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Experts in lawn services near Sunnyvale are commonly asked how to deal with different types of lawn pests. If you suspect that you have an insect problem in your yard, the first step is to identify the kind of bug. Once you know what form of infestation you have, you can take the proper steps to treat it.

Aphids

These tiny insects (1/16-1/8”) have soft bodies, antennae, and long legs. Aphids typically infest a single type of plant and won’t bother neighboring vegetation of different species. Most aphids will attack new growth on a plant or the undersides of leaves, eating sap from the plants and leaving waste behind in the form of a residue. The residue can cause dark fungus to grow on your plant, blocking sunlight and contributing to its deterioration. Beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings can help reduce the aphid numbers.

Fire Ants

A fire ant colony can build mounds up to 18 inches tall and host one or more queens, winged males and females, worker ants, and brood. These insects prefer open areas that get a good amount of sunlight such as parks and lawns and are usually seen in the spring and fall. Fire ants are aggressive and have painful stings, but will not cause damage to your turf other than with their unattractive mounds. To solve a fire ant problem in your yard, pour several gallons of boiling water on each mound you find. If this method fails, consider introducing beneficial nematodes into the colony or using bait to trap and kill the ants.

Grubs

Grubs are the larval stage of the June bug or June beetle, and are about 1” in length, white in color, and have three pairs of legs. When these infest your yard, they attack several types of grass including Buffalo, Zoysia, and Bermuda. Grubs cause the most damage in the summer and fall by feeding on your grass’ roots. You can combat grubs most effectively during the summer months by introducing beneficial nematodes to affected areas.

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