Worst Backyard Pests in Denver (and How to Get Rid of Them)BY JILL RAMONE | JULY 18TH, 2019 | COLORADO, DENVER, LAWN CARE
We might think that bug-ugly creatures that invade and destroy lawns are the bane of hot, moist parts of the country. It’s true the Southern states suffer the worst, but no part of the U.S is free of grass-chomping insects. That includes Denver.
Yes, Denver might be cool (literally and figuratively), but they’re out there, lurking just below our feet, busily gnawing away at our carefully nurtured lawns.
Nearly all insects that can seriously hurt Denver lawns do so in their larva stage — as grub worms. Most varieties feed low on the grass blades and on roots. If you have an infestation, a chunk of sod will come up easily in your hand and you can see the little creatures squirming around.
But here’s good news! The creepy-crawlies most likely to pester Denver neighborhoods can be evicted. The best way to do it is so simple you’ll be smiling by the end of this article.
First, let’s identify the freeloaders that can lay waste to our backyards.
You may see these black or brown weevils strolling across your sidewalk in the warm months. While their distinctive snouts look menacing, the adult bugs actually don’t do much damage. But in their earlier stage as a white grubworm they can take a toll. The grubs like to hang out around evergreen shrubs and trees where you may see patches of wilted grass and matter that looks like sawdust. Left untreated, billbug grubs can kill your lawn.
An interesting name for a harmless-looking little winged creature you’ll see flitting about in the summer. The larvae will eat their way through the roots of your grass and then move on to your fir trees. In this stage, the gray grubs have distinctive orange-brown heads. Brown patches in your lawn in late summer are a clue you may have these pests.
In parts of the country where they’re numerous, these big clumsy brown bugs are often called June bugs. They like to fly around outdoor lights on summer nights and freak you out when they cling to your skin. For years, Colorado was mostly spared from this insect, but the spread of suburban lawns has increased their population. Almost every American lawn has a few June bug grubs — fat white larvae — but they’re not a problem until they become a heavy infestation.
In their adult stages, these are common moths. In their larval stages, they are brownish grubs distinguished by dark spots on their back. They spin silky webs in the grass or on leaves. They are one of the most common insects in Colorado. Although they come out at night to feed on grass blades, a healthy lawn can withstand them. Also, your backyard birds are efficient and cost-effective exterminators of this poacher.
One lawn pest that is not a grub worm is the lawn mite. These nearly-invisible, spider-like little specks can wipe out a lawn if left unchecked. They prefer hot or dry weather and are not bashful about coming into your house. Fortunately, it’s easy to get rid of them.
Which brings us to the simple solution to backyard pests that will put a smile on your face:
Severe infestations may require the use of pesticides or professional help, but every infestation mentioned here can be prevented by proper lawn irrigation.
Grubs feed primarily at ground level or on shallow roots. Irrigation done in the morning at a rate of an inch per week (including rain) allows grass roots to descend deeper into the soil and become sturdier in order to withstand pest infestation.
Proper fertilizing and aeration (getting rid of matted and thatched surface vegetation) also helps.
The key word is “proper.” Overwatering may actually attract pests.
By the way, lawn mites hate water and will evacuate ASAP when soaked down.
Interested in more information about lawn care and service in Denver? Visit our Denver lawn care page.
Main photo source: Greg the Busker, Flickr
Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!
- Lawn Mowing and Maintenance in Austin
Austin has it all: live music, festivals, art, and culture. There’s so much to do, the last thing you want is to get hung up on something as basic as keeping your yard green and lush. While you may think you know all about yard work, you may be in for some surprises when it […]JUNE 18TH, 2019
- Lawn Watering Restrictions in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
The amount of lawn watering restrictions you face in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs depends on where you live. While Minneapolis and St. Paul don’t have any restrictions at the moment, many suburbs in the metro do. The city of South St. Paul established a “heat-of-the-day” sprinkling ban on Jan. 1, 2011. It prohibits […]JUNE 28TH, 2019
- Worst Weeds in Virginia Beach (and How to Get Rid of Them)
Your lawn is the crown jewel of your home. Brilliant, green, and expansive. Then some weed saunters in and ruins everything. Here are Virginia Beach’s worst offenders.AUGUST 6TH, 2019
- Benefits of Xeriscaping Your Lawn
Keeping a lawn healthy and green through the height of a hot summer, is hard enough. It gets even harder if you live in a drought-prone area such as Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, or Texas. That’s why xeriscape landscaping is so popular in those areas. Xeriscaping doesn’t mean you have to fill your yard with cacti; […]OCTOBER 14TH, 2019
- The Worst Backyard Pests in Tampa
Taking the time now to learn about the worst backyard pests in Tampa will pay off if you happen to run across any in your yard. Here are some of the most common garden pests and suggestions for getting rid of them.JULY 30TH, 2019
- How To Identify Common Lawn Care Problems in Austin, TX
Summer brings a variety of threats to lawns in the Austin, Texas area. Homeowners should know to prevent and combat these threats to keep their lawn healthy and lush. From scorching temperatures to pests, paying attention to the state of your lawn will help catch any problems before it gets too bad. Southern Texas experiences […]JUNE 30TH, 2018
- Watering Restrictions in Charlotte, N.C.
There are only a handful of strict watering restrictions in Charlotte, N.C., but there are some common-sense measures you can take at any time to reduce the amount of water you use.JULY 30TH, 2019
- Lawn Mowing and Maintenance in Fort Worth
Fort Worth has something to make everyone smile – plentiful sunshine, a square-jawed Western heritage, taco and barbecue joints everywhere and museums and universities galore. And lawns. Lots of lawns that need mowing watering and trimming. Here’s a guide to how to keep your Fort Worth lawn happy so you can spend more time on […]JULY 8TH, 2019
- Grass Vs. Turf: What do the NFL’s Best Teams Play On?
In a 2017 Washington Redskins season filled with the team’s typical humiliations — being swept by their rival Dallas Cowboys, blowing a 15-point lead to New Orleans with less than three minutes left in the game — one of the NFL’s most moribund franchises added a new point of disgrace: players blasting the condition of […]SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2018
- Lawn Mowing and Maintenance in Dallas
A maintenance-free lawn doesn’t exist in North Texas. That’s the first thing to keep in mind when you think about your yard in Dallas or Plano or Irving. Because the growing season is so long, you’ll be putting work into it even longer than homeowners in cooler climates. But it’s not complicated! Here are some […]JUNE 20TH, 2019
- The Worst Weeds in Your San Antonio Lawn
Here are the five worst weeds that San Antonio area homeowners have to contend with, from chickweed to thistle.JULY 12TH, 2019
- Lawn Mowing and Maintenance in Atlanta
You don’t have to have a gift for the obvious to know that Atlanta, Georgia, is hot and humid, and the plants grow like crazy, especially in the summer. But what you may not know is that not all grass is the same. Knowing the difference can mean you have a lush, green lawn instead […]JUNE 27TH, 2019