• Ants (Formicidae)

    Ants

    Pest Control: Ants

    Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Larger colonies consist mostly of sterile, wingless females forming castes of "workers", "soldiers", or other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called "drones" and one or more fertile females called "queens". The colonies are described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony. Their ability to exploit resources may bring ants into conflict with humans, however, as they can damage crops and invade buildings.

  • Lawn Caterpillar (Spodoptera cilium)

    Lwn Caterpillar

    Pest Control: Lawn Caterpillar

    Larvae of the smallish Cape Lawn Moth (wingspan 30mm). Fore wings plain grey-brown, hind wings whitish with thin brown border. Eggs are laid in bunches on grass and hatch into small larvae which feed in the thatch of the lawn at ground level. Pupation occurs in soil.

    Lawn caterpillars are normally not visible during the day as they feed during the night. A heavy infestation can destroy an entire lawn in a very short time. Fast and decisive action is needed to prevent their destructive damage.

  • Mole Cricket (Gryllotalpa africana)

    Mole Cricket

    Pest Control: Mole Cricket

    Cylindrical, light brown and furry, with fore legs massively developed for burrowing, much like those of true moles. Most species of mole crickets can fly powerfully, if not with agility or frequency. Usually they fly only when moving long distances, such as when changing territory, or when females are searching for singing males.

    Mole crickets amplify their song by chirping in a burrow that they've carefully sculpted into the shape of a double exponential horn, which acts as a megaphone. Males have forewings with a scraper that, when rubbed against a file on the other wing, produces a pulse of sound; repeating this action produces a chirp (short sequence) or trill (long sequence).

    Mole crickets are omnivores, feeding on larvae, worms, roots, and grasses. They are nocturnal and spend nearly all their lives underground in extensive tunnel systems, and are rarely seen. They are active most of the year, but spend the winter in hibernation. Over watering your lawn could attract an infestation of mole crickets, as they prefer very wet or waterlogged soil.

    They can destroy an entire lawn in a very short time if left untreated.

  • Southern Harvester Termite (Microhodotermes viator)

    Southern Harvester Termite Small

    Pest Control: Southern Harvester Termite

    They nest by excavating in the soil where loose particles are brought to the surface and dumped at various points around the nest. Colonies of Microhodotermes viator produce initially small, conical mounds on soil with sufficient clay content. Soon after rain showers, swarms of flying termites emerge from their underground nests during summer evenings. When sufficiently distant from the parent nest, they land, shrug off their wings and scout about for a mate. The pair then excavates a burrow to start a new colony.

    The workers collect mostly woody material and can deplete a lawn with alarming speed if left untreated.

  • White Grub (Scarabaeidae)

    White Grub Small

    Pest Control: White Grub (Scarabaeidae)

    The C-shaped larvae of scarab and chafer beetles are called White Grubs. Most adult beetles are nocturnal while the Grubs live mostly underground so as not to be exposed to sunlight. Eggs are laid below the soil surface and larvae feed on decomposing plant material like compost or dung in the soil. Adults chew into the roots and stems of plants just below the surface which is the cause of damage to lawns. Heavy infestation can ruin an entire lawn over time.