Chinch bugs are among the most common and devastating pests that St. Augustine lawns face. Chinch Bugs do their damage by working in large numbers throughout the warm Southwest Florida months which can range from April through October. These tiny little insects tap into the stolon of the leaf blade and draw out essential nutrients. If left untreated Chinch Bugs can completely destroy a St. Augustine lawn past the point of no return
Grub Worms are a vicious subterranean insect that enjoys feasting on the root system of your St. Augustine lawn. Otherwise known as "Grubs", they will move throughout the lawn chewing off anchor points for the turf grass runners. The tell-tale signs of "Grubs" are runners that stick up into the air because they are no longer attached to the soil, or turf that no longer feels anchored to the soil when you pull on it. The leaf blade tips will also begin to turn a yellowish color due to a lack of nutrients from not having any roots. In Southwest Florida, they are more common in the Fall.
Ficus Whitefly is commonly found in Southwest Florida. They are small winged insects that feed on the underside of the leaf with their tiny piercing mouthpart causing the plant to drop it's leaves. Ficus whitefly is best controlled with a contact and systemic insect control spray. It is also recommended to fertilize the ficus after a whitefly attack to help it recover it's foliage.
Oleander Caterpillars are commonly found in our area of Southwest Florida. They feed on the foliage of the oleander plant leaving them bare to the stems. Oleander caterpillars can be controlled with insect control sprays.
You may begin to find Fall Armyworm damage in the Southwest Florida area starting in August. They are a leaf feeding caterpillar that will later turn into a moth. The areas of St. Augustine turf will begin to look distressed and sick, almost as if the lawn were to be affected by fungus. However, if you look closely, you can see notched leaf blades and may even find the worm itself. Because Fall Aryworms are common during our rainiest months, many people do initially assume they have a fungus. Armyworm damage is easily treatable and the turf grass recovers quickly.
The Sri Lankan Weevil is an invasive species that enjoys feasting on a wide variety of our Southwest Florida ornamental plants. You can find them on Robellini palms, Buttonwoods, Loquat trees, Orchid trees and many more. The Sri Lankan Weevil can be controlled through the use of proper pesticide applications.