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What insects are problems with zoysia grass lawns in this area?
The most common insect problems of zoysia grass lawns are the chinch bug and hunting billbug.
Chinch bugs can cause significant damage to all types of grasses and an increase in their effects on zoysia grass lawns has been noted. Sunny, south facing slopes and areas of turf bordered by sidewalks or pavement are particularly susceptible to attack. The linked Integrated Pest Management (IPM) pages tells you when and what to look for and the management strategies to curtail and eliminate this insect.
Hunting billbug has also become a very troublesome pest in zoysia grass lawns in the St. Louis area. Both the adult and larva stage of the hunting billbug have caused extensive damage including dead turf areas. The linked IPM article that appeared in an issue of the Missouri Environment & Garden discusses the identification and control of this pest.
Grubs are an occasional problem in warm-season lawns such as zoysia grass. Damage from grubs will appear as a thinning and weakening of the lawn in affected areas, when moisture is lacking. These affected patches can easily be lifted as the roots have been eaten and the grass is no longer anchored. The grubs should be visible under the lifted turf by 1 P.M. An increase in mole or skunk activity may also be seen, as grubs are a source of their food.