Grass or Lawn Damage

Pests that damage grass or lawns work in several ways. Some injure grass blades and stems directly by feeding on lawns above ground. Others do their dirty work below the soil line, often attracting more lawn-damaging pests in the process. Learning to recognize signs of pest-related grass or lawn damage can help you keep your lawn lush and attractive.


Mites are very small pests that often go undetected until the results of their damage become visible. They flourish in hot, dry, drought-stressed lawns. Signs of mite-related grass or lawn damage include:
  • Fine, spider-like webbing on undersides of grass blades
  • Silvery sheen to grass blades
  • Tiny brown or yellow spots on upper leaf surfaces
  • Grass turns yellow or purple-brown

Photo credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, (CC BY 3.0 US)


Armyworms get their name from their battalion-like advances, which devastate lawns and crops. But minor damage starts long before these pests reach "army" level. Signs of armyworm grass and lawn damage include:
  • Jagged, chewed grass tips
  • Transparent, windowpane-like "holes" in grass leaves
  • Frosted appearance to lawn
  • Brown lawn patches or swaths of grass stubble

Photo credit: Susan Collins-Smith, Mississippi State University Extension Service (Available for use with proper credit)


Grubs are beetle larvae that typically damage sunny, well-irrigated lawns. These underground pests eat grass roots, severing turf from the soil beneath. Birds, raccoons, skunks and other grub eaters add to lawn damage. Signs of grub-related grass and lawn damage include:
  • Drought-like brown or wilted grass in irrigated areas
  • Turf feels soft and spongy underfoot
  • Turf easily lifts away from soil and rolls like a rug
  • Grub-seeking pests tear up lawn areas overnight


After effective pest treatment, some types of pest-related grass or lawn damage repair easily. Affected grasses benefit from improved cultural practices, including appropriate irrigation and aeration, if needed. Heavily damaged lawns call for overseeding with new grass seed or bare lawn spot repairs with an all-in-one lawn repair product.