Here in South Carolina, there are any number of forces that can damage your lawn, including drought and disease. But, none are more damaging or disturbing than the variety of insects are attracted by the Palmetto State’s climate. Here are some of the most destructive lawn pests that you’re likely to find as you step outside your door.

Mole Crickets

Mole crickets are not only scary-looking; they can also seriously damage your lawn if you don’t catch and eradicate them early. They are aptly named for their ability to use their front claws to burrow under sod, which creates brown patches of dead grass. They’ll often emerge at night to feed on small insects and grass.

You can check for mole crickets by creating a mixture of one gallon of water and two tablespoons of dishwashing detergent. Apply this over a small area in your lawn. If you see more than a few mole crickets emerge, it’s time to get help. 

Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs are common lawn pests in this region. They enjoy eating all types of grass, and you’ll begin to see the damage they cause in the summer months as yellow and brown spots appear. 

You can control chinch bugs by increasing the presence of a fungus called Beauveria, which is poisonous to them. This is something you can purchase and apply yourself or ask your pest control company to do. 

Japanese Beetles

While they might have some pretty colors, Japanese beetles can be incredibly destructive. These are an invasive species that begin feeding on your grass roots at the larval stage in the fall and spring. When they are adults in the summer, the pests will eat anything green they encounter – grass, trees, flowers, shrubs, and more. 

The first step to controlling Japanese beetles is finding out if you have them. First, pull up any damaged sod to check for grub presence. If you do have the critters, the best way to eliminate them is with pheromone traps that stop them from reproducing. 

Fire Ants

Fire ants are another invasive species that can make your backyard a downright dangerous place to visit. These tiny critters have been terrorizing homeowners since the early 1900s when they arrived from South America.  Fire ants can create extensive tunnel systems in your yard, damaging your grass. They are also a serious threat to children and pets. 

To control fire ants, you have to eliminate the queen. While there are DIY products you can purchase, you may have hundreds of colonies in your yard, meaning multiple queens. In many cases, it’s better to hire a pro. 


Armyworms are caterpillars that have received their name for the way they “march” across your lawn and take out anything green along the way. On a farm, these critters can decimate thousands of dollars worth of crops in short order. 

A female moth can lay as many as 2,000 eggs in your lawn, and the resulting armyworms will begin devouring your grass within days. The best way to defeat them is to catch them early, so inspect your lawn early and often, especially in the late summer and early fall. If you do see them, it may be possible to eradicate them by spraying a harmless bacterium. 

Get Professional Pest Control in South Carolina

If you suspect that some of these lawn pests are destroying your grass and foliage, the experts at MidSouth Termite & Pest Control can help. We provide thorough pest control services to clients throughout the Richland, Kershaw, Lexington counties and surrounding areas. 

Contact us today to learn more about our service and to request a quote.