Common insects that live on grass blades are billbugs, chinch bugs, greenbugs and leafhoppers.
Feeding time is the spring through the fall. Adults and larvae are the most harmful stages. However, the larvae can cause the most damage. Adults hibernate in the grass during the winter months. During the spring they feed on the grass blades and lay eggs on them. The larvae feed on the grass stems and roots from the spring until the fall at which time they become adults.
Adults are about 3/8 of an inch long. They look like black or brown beetles with long snouts. The larvae look like white grubs with a brownish colored head.
The damage is apparent during the summer when your lawn is suffering from the heat and lack of water. Small circular areas will turn yellow, then brown, finally dying. The grass can be lifted easily in these areas. A saw dust like material is present where the billbug has chewed.
If there are approximately 3 or more grubs or 10 adults within one square foot area, it is time to take action against these insects that live on grass blades. Adults should be treated in May, while the larvae should be treated in July or August. Mow the lawn and remove the grass clippings before you apply the insecticide. Both sprays and granule form insecticides work well. Always read and follow the directions on the packaging. Water as indicated on the the insecticide package.
Feeding time is in late June and into September. Juveniles (nymphs) and adults are the most harmful stages. During the winter adults live in the thatch and at the base of the grass blade. During the early spring females lay eggs. The chinch bug matures in mid-summer and lays eggs at that time. They like to feed in the mid to late summer when it is hot and dry.
Adults are usually less than ¼ inch long. They are a grayish black color and have white wings with a triangular black marking. A juvenile's abdomen changes colors throughout it's different stages (orange, purple, gray and black). The juvenile's head is always black.
These pests suck the juices out of the grass blades, making them dry out. They leave circular patches (yellow to brown). They favor feeding in the sunny areas of your lawn.
The best defense is a well watered lawn against insects that live on grass blades. Seed or overseed with grasses that are resistent to this type of pest (perenniel ryegrasses, fine fescues and tall fescues with endophytes). When you find 3 or more bugs per test area, it is time to apply an insecticide. If you have a yearly problem, you may want to apply the insecticide. An application in May can provide the necessary control for the entire growing season. Both sprays and granule form insecticides work well. Always read and follow the directions on the packaging. Water as indicated on the the insecticide package.
Feeding time is in the summer. Juveniles (nymphs) and adults are the most harmful stages. Eggs hatch in the spring. There can be several generations during the growing season.
Greenbugs are very small. They are about 1/16th of an inch long. They are light green and almost transparent in appearance.
The damage is apparent because it leaves rust colored patches on your grass. The damage is usually in a shady area of the lawn like under a tree. They really like honey locusts. They suck the juice out of the grass blades while injecting toxins into the plant. These toxins can kill the grass.
Keeping your grass watered and properly fertilized will help keep these insects that live on grass blades out. Ladybugs, rove beetles and spiders usually keep this insect under control. Spot treat areas if necessary. Treat the surrounding turf of the damaged areas as well.
Feeding time is throughout the growing season. Juveniles (nymphs) and adults are the most harmful stages. Adults feed and mate in the spring. They lay eggs in the grass blades and within 2 weeks the eggs hatch. There can be several generations during the growing season.
They are tiny bugs under ¼ inch long. They are yellow, white or green wedge shaped insects. Nymphs and adults fly and hop between the grass blades.
Leafhoppers suck the sap from the plant. The grass wilts, turns yellow and eventually looks as if it has been bleached.
These insects are very common in most lawns. Keeping your grass healthy is the best defense against insects that live on grass blades. Unless you notice a lot of them no action is required. However, if action is required use an insecticide that specifically controls leafhoppers.
Full grown Billbug and Larvae
Damage caused by Billbugs
Damage caused by Chinch Bugs
Chinch Bugs - 20 lb Bag of Chinch Bug Control. Treats 10,000 sq ft of lawn.
Chinch Bug Control - Always read the directions on the back of the bag. The directions tell you the active ingredients in the pesticide, other pests that the pesticide controls, how to apply, how long it takes to work as well as any warnings that you should be aware of.