7F2A3895Autumn is right around the corner, and the hot, humid summer days are almost behind us. Your lawn is finally snapping out of its summer singeing and is anticipating the more pleasant weather that awaits. Your lawn looks better than it has in a long time, except those few unusual brown spots where the grass is dying. What could be causing this damage to your otherwise healthy lawn? The Tampa lawn treatment professionals at Apex Pest Control believe it may be cooler weather lawn pests such as spittlebugs, chinch bugs, or sod webworms.


  • Spittlebugs: Homeowners with Centipedegrass turf need to be on the lookout for spittlebug damage. Grass with telltale cream or pinkish-purple stripes running the length of the blade has been eaten by spittlebugs. Identification is easy – spittlebugs are black with two orange stripes across their wings. If you notice a few spittlebugs, don’t be alarmed; they are common and do not harm lawns in small numbers. A large number of spittlebugs must be eradicated with an insecticide on the ground surface to destroy the spittlebug larva as they rest in bubbly cocoons.
  • Chinch Bugs: Chinch bugs love St. Augustine grass, and prefer open, dry, sunny areas in summer and fall. Chinch bugs leave grass an unhealthy color. Eventually the grass becomes yellow, then straw brown. Immature chinch bugs are bright red or orange and grow to about the size of the head of a pin. The nymphs often congregate in patches along nearby plants where they are more easily discerned. Adults transform into black and white insects approximately 1/8” long. Part the grass near the border of discolored turf to see if you can spot chinch bugs. Chinch bugs do not travel far, so treatment can be contained in a 10’ perimeter around the affected area.
  • Webworms: The green or tan caterpillars curled near the soil line of your turf may grow to be sod webworms. These troublesome pests nibble on grass blades, leaving them serrated directly above the crown of the grass. Larvae can kill small, round patches – up to 6” – but the patches often overlap, leaving large areas of your yard brown and dead. Check the base of the grass stems for silken tunnels and green fecal pellets that sod webworms leave behind.


These autumn insects can all be controlled with the help of the Tampa lawn treatment professionals Apex Pest Control. Call Apex at (866) 675-4070, or browse their website for information on controlling dozens of lawn pests, advice on preventing infestations, and the best treatment for your type of sod.