What is insecticide?

What is insecticide?

Insecticides are products containing ingredients that will kill, control, or repel pest insects.

They can be made from natural or synthetic agents and act on eggs, larvae, or adult insects that can damage your lawn or garden plants, flowers, and fruit.

As well as causing physical damage from feeding on grass blades or roots, some insect pests spread diseases that can affect the health and appearance of your lawn.

There’s a long list of pest insects that attack lawns. It includes beetles, moths, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and grubs.

Among the most common are Lawn Grubs, which is the collective name given to the larvae of a number of insects.

They’re more likely to strike in spring and summer when your lawn is growing quickly and at its healthiest – making it especially tasty to insects!

Lawn Grubs live underground, where they eat the roots and leaves. This can make it difficult to tell your lawn is in danger before they’ve caused substantial damage.

There’s more information about how best to deal with Lawn Grubs here.

Types of insecticide

There are three main types of insecticide: liquid, granular, and sprays.

Each has its pros and cons.

Liquid – Emulsifiable concentrates are easy to use and measure and will not block screens or nozzles. Flowables contain finely ground particles in a liquid carrier. Both are hazardous if spilled and should always be handled with care.

Granular – Dry ready-to-use materials that are less likely to drift. They can be more expensive but are the easiest and cheapest to apply using an inexpensive hand spreader.

Spray – A premixed solution packed into an aerosol can that delivers the contents as a spray or mist. Not suitable for treating large areas.

Suitable grass types for insecticide

Some types of grass are more vulnerable to damage from insecticide than others.

Always read the label first, before treating your lawn with any product.

If a product is not suitable for use on your grass type, look for an alternative that is safe or you risk causing further damage.

The label will provide all the information you need about how and when or when not to apply the product. Some will need to be watered in by rain or irrigation, while others should not.

The label also will indicate when you can expect to see results and what to do if a repeat application is needed.

It is generally best to apply insecticides when conditions are cooler and dry, and late in the afternoon or evening when both grubs and adults are most likely to be active.

Avoid application during or within 24 hours of a hot spell and aim to get on top of pests before their populations have the chance to explode and cause even more damage.

Signs you might need lawn insecticide

Ground-dwelling grubs and beetles feed on the leaves and roots, which can weaken your lawn and result in it developing a sponge-like texture. In severe cases, you’ll be able to lift or roll the lawn like a rug because the roots can’t hold on.

Brown patches can develop from this damage and persist through winter when the lawn is slower to grow and recover.

Increased moth and beetle activity is a sign that they’re laying eggs for the next generation of larvae that will cause feeding damage to your lawn for several weeks before transforming into an adult moth or beetle.

Increased bird activity, especially at dusk and dawn, can indicate the presence of Lawn Grubs which many bird species love to eat.

Identifying the problem

There are two easy ways to confirm there’s a problem and check which insects are responsible.

You can lay a wet towel, hessian sack, or a carpet offcut on a suspicious section of the lawn overnight. Lift it in the morning and see which, if any, larvae are lurking under it.

Another method is to mix a bucket of soapy water and pour it over an affected area at dusk or dawn. Grubs are most likely to be active at this time of day and if there’s any present, they will come to the surface in the next 10-20 minutes.



Recommended products

Insecticides suitable for use on Zoysia, Kikuyu, Couch and Buffalo grasses include:

Syngenta Acelepryn GR 10kg

Syngenta Acelepryn GR 10kg provides granular control of seasonal Lawn Grubs and Caterpillars in a single application.


PCT Fivestar 1L

PCT Fivestar 1L liquid has a low odour and offers superior control of insect pests.


Indigo ProForce Recruit 200SC 1L

Indigo ProForce Recruit 200SC 1L is a broad spectrum selective Insecticide that delivers superior results against a variety of beetles.


Indigo ProForce Rumbler 100SC 1L

Indigo ProForce Rumbler 100SC 1L is a broad spectrum insecticide in a suspension concentrate formulation that is effective on a range of insects.


Monarch G 2.5kg

Monarch G 2.5kg provides fast-acting control of a wide range of insects.


Thumper 1L

Thumper 1L is a fast-acting insecticide that provides long residual control of Mites and soil-borne Nematodes.


Indigo ProForce Malice Duo 1L

Indigo ProForce Malice Duo 1L is a combination insecticide for the control of Couch Mite in Couch lawns and is suitable only for Couch turf.


The myhomeTURF shop has a range of insecticides suitable for use in Buffalo, Couch, Zoysia and Kikuyu lawns. You can browse them at myhomeTURF’s online store.

Free Lawn Guide

Sign up for our Newsletter to receive your free guide.

View our Privacy policy

Related Articles

How to Control Chafer Grubs in Your Lawn

Chafer Grubs are the larvae of different types of Scarab and Cockchafer Beetles, which live in the soil and feed on plant roots. The most damage is caused by final stage ...

Read More

How to Control Cutworms in Your Lawn

Cutworms are among the most common pests of Australian lawns, found in most states. They’re the larval stage of several species of brown moths that fly at night, including the ...

Read More

How to Control Garden Weevils

Garden weevils are an introduced insect pest that cause damage to both edible and non-edible plants. Sometimes it’s the adults that chew their way through your garden munching ...

Read More

9 Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard

Mosquitoes are not just a nuisance when you’re trying to enjoy being outdoors in summer, their bites can also transmit a range of harmful diseases and parasites affecting ...

Read More

How to Control Snails and Slugs in Your Lawn

Most of the pest Snails and Slugs found in our gardens are not native species, but were introduced accidentally. This includes the common Garden Snail, which arrived from the ...

Read More

5 Signs Your Lawn has a Grub Problem

Lawn  Grubs is the collective name given to the larvae of a wide range of moths and beetles. In this article, we explain how to identify Lawn Grubs, when to look out for them ...

Read More

How to Control Billbugs in Your Lawn

For many insect pests, it’s not the adults that cause most of the damage. This is especially true for Billbugs, whose larvae can quickly turn a healthy green lawn into a ...

Read More

What is the best time to apply lawn insecticides?

There are numerous pest insects that attack lawns, causing physical damage from feeding on grass blades or roots, and spreading diseases that can affect the health and ...

Read More
Grasshopper in lawn

How to get rid of Grasshoppers in your lawn

The occasional Grasshopper or Locust won’t cause much damage to your lawn, it’s only when they descend on your garden in large numbers that you need to think about taking ...

Read More
Couch Mites

How to remove Couch Mites in your lawn

Couch Mites are tiny pests that are visible only through a magnifying hand lens or microscope. The translucent bodies of juvenile mites are just 0.1mm to 0.15mm long and the ...

Read More