There are so many different problems that homeowners may face in their yard. Most recently, chinch bugs, followed by armyworms, in lawns, and now caterpillars chewing the leaves off live oak trees. And by the time this is published later this week, it will be on to something new!
My first point would be, since things are constantly changing from season to season, and from year to year, don’t accept as a diagnosis your neighbor telling you what problem they had last month. Yours might be the same, but probably not. Please accept our invitation to bring in a sample (live foliage but showing symptoms) and maybe a few photos, close up showing just a few leaves and farther away showing the whole plant and pattern of damage. You can also post on our Facebook page, and other folks with the same problem will benefit from your example.
Second point would be that you need a correct diagnosis to apply the appropriate action, which could very well be to stand off and observe. I was looking at a well-chewed palm leaf this morning, but thorough examination showed no insects present, and so I advised him that no treatment was necessary. And if you were to see brown patches appearing in your lawn next month, a neighbor might comment ” I just killed my armyworms with XXX”, but if you were to apply XXX, it would be money wasted as your problem would more likely be Rhizoctonia fungus, requiring a completely different treatment.
So let us be your IPM partner, integrated pest management is using the least toxic but still efficient method of controlling pest problems, with observation and identification being the most important steps.