Dealing with Common Lawn Pests: Identification & Treatment

We’re lucky here in Manitoba—we don’t have fire ants, we don’t have tarantulas, and our insects, while pesky, are rarely life-threatening—at least—to humans.

Our lawns and gardens are susceptible to all kinds of pests. It’s important to identify these lawn and garden pests—some are beneficial insects, while others will leave you with brown patches, lawn damage and dying grass.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common pest insects you’ll find in Manitoba—we’ll help you identify them, then give you tips on how to treat your lawn to prevent them from wreaking havoc. 

White Grubs

White grubs are white or yellowish beetle larvae—fully grown, they’re usually 2-4 cm long. They feed on lawn grass roots—when your lawn is infested, affected areas will become soft and spongy. You can easily pull affected turf up—you should be able to see the grubs. 

In best-case scenarios, you’ll be able to eliminate the grubs by hand-picking them away from the roots of your lawn—even 8-10 grubs can damage a lawn. Healthy lawns are also better at resisting grubs—removing excess thatch, aerating your lawn, and using high-potassium fertilizer can help. Attracting certain predators like birds can also help eliminate white grubs. When absolutely necessary, pesticides are also available. 

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are more common in Eastern Canada, but they can be found here in Winnipeg—and they can devastate your lawn. They’re small black bugs with white wings; when crushed, they emit a very unpleasant odour. They suck the sap from bluegrass, red fescue, and other common grasses—their saliva is toxic to grass, and you may end up with dead spots of brown grass. 

As with grubs, the impact of these bugs can be drastically reduced with proper aeration and dethatching. They’re harder to eliminate than grubs, however, so pesticides may be the best option.

Sod Webworms

Sod webworms feed on grass leaves and stems—they grow up to about 2.5 cm before turning into lawn moths. You may see brown spots around your lawn, but the most obvious sign of webworms is the strands of silk webbing they’ll leave just below the surface of the soil.

You know the drill by now—a well-tended, well-aerated lawn will be more resistant to webworms. When you’ve got a lot of webworms, however, you may need to apply pesticides. 


These are just a few of the most common lawn pests you’ll find in Manitoba—most of them feed on the bluegrass and red fescue that make up the vast majority of our lawns. Tending to lawn health can help stop pests from destroying lawns.

We all prefer healthy lawns to dead lawns—sometimes, you need the help of an exterminator to keep your lawn green and vibrant. For pest control in Winnipeg, call Gilles Lambert. 

By Clint Rosevear on July 13, 2023
Learn helpful tips for dealing with pest infestations from GL Pest Control experts, including identification, prevention, elimination, and post-elimination measures.
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