When to Spray the Lawn for Bugs

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.
Image Credit: Liudmila Chernetska/iStock/GettyImages

Lawn spray is not a one-and-done application. To control insects around your home and in the backyard most effectively, spray your lawn several times throughout the year because different insects emerge at different times throughout the spring and summer.


Spray in Early Spring for Bugs

Over the winter, many insects lie dormant in shrubs and trees, waiting for spring to emerge. To control these pests, spray your lawn, trees, and shrubs between late February and early March before new green begins to grow.

Video of the Day

Use a dormant spray to control aphids, mites, caterpillars, and the eggs of insects laid just before the dormant season. Spraying for these insects early will prevent them from developing into a problem and protect new plant growth from infestation.


Spray in Spring for Weeds

During the later spring, it is not often necessary to spray your lawn for insects. If you have already sprayed during the early spring, your lawn should be protected until the early summer when summer pests like beetles begin to emerge.

Spraying your lawn with an herbicide during the spring, however, is a way to control weeds like dandelion and crabgrass. Keeping your lawn weed-free helps to keep the population of insect pests in your yard down.


Spray in Early Summer for Bugs

Early summer is another important time to spray for insect pests. In the summer, crickets, beetles, lace bugs, white flies, and cutworms begin to emerge. Spray your entire lawn and garden to protect against these insects as well as against aphids, leafhoppers, and mites. Select a nontoxic pesticide to do the job. Experts usually recommend insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils like Neem oil rather than contact insecticides.


Check your lawn and garden frequently for insect damage and reapply the spray when necessary. Remove dead plants and weeds as soon as possible to avoid attracting the kinds of insects that feed on decaying plant matter.

Spray in Summer for Mosquitos

The height of summer is when mosquitoes tend to emerge. These nuisance pests multiply rapidly and unless you prevent them from breeding in your yard, you may find yourself overrun.


Sprays for killing mosquitoes also kill honeybees, butterflies, and ladybugs, all beneficial insects. Instead, try basic mosquito-control tactics, like eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed, old tires, bird feeders, and planters. Fix broken screens on doors and windows, and remove patches of weeds and loose garbage.

Spray in Fall for Crawling Insects

The fall is the best time to spray your yard for crawling insects like ants and water bugs. Spray your lawn and concentrate especially on the area around the foundation of your house to create a pesticide barrier.


This type of pesticide application is most effective against ants, spiders, centipedes, crickets, and water bugs. In addition to spraying around the foundation, spray a band of soil around the foundation to prevent insects from burrowing.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...