Top Pest Threats to Your Lawn and Landscape

April 1, 2021

As you work to create and maintain a healthy, attractive lawn, one of your biggest challenges is invasive pests.  Many of us have nurtured favorite plants only to have them fall prey to an insect invasion.  The lawn care programs and ornamental tree and shrub services offered by Southern Lawns incorporate insecticides to combat some of the most common threats at the most vulnerable points in their respective life cycles.  Here is a short list of the bugs you may struggle with in our area.


Aphids are very small oval insects that appear in a variety of colors, most commonly black, green, pink, and white.  Draining fluids and the nutrients they contain from leaves until the plant essentially starves, they can also spread viruses between plants, lawns, and larger geographical areas.


Whiteflies are tiny specks of white fuzz, so small that they’ve been nicknamed “plant dandruff.” 

They can cause serious damage disproportionate to their size because they reproduce quickly and in large numbers in warm conditions.  This love for sunshine makes them a perennial Southern pest.  Like aphids, they drain fluids and the nutrients they contain from leaves until the plant essentially starves.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are another of the most destructive pests in the South, feeding on the plant matter between the veins of leaves during warm weather.  They threaten hundreds of species of ornamental trees and shrubs, in contrast to the majority of insects that tend to specialize.  They add insult to injury by being annoyingly attractive; the front halves of their bodies are a deep green, and the back halves feature iridescent copper-colored wings.

Pine Borer Beetles

These beetles attack a pine tree by laying eggs on the exterior of its trunk.  When the larvae hatch, they burrow through the bark.  As they spread through the interior of the tree, they interfere with the flow of sap and other important life-sustaining processes.

Scale Insects

Scale insects are hard to spot because they’re yet another variety of extremely small menace and because they tend to hang out on the undersides of leaves.  While their feeding does harm plants, the more serious threat is the mold that grows in the sticky substance they leave behind.

These are just a few of the insects common to our region that can seriously harm your trees, grass, and other plants.  The technicians at Southern Lawns are trained to identify their distinctive patterns of damage and apply the appropriate treatments to address the problem.