinctive striped patterns on their bodies and are found around trees and shrubs that are native to Texas, such as live oak, hackberry, cypress, redbud, magnolia and ash.
This type of insect can be a bit more difficult to spot because they hide under your lawn’s thatch layer. You should also look for a signature mark on their backs — an X-shaped pattern.
Another name for these slender caterpillars is “armyworms.” They are found in large numbers, and you can often tell them by the way they munch on the grass and soil of your lawn.
When they’re full grown, these pests are about 1 to 3 inches long and are mostly hairless with dark stripes or spots on them. They are a common nuisance in the spring and fall, and they will produce up to six generations per year.
They can be a major pain for your yard and will destroy grass, as well as vegetables and fruits, like peppers and carrots.
If you find these in your lawn, you should spray the areas of affected grass with a broad-spectrum chemical, pest control technicians spray pesticide that targets these insects. It’s best to use a product that’s OMRI listed, which means it has been approved for organic gardening.
Caterpillars can be a problem for your trees, especially those that are native to Texas, like live oak, hackberry, redbud, cypress, and magnolia. The caterpillars can be a big pain for your tree, and they can eat the bark and leaves of the tree.