Grubs, Beetles, Worms and Scale: Identifying and Treating These Early Summer Pests


A rainy spring sprouted lush and green lawns, trees and shrubs, but the heat of the summer is here and your property needs protection. In the Maryland area, grubs, beetles, bagworms, and scale are the three top insects affecting causing havoc in early summer. It’s important to identify these pesky insects before they cause severe damage to your property.


If your grass turns brown in patches and pulls up easily or, if you notice a lot of skunks or raccoons in your yard, then your lawn may be infested with grubs. Grubs are milky white and curl up into a “C” shape when disturbed. They begin their lifecycle in mid to late summer and do their feeding in late summer. Their lifecycle is two to three years so, they can do damage during the spring, summer and fall seasons.

Japanese Beetles

Like clockwork, Japanese Beetles start flying in June and are at their peak by the fourth of July. These chewing insects feed on ornamental plants and fruit crops like roses, plum trees, and cherry trees.  It’s easy to spot Japanese Beetles because of their distinct metallic green body and copper brown wing covers. On their side, there is a row of small white hair.

Bagworm Caterpillars

Bagworms start as small caterpillars with a tiny protective cocoon that hangs on evergreens and maple trees. The bags protect them from other insects and birds. The cocoon becomes larger as the season pushes on. One female worm produces up to 1000 worms. They can devastate a plant if left unchecked in a matter of weeks.


Scale is an insect but it doesn’t fly or hop. In fact, it barely moves and only measures 1-3 millimeters. Scale attaches to a branch by secreting a waxy residue that forms a white shell, protecting the female and her eggs. Plants affected by scale look as if they are water-stressed. Leaves turn yellow and drop, branches may break, and bark splits and gums.

When To Attack

Problems from these critters are halted if caught early and treated properly during June and the beginning weeks of summer. We provide a free analysis of your landscape and recommend an integrated pest management plan using the least toxic and most effective products. By reducing harmful insects, we create a safe environment for beneficial insects such as bees and other pollinators.