How to Get Rid of Lawn Insects
- 1). Encourage birds and helpful insects in your yard. Ladybugs, ants, and beetles (excluding Japanese beetles) are all insects you should be happy to see because they help to keep more harmful pests under control. Birds also reduce the insect population, so welcome them into your yard with feeders and bird baths. Not only will they help solve your insect problem, but you'll be able to enjoy watching them throughout the day.
- 2). Find out what type of insects you have in your yard. Knowing the type of pest will help you determine which type of insecticide will be most effective. Common pests include cinchbugs, cutworms, flea beetles, white grubs, caterpillars, ticks, fleas, fire ant wasps, and mosquitoes.
Capture one of the bugs and check it against a reference such as the Lawn America website or take it to a garden store where a professional can identify it.
- 3). Try a biological insecticide first. Because these insecticides target specific insects, they allow you to avoid killing helpful bugs and contaminating your lawn with chemicals. Endophytes, nematodes, BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis) and milky spore are three common types of biological insecticides. Purchase these at a local nursery or gardening store and follow the application directions on the package.
- 4). Apply insecticidal soap to your lawn if your pest problem continues. Simply mix the soap with water and pour it over the area where the insects are most prominent. If the problem involves your whole lawn, try spreading the soap over your entire lawn and then watering the grass thoroughly.
- 5). Use chemical insecticides if you still find pests in your lawn. If you're a get-it-done-the-first-time kind of person, you may want to eliminate the previous steps. Chemical insecticides generally are undesirable when another method of control will work, because the chemicals often kill helpful insects and expose children and pets to toxins. If you do resort to a chemical insecticide, All About Lawns columnist Dawn West recommends Durzban, Diazinon, Sevin and Orthene.
- 6). Use organic insecticides like Orange-D or Sharp Shooter if you prefer to stay green. Both these products use the acid found naturally in citrus fruits to eliminate pests. You may also want to plant garlic throughout your yard, as these plants produce attractive flowers that ward off a variety of insects.