One insect that is easy to spot is the sod webworm moth. These small white moths can be seen emerging from the grass in large numbers as you walk across your lawn. The moths are harmless, but their larvae live near the soil surface feeding on the leaves and stems. This feeding activity is what leads to damage.
Another common pest, especially during periods of low rainfall, are chinch bugs. The insects are hard to see, but their damage is distinct. Watch for patches of dry, straw-like grass spreading from the edge of a hot surface, such as a sidewalk, driveway, or deck. Chinch bugs can spread quickly, so be sure to act early if you are suspicious!
In periods of heavy rain, watch for brown patches in the middle of your lawn. These spots may result from a fungal infection brought on by excess water in the soil. You can prevent this by only watering your lawn in the morning before it gets too hot, and turning your system off completely if the forecast calls for rain.
Stay alert, and if you see any of these symptoms, contact your local lawn care expert immediately!