Garden Pests and Lawn Pests

Pest managers also get involved in dealing with lawn pests, especially ants, lawn grubs and caterpillars, and sometimes deal with plant pests. Some companies take this further and provide combined pest, weed and lawn care services. We have a range of articles focusing on lawncare, lawn and garden insect pests and weed.


Before dealing with any pests or weeds in lawns it is important to understand what type of grass you have in your lawn (as this can impact potential treatments) and also understand the basics of turf care.

Lawn Pests

The main insect pests in lawns include various species of ants, which includes biting ants in lawns, such as the green-head ant and tyrants ants, and other lawn ants, such as the infamous funnel ant.

The other pests that concern gardens are the various caterpillars (moth larvae) and curl grubs (beetle larvae). If you’re not sure what’s eating your lawn check out our article on lawn caterpillars, worms and grubs.

Not an insect and difficult to see, the couch mite can cause problems in lawns, causing the plants to develop the witches broom appearance.

Plant Pests

There are of course a wide range of pest that attack plants. We’re starting to build our library of articles, but here is some useful information on mealybugs, stink bugs, passionvine hoppers, sawflies and spitfires and cluster caterpillars.

Other Pests

There are a range of other pests that can appear in gardens (and sometime invade homes), that aren’t really a concern from a gardening point of view, but still cause concern for the gardener and homeowner. These include the lawn prawn (amphipod), assassin bugs, rove beetles and seed bugs.

Weeds in Lawn

Weeds in lawns are an ongoing issue for home gardeners. Correct identification of the weed is important to determine the best treatment, knowing whether it is a summer annual weed or a broadleaf weed is a good start. However, know information on specific weeds is also important, such as bindi and fleabane.

More information on lawn care.

Processionary caterpillar


Famous for their mass migrations, and notorious for their adverse medical effects, these caterpillars are found over most of Australia. Would you be able to recognise a processionary caterpillar?

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Maroga melanostigma Pecan Stem girdler adult

Maroga melanostigma

The larvae of these moths can eat solid wood and can quickly kill a small tree – would you be able to identify a Pecan stem-girdler?

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Spitfires (sawfly larvae)


These caterpillar-like pests gather in groups and threaten predators with poisonous spit, giving them their common name – spitfires. But would you be able to recognise the wasp-like adults, the sawflies?

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Passionvine hopper nymph image


These insects feed on dozens of garden vegetables, ornamentals, native plants and weeds. They look like moths, jump like fleas, and their nymphs have long waxy filaments coming out of their abdomens. Would you be able to identify a passionvine hopper?

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cluster caterpillar


A notorious pest from a family of notorious pests, these caterpillars will feast on almost anything, and thrive on vegetables and poisonous weeds. Could you identify a cluster caterpillar?

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Christmas beetle image


Every year this insect emerges to defoliate eucalyptus and delight with their festive colours. But their numbers seem to have crashed in recent years. Would you be able to identify a Christmas beetle?

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Mealybugs are a common problem for gardeners. Also called unarmoured scale insects, their waxy cuticle and habit for hiding around the joins between stems and leaves make them difficult to control with insecticides. How would you control a mealybug infestation?

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A common weed faced by lawn managers, fleabane is one species where a selective herbicide can deliver better results than the usual go-to glyphosate.

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