Got Grubs? The Ultimate Guide To Grub Control

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • September 20, 2018

A Guide to Grub Control

Dry, brown patches in your lawn? Grubs may have invaded your yard. (Dun, dun, dunnnnnn.)

But fear not! We’re here to teach you about these pesky invaders, what they can do to your lawn and how to control them. Consider this your all-inclusive guide to grub control.

What are grubs?

“Grubs”, more specifically white grubs or lawn grubs, are the larvae of different types of scarab beetles, such as Japanese beetles or June bugs. These insects are white or cream in color. Their bodies are soft and form a ‘C’ shape, and they have six legs located near their heads.

Grubs feast on the roots of plants, turf grass and other organic matter in the soil, leaving sections of the lawn to die. They can also attract skunks, raccoons, and rodents that will dig into the soil, causing further lawn damage.

Most scarab beetles have a one-year life cycle that reintroduces the existence of grubs. In the spring, grubs awaken from winter and begin feeding on grass roots. After feeding, they will transform into pupae that will later become beetles in the summer. In the summer, the transformed beetles emerge from the ground to feed on flowers and other garden plants. They lay eggs in the lawn soon after. Then in the fall, the eggs hatch into new grubs that feed on grassroots, starting the lawn destruction cycle all over again.

Signs of grub problems

Although grubs live below the surface, there are some easy-to-spot above ground signs that you might have grubs in your lawn.

There are brown patches of grass in your lawn

If your lawn has brown patches that never turn green no matter how much water or fertilizer you give it, this could be due to grub feeding. Try lifting a piece of your brown turf to check for grubs. If you can pull it up like a piece of loose carpet, that means grubs have eaten all of its roots.

If your lawn’s brown patches aren’t from grubs, they might be a sign that your lawn needs some TLC. We offer a free lawn care workbook to assist you with all of your lawn care needs. Download your Killingsworth Lawn Care Workbook for a healthier lawn today.

Your lawn feels spongy when stepped on

This can happen before the brown spots appear for the same reason. Grubs have eaten all of the grass roots. Lift up a piece of the turf to inspect it for grubs.

Skunks, racoons, rodents, or birds are digging up your lawn

If these animals are digging up your lawn, it’s because they found grubs to turn into a snack.

Controlling your grubs

Grub control is important if you truly have an infestation, but if you are only seeing a few grubs per square foot, it’s not necessary. After inspecting your lawn for grubs, use this guide to determine if you’ll need to treat your lawn:

0-5 Grubs: No need for treatment.

6-9 Grubs: If your lawn is healthy, there is no need for treatment unless animals are digging to feed on them. If your yard is less healthy, you should treat it for grubs.

10 + Grubs: This will likely create visible damage to your lawn and should be treated.

Grub infestations can be controlled a number of ways:

Introduce natural predators to your lawn

Introducing grub predators is a natural way to get rid of these pests. Tiphiid wasps and nematode worms are good for this. You can attract the wasps by planting fragrant herbs and flowers, such as spearmint. Nematodes worms can be purchased from many garden stores and applied to the infested soil.

Apply Pesticides

Applying pesticides to the grub infested spots of your lawn is an extremely effective way to get rid of them. A preventative pesticide should be applied in the spring and again in the fall to take care of any existing grubs and grubs that are hatching. If you use a preventative pesticide, make sure you keep your lawn irrigated after application to avoid burning grass in hot outdoor temperatures. Water in your pesticides after application so the pesticides move down into the soil.

If you think you might have a grub infestation, take care of it immediately to prevent further damage to your lawn. If you are seeking professional pest control OR lawn care services, get in touch with us. We’d be happy to discuss the best option for you.

For further information on the common pests that may be lurking in and around your home, check out our free Killingsworth Pest Encyclopedia! It provides a full explanation of the most common NC and SC pest intruders, their signs, treatment plans, and most importantly, prevention tips.

 

 

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