Common pests include armyworm (or other grubs that chew through leaves and stems), mites and scales that injure your turf by sucking the 'sap' from the plant, and nematodes. Nematodes are tiny worms (that you can't see without a microscope) that infect the root system of your turf. The damage they cause makes it difficult for the plant to uptake sufficient water and nutrients to grow very well.

Often pests attack turf that is growing quickly and is quite lush. Such growth is usually seen after the application of a basic, nitrogen fertiliser that is released quickly into the soil and area around the roots. A good way to encourage more consistent, controlled growth, and to reduce the chances of pest invasion, is to use a slow release fertiliser.



Turfgrass Pests

Below we have provided a range of turfgrass pests that can be found within or cause damage to warm- and or cool-season turfgrasses. Included within each pest thumbnail are technical descriptors and control options for both the home owner and professional sports turf ground manager or superintendent.

African Black Beetle

Heteronychus arator




Argentine Stem Weevil

Listronotus bonariensis


Beneficial wasps



Spenophorus brunnipennis


Couch Tip Fly

Delia urbana


Curl Grub

Heteronychus arator



Annelida taxon



Labidura truncata


Fire Ant

Solenopsis invicta


Ground Pearl

Eumargarodes laingi


Itchy Grubs

Ochrogaster lunifer


Lawn grub

Spodoptera, Herpetogramma & Agrotis spp.


Mealy bug

Antonia graminis



Various species


Mole cricket

Scapteriscus & Gryllotalpa spp.