Common Lawn Pests in Salt Lake City Area

VIRIDIS Lawn Care of Salt Lake can help you protect your lawn from common destructive insects. A few lawn pest in the Salt Lake City area include:

  • White Grubs

White grubs are the larva of beetles. They eat grass roots which cause yellowing and wilting early on and escalate to brown patches by late summer. The lawn may also be lifted easily due to being un-rooted. They are most easily controlled if treatment begins in late spring before the eggs have a chance to hatch.

  • Billbugs

Billbugs, or Weevils, eat the upper root and crown of the grass which can cause the lawn to appear under watered. The earlier treatment begins the better as they get more difficult to exterminate the older they get. Grass infested with billbugs will develop small dead patches and can be easily pulled up. A sawdust-like substance can also be found in the lawn. Treatment for billbugs should be done while they are young larvae, either spring or late summer dependent on the species.

  • Sod Webworms

The sod webworm is the most widely known of Utah lawn pests. They are an immature moth in the caterpillar stage. They feed mostly on the grass above ground, leaving the roots intact. This can cause grass thinning that increases to small brown patches or, in severe cases, large effected areas. For best control, treat in later summer. Well fertilized and watered lawns can outgrow their damage.

  • Subterranean Sod Webworm

The subterranean sod webworm, also known as the cranberry girdler varies from the sod webworm in that it lives lower in the lawn, feeding on roots. This insect is more difficult to control than many of the other pests. Lawns infested with this insect will exhibit dead, brown patches that increase as the summer continues from damaged root systems.  Treatment should occur during summer to early fall.


Good maintenance is the best way to protect your lawn against these common pests. Main ways you can do this include:

  • Mowing

Mow often! Optimal mow height should fall between 2 – 3 ½ inches, never removing over a third of the blade. This encourages roots to grow and increases the strength of your lawn.

  • Fertilizing

Nitrogen is the most important lawn fertilizer. It can help grass recover from winter or other stressors, damage and insect infestations. Fertilizer should be applied in multiple applications for best results.

  • Aerating

Aeration should occur in spring, and occasionally in fall also. This will increase air flow to roots, decrease compacted areas, and help with nutrient absorbing abilities.

  • Watering

Don’t water in the spring until necessary. This will increase root growth. Don’t over or under water. Overwatering can increase your lawn’s susceptibility to disease but not watering enough can open it up to insects. Cut back on water in the spring and fall when temperatures don’t cause as much drying or evaporation.

  • Seeding

Seeding in the fall can help repair damaged areas in your lawn. Cooler temperatures can help seeds germinate.


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