Hello, visitors; welcome to another post. In this post, we will learn how to eliminate grubs on your lawn. As you may already know, grubs are small, white, or brown larvae of various beetle species, and these pests can lead to severe damage to grassy areas by eating away at the roots below the surface.
Grubs can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare as they can wreak havoc on your beautiful lawn or garden. Fortunately, there are ways to combat these pesky invaders and keep your landscape looking its best. This comprehensive guide will define grubs, discuss their impact on your lawn, and provide practical tips and methods to detect and eradicate them.
What Are Grubs and Why Are They Problematic?
Grubs are the larvae of several species of beetles, including Japanese beetles, European chafers, and June beetles. They are typically C-shaped, off-white in color, and have brown heads and six legs. Grubs live underground, feeding on grass roots and organic matter, causing significant damage to your lawn’s health.
Grub infestations can lead to several issues for your lawn, such as:
- Patchy, brown spots: As grubs feed on the grassroots, they deprive the plants of essential nutrients and water. This leads to yellowing, wilting, and eventual death of grass, resulting in unsightly brown patches on your lawn.
- Loose turf: Grub-infested grass becomes weak from root damage, causing the turf to feel spongy and roll up quickly like a carpet.
- The increased presence of wildlife: Birds, moles, and raccoons can be attracted to your lawn as they enjoy feasting on grubs. This can lead to further damage to your landscape.
Detecting and Treating Grub Infestations
Early detection is critical to resolving a grub issue before significant damage occurs. Here are some methods to determine if grubs are lurking beneath your lawn:
- Visual inspection: Look for signs of grub activity, such as patchy, brown spots or increased presence of wildlife.
- Soil examination: Lift a small section of sod from the affected area to examine the soil directly. Grubs are typically found in the top few inches of soil. A count of more than five grubs per square foot is considered high infestation and requires action.
How to Get Rid of Grubs in Lawn?
When it comes to controlling grubs, there are both organic and chemical solutions available. Each method offers its pros and cons, which should be weighed against your personal preferences and the severity of the infestation. Get rid of grubs with the following procedure:
Beneficial nematodes—microscopic roundworms—can be applied to the lawn to kill grubs. They enter grubs’ bodies and release bacteria that kill them from within. This technique is safe for pets, humans, and other beneficial organisms.
- Pros: Environmentally friendly and safe for non-target organisms.
- Cons: Less effective than chemical treatments, and can be more expensive.
Milky spore is a naturally occurring bacterium that targets and kills Japanese beetle grubs. The spores are applied to the soil, where they are consumed by grubs, causing their eventual death.
- Pros: Long-lasting, environmentally friendly, and has no harm to non-target organisms.
- Cons: Only effective against Japanese beetle grubs and may take several years to establish in the soil.
Chemical products like imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and chlorantraniliprole can be used to the soil to kill grubs.
- Pros: Fast-acting and highly effective if applied correctly.
- Cons: Can potentially harm non-target organisms, such as beneficial insects and pollinators. Also, insecticides cannot reach deeper layers of soil where grubs may reside.
Milky Spore Lawn Treatment
Milky spore can be applied as a spray, providing fast-acting control of Japanese beetle grubs on the surface of your lawn.
- Pros: Fast-acting and effective against target grubs.
- Cons: Only works on Japanese beetle grubs and may not reach deeper soil layers.
Frequently Asked Question
When is the best time to treat grubs?
Grub control agents should be applied in early spring and late summer when your lawn exhibits heightened grub activity. Conversely, grub prevention agents should be used before the emergence of grubs in June-July.
Will grass come back after grubs?
If the grubs have caused damage to grass patches, reseeding the affected area will be necessary to stimulate new growth. We suggest gently watering it, overseeding it with a high-quality turfgrass mixture, and ensuring that pets and children avoid the area until the grass reaches a height of 2-3 inches.
How do I know if I have fungus or grubs?
The impact of grub damage becomes more evident during warmer weather conditions, while fungal damage tends to flourish in response to temperature fluctuations.
To determine whether grubs or a fungus causes the damage, carefully grasp a section of the affected grass and pull gently. If the roots are absent, it is likely due to grub damage rather than a fungal infection.
So, how to get rid of grubs in lawns? It all depends on the severity of your particular infestation and your personal preferences. Organic solutions are safer for humans, pets, and other beneficial organisms but may not provide fast results or full coverage of an affected area.
Chemical products are faster-acting and more effective but have potential risks to non-target species. Whichever method you choose, proper application is key to success.
Follow the product guidelines carefully and contact a professional if needed. And remember to take steps to prevent future infestations by regularly removing thatch, aerating your lawn, and keeping it well-watered and fertilized.
Douglas Mackalie is a Founder of Mackalies Garden. He is one of the most exciting people you’ll ever meet. He has 25 years of experience in horticulture and gardening, most of which he’s spent outdoors getting his hands dirty.