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Dethatching Your Lawn in Northern VA: Understanding Thatch and How to Deal With It

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Lawn insects can be not only a major nuisance but a destructive problem, as well. Unfortunately, lawn pest damage often goes unnoticed until it becomes severe—at which point, it could be too late to fix. This is why it’s so important to catch it early.

If you suspect that you might have pests in or around your lawn, you may be looking for answers. That’s why we’ve rounded up helpful information for this guide to Northern Virginia lawn pests. You’ll learn which insects might be in your lawn as well as what to do about them.

Lawn Insects Identification

In Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA, there are two primary lawn destroying insects that we frequently identify on lawns. In this section, we’ll explain what they are and how to deal with them.

Grubs

Grubs, which is the collective name for several species of beetles in their larval stage, are tiny creatures that have the power to do a lot of damage to your lawn. These are bugs that eat grass roots. Beetles lay their eggs in the summer, so the grubs are born in the soil and typically start feeding on the roots of your lawn around mid-August.

lawn grub

Damage from these grubs can occur rapidly. As the grubs feed on your roots, it will ultimately kill your lawn. This may start with some brown patches. However, at the point where grubs have fully consumed your lawn roots, you may discover to your dismay that you can roll up the dead turf like a carpet.

The best option for grub control is preventative maintenance. A lawn care program that includes pollinator safe grub control will take care of your grub problem before it can cause any damage. A preventative program addresses young grubs as they hatch, not allowing them any opportunity to feed on your lawn.

Chinch Bugs

Unlike grubs, which feed beneath the surface, chinch bugs eat grass at the surface of your lawn. These lawn destroying insects are tiny—an adult is only about ⅙-inch long and you may never notice them in your grass.

chinch bug identification

What you will notice is the damage that these surface feeding insects can do to your lawn. An infestation may bring as many as 200 insects per square foot of turfgrass.

Chinch bugs cause damage by sucking out the plant fluids and injecting a toxin that can cause the grass to yellow, turn brown, and ultimately die. Oftentimes the first sign of a chinch bug problem is the grass changing color.

If you suspect that you have an issue, you can perform a simple visual inspection on the lawn’s fringe, where the grass is still green. This is where chinch bugs will be moving after they’ve fully consumed the adjacent area. Get on your hands and knees, pull the thatch apart at multiple spots, and watch closely for pest movement.

The best way to address chinch bugs is to apply insect control materials and also manage excess thatch by having a lawn aeration performed each year. This will break up compacted soil and improve microbial activity that will help to naturally break down excessive thatch layers where chinch bugs thrive.  

Other Lawn Pests to Be Aware Of

While they may not be lawn destroying insects, there are quite a few other pests that can be found in or around your lawn including fleas and ticks, as well as mosquitoes, and more. These types of pests can be a nuisance that detract from your overall enjoyment of time spent outside. If your lawn has a high population of some of these pests, they can also sometimes make their way into your home.

mosquito in yard

Of course, some are also dangerous. As you likely already know, insects like ticks and mosquitoes can also carry dangerous diseases.

For all of these reasons, you’re likely also interested in keeping these other pests controlled, as well.

While a lot of lawn care companies are only going to deal with lawn destroying insects, because of our sister company Kingstowne Pest Defense, we can also offer pest control for these other insects.

Our Mosquito, Flea, and Tick Defense will create a barrier of protection to keep these dangerous pests away. In addition, our Perimeter Pest Defense program will target pests like ants, centipedes, spiders, pillbugs, and silverfish and will prevent them from entering your home. These options allow you to have a comprehensive solution for whatever pests you might be dealing with.

Take Back Your Yard

Whether it’s lawn destroying insects like grubs or chinch bugs that are impacting your lawn care results or it’s pests that are detracting from your time outdoors, you shouldn’t have to go on dealing with any of them.

Fortunately, you don’t have to.

By choosing to work with Kingstowne, we can provide the comprehensive solutions that you are looking for because we have answers for all of these pests. This will allow you to take back your yard from unwanted visitors and get back to enjoying your property to the fullest.

If you’re ready to know your property will be protected from lawn destroying insects (and that you have other pest defense options available should you need them), request your quote, choose from 3 lawn care package options (or outdoor pest control) and relax as you get the royal treatment.

Request a Maintenance Quote

Image sources: chinch bugslawn grubchinch bug, mosquito

Krisjan Berzins - Owner, CEO

Since 1997, Krisjan has led the Kingstowne team with one simple philosophy, treat every customer like the “only” customer. His passionate pursuit of impeccable customer service has resulted in 23 successful years and a thriving company with over 65 employees, helping thousands of homeowners in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA area get what they want -- a worry-free property they can be proud of.