Pests of Turfgrass


A fire ant mound in turfgrass near a sidewalk

A fire ant mound in turfgrass near a sidewalk. Photo by Bart Drees.

The primary ant pest in Texas turf is the red imported fire ant, although other ant species like the Texas leaf-cutting ant and Rasberry crazy ant also can affect turfgrass areas.

Beetles and Larvae


Caterpillars are the immature stages of moths and butterflies. They have chewing mouthparts and feed mainly on foliage. Blades of grass damaged by caterpillars often appear ragged or may be skeletonized with only the leaf veins and one surface of the leaf remaining. Close examination of the thatch around damaged grass often reveals silk webbing and “frass” (excrement) left by the caterpillars. Damage often is spotty or localized. Several species of caterpillars can be found in Texas turfgrass.

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are sucking insects that feed on the crowns of grasses injecting toxic saliva that can cause wilting and death of turfgrass, usually in spots of infestation.

Other Pests of Turfgrass