They sneak under your lawn’s roots and look innocent enough, but if left untreated, they have the ability to destroy your lawn. Can you guess what we’re talking about? Grubs, one of the worst lawn pests out there! If you suspect (or are certain) you have lawn grubs, don’t worry. We have tips for identifying and treating grubs, along with making sure they stay away for good.
Let’s start with the basics.
What are grubs?
Grubs are the small, white, c-shaped larvae of Japanese beetles, June beetles, and chafers (to name a few.) They live just underneath the lawn’s root system and feed on the roots of grass and plants. Grubs can cause significant damage because after feeding on grass roots, they change to pupae, which hatch into beetles. The beetles feed on plants and flowers and lay their eggs in the lawn during the summer. Those eggs hatch into grubs in the fall, and the whole vicious cycle begins again when the grubs emerge the following spring.
How do I know if I have grubs?
There are a few signs that you may have a grub problem. If your lawn has irregular areas of wilting or brown grass, and the weather has not been especially hot and/or dry, it may be because of grubs. If there are areas of your lawn that have been dug up, it could be due to unwanted wildlife (such as skunks and raccoons) digging their way to a grub buffet. Because grubs damage the lawn’s root system, you can pick up the turf like a piece of carpet to check for grubs (use gloves if you try this!) If you see little white “C’s” in the dirt, you have grubs. If there are more than five of these little buggers in a square foot of turf, you have a grub problem that needs a treatment plan.
How do I get rid of grubs?
Once you realize you have grubs, the important thing to focus on is eliminating the eggs that have been laid in the lawn before they can hatch and burrow into the soil for a long winter’s nap. Applying a grub treatment sometime between late May and mid-July is a good solution.
How do I prevent grubs?
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
A preventative treatment application can help ensure a damage-free lawn for the rest of the season. A healthy lawn also acts as its own defense system, providing natural pest control. Thick, dense turf is an inhospitable environment for beetles. There are a number of steps you can take to keep your lawn thick, green, beautiful and thriving while deterring grubs (weeds and problem grasses, too):
Mow high! Beetles are a finicky bunch and don’t like laying eggs in tall grass. Mowing your lawn high can help deter beetles, and offers a number of other benefits that result in a healthy lawn, as well. Watering. Grubs thrive in a consistently moist soil environment. Watering your lawn deeply on a less frequent basis keeps the soil from remaining moist all the time. It’s also better for your lawn’s root system, too. Fertilize. A fertilizing lawn treatment plan that uses bio-nutrient supplements is a great way to safely promote a thick, green, healthy lawn. Don’t worry if you have grubs, there are ways to get your lawn back in shape. The best plan of action, however, is to keep grubs from setting up shop to begin with by promoting and maintaining a thick, green, thriving lawn.