Why a hot summer isn’t the only cause of a damaged lawn
In the summer months, most homeowners with lawns are concerned about ensuring that their lawn is properly looked after. While the challenge of maintaining a healthy, thick lawn throughout dry periods is one most Australians are used to dealing with, it is also important to be aware of other reasons that your lawn might be looking dried out or yellowed.
Insects such as lawn grubs or beetles, caterpillars and larvae are all threats to the health of lawn grass. While grasses popular in Australia such as Sir Walter Buffalo or Kikuyu are known for their tolerance to extreme heat and droughts, they remain susceptible to attacks from these insects. Armyworms, or lawn grubs, are often the biggest threat, as their moth parents can produce hundreds of eggs at a time, hatching into a colony that can attack grass at speed.
If your lawn has brown or straw-like patches, or if there are slightly shorter or thinner areas even though it hasn’t been mowed recently, there is a good chance your lawn has an Armyworm infestation. To determine if this is the case, there are a number of ways you can check your lawn.
Firstly, although Armyworm caterpillars bury into the soil during the day, and only come out at night to feed on grass if you see moths or wasps flying over the lawn then this can indicate their presence. If you see a great concentration of moths at night, then you can turn on a floodlight or use a torch to inspect for caterpillars.
If you prefer to look for them during the day, this is also possible. Pouring a bucket of water mixed with dishwashing liquid over suspect patches can cause caterpillars to come to the surface. However, wait about 10 minutes to give them a chance to come up.
If you do spot caterpillars, and they are a green, brown, or black colour, then treating this problem is relatively simple. Buying an insecticide, such as Sir Walter Pest Control can eliminate the problem. Use this every week or two, and continue to use it after your lawn has returned to health. As the life cycle of the Armyworm is short, it is possible for multiple infestations to occur in a season. So by continuing to use insecticide after you have rid your lawn of caterpillars you can prevent them from returning later.
If you want a popular, effective insecticide, take a look at this page, for pest control specially formulated to kill off Armyworms and restore the health of your lawn.