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- Argentine stem weevil
- Adult Argentine stem weevils can feed all year around at night, though adults can live for several weeks without food. They feed on the foliage of many grass and lawn varieties including bent, poa annua, timothy, meadow fescue, cocksfoot, barley, goosegrass, prairie grass and Yorkshire fog. These weevils cause bent greens to thin, and are evident when dead areas appear as damage increases. The weevils feed on the stem of the plant which stops nutrients and water.
- African black beetle
- Adult African black beetles cause damage to grass during spring by feeding on stems and roots. Occasionally their tunnelling will from mounds on manicured turf such as bowling and putting greens. Additionally birds can damage the turf surface as they attempt to dig for these insects.
- Sod webworm
- Sod webworms vary in colour from green, to brown or grey with dark circular spots. This pest chews grass off close to the crown. In areas with heavy infestations, birds can often be seen feeding on them.
- Insect pest problems
Armyworm is one of the biggest insect pest problems in Western Australian garden lawns. They can move quickly across a lawn and completely destroy it in the summer months. An average lawn can be eaten out in two nights. Adults are a dull brown or greyish, night-active moth up to 3.8 cm long. Larvae (caterpillars) are up to 5 cm long at maturity; they often curl up and lie still when disturbed. Armyworm larvae chew and cut leaves around the crown, and they attack all turf grass species. Damage begins in small, irregular spots and spreads to patches extending some metres in width. Armyworms prefer moist areas. They are active from early spring through autumn.African black beetle
The African black beetle is often falsely held responsible when dry patch is the real problem. The grubs of African black beetles feed from September to May and cut the grass from its roots. Lawn damaged this way can sometimes be rolled back like a carpet. African
black beetle is considered a problem when 25 grubs per square metre are present. The adult beetles are less damaging.Couch mites
Couch mites are a common insect pest of home lawns. They are usually found within the forks of grass blades
or shoots. Affected plants produce several shoots from the infested growing point.Couch mites favour dry sites. To avoid spreading this pest, mow the affected areas last and clean the lawnmower afterwards. For chemical control, use a registered lawn insecticide.Cutworms
Cutworm adults are drab, heavy-bodied, night-ﬂ ying moths. The fully grown caterpillars are fat and ﬂ eshy and about 35 mm long. They curl up head-to-tail when disturbed. The caterpillars attack grass at ground level causing the blades to sever. They are nocturnal and shelter in the soil.For chemical control, apply registered lawn insecticide at late afternoon.Billbugs
Billbugs are an occasional pest on Kikuyu grass from spring to autumn. Billbug larvae tunnel into the inside of turf grass stems and crowns. As the larvae grow, they leave the stolons and feed below the thatch on rhizomes and roots. The affected area appears brown, thin, and dead in small, irregular spots. Affected grass can be easily plucked out by hand. For chemical control, apply a registered lawn insecticide.Ants
Ants do not directly affect grasses. They build mounds and excavate underground tunnels, causing the turf to dry out and die. Ants are active in the warmer season in all grasses.Earthworms
Earthworms are more of a nuisance than a pest. Worm casts are thrown up on lawn surfaces, forming small mounds, particularly when soil is waterlogged after heavy rain. These appear unsightly. Earthworms are not really damaging the lawn. Worms are beneficial organisms and worm casts are excellent fertilisers. Earthworms can be active all year on most grasses. If they seem a nuisance, aerate the soil with a garden fork. As a last resort, control them with a registered lawn chemical.