Common Lawn Bugs

It’s hard to enjoy hanging out in the yard with these pests in residence. Here’s how to handle them.

Who can blame lawn insects for invading your turf, especially when it provides all kinds of bug-loving attractions, like food and shelter? But while bugs may love your lawn, you and your lawn don't have to return the feeling. Instead, you can fight back! First, though, it helps to know what kind of bug you're up against.

Check out these 4 common lawn bugs and the signs that they might be working their mischief on your turf, then learn what you can do to stop them.

The culprit: Grubs

The signs: Dead patches, spongy areas, foraging animals

It’s easy to blame the heat for dead patches of grass in your lawn, especially in late summer. But the real offender may be white grubs, the C-shaped larvae of beetles like Japanese beetles, June beetles, and chafers. Unfortunately, their favorite pastime is feasting on grass roots and other organic matter found in the soil.

Thanks to their immense appetites, grubs can quickly transform a lush lawn into a patchy playground. If you can lift a corner of a dead patch of grass and roll it back like a rug, you can pretty much bet that grubs had something to do with it. Other signs of grubs include a spongy feeling underfoot and an abundance of birds and critters like racoons, skunks, or armadillos picking at your lawn. (They’re likely feeding on grown-up grubs.)

The solution: Apply Roundup® For Lawns Bug Destroyer to your lawn before grubs hatch. It starts destroying grubs in the soil as soon as they start to hatch and keeps killing for up to 3 months.

The culprit: Fleas

The signs: Bites, itching, and dirt-like specks

There are more than 300 species of tiny, jumping fleas found in the U.S., and your yard could be the breeding ground for many of them. Because fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day and live up to 2 years, they can infiltrate your lawn and your life, making your pet (or even you) their next meal.

Fleas thrive in shady, moist areas of the yard rather than open, sunlit spots. And while it's nearly impossible to spot them in the lawn with the naked eye, you'll be able to spot fleas on your pets. Look for oval, wingless, reddish-brown pests about the size of a tiny pinhead. Even easier to spot is the "dirt" (which is actually flea feces) they leave behind.

If you're still unsure whether you have fleas in your lawn, try this: Pull a pair of long, white socks up to your knees and walk around the yard, especially where pets play and hang out. If your lawn has fleas, they'll show up on your socks. Don't wash those socks, though. Instead, toss them immediately into a plastic bag, seal it up tight, and trash it.

The solution: Ask your veterinarian about how best to treat your pet, then treat your lawn with Roundup® For Lawns Bug Destroyer. Powerful and effective, it creates a thin layer at the soil surface, killing fleas when they come in contact with it.

The culprit: Ticks

The signs: Bites, redness, and rashes Blood-sucking ticks are no joke.

They can transmit pathogens that cause Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever in humans, not to mention be a nuisance to pets, too. These reddish-brown to black, 8-legged parasites can be as small as a poppy seed or as large as a lentil. Most often, lawn ticks are found at the perimeter of your yard, near heavy brush, wooded areas, stone walls, or ornamental plantings.

To determine if you have ticks in your yard, do what's called a "tick drag." Tie one square yard of heavy, white fabric (like flannel or corduroy) to a wooden stick or dowel. Drag the cloth several times over a dry lawn. If ticks are present, you should be able to pick up a few—but, please take precautions to keep ticks from attaching to you as a result of the drag.

After being in areas in which ticks may be lurking, be sure to do a tick check on yourself and other family members, including kids and dogs. Look for brown or black spots on the skin, especially in the warm, dark places of the body, such as behind ears and knees, in armpits and elbows, and on the back of the neck (under the hair), then remove them carefully without squishing them. And, of course, watch for symptoms of tick-borne illnesses, like fever, chills, body aches, and rashes.

The solution: Make life rough on ticks, yet easy on your lawn, by applying and watering in Roundup® For Lawns Bug Destroyer. This dual-action formula kills ticks on the lawn surface for up to 3 months.

The culprit: Fire ants

The signs: Mounds that start small and grow quickly

Most Southerners (and a few unfortunate Northerners) know just how aggressive and pain-causing these pests can be. Fire ants are about the size of a grain of rice and can be either reddish-brown or black. Fiercely protective, they'll attack anyone or anything that disturbs their nest, then simply move it to another part of the yard, doing even more damage to your lawn. Mature fire ant mounds (a common sign that they've invaded your yard) look like piles of dirt and are most often found in open, sunny parts of the lawn.

These can grow quite rapidly, reaching up to 2 feet tall and wide, with massive underground tunnels running up to 25 feet long. The key to getting rid of fire ants is to vanquish the queen. That's because queens can live up to 7 years, spending that entire time creating new workers to keep the colony going.

The solution: Rescue your lawn from annoying and dangerous fire ants with Roundup® For Lawns Bug Destroyer. A single application kills the entire colony —without harming your lawn.

You may have noticed that a super-effective remedy for each of these bugs is dose of Roundup® For Lawns Bug Destroyer (following all label directions, of course). This potent weapon actually kills over 100 listed bugs, so if your lawn's particular scourge isn't one of the 4 common outdoor bugs mentioned above, chances are you're still covered. Talk about prepared!