Giving Grubs the Snub

They’ll Destroy Your Lawn if You Let Them!

Ever laid eyes on a grub? If so, you know how ugly these pests are. Even uglier, though, is the damage they can do to your lawn.

Grubs are the unfortunate offspring of beetles, such as June beetles and Japanese beetles, and they hatch from eggs laid in the soil. After hatching, the grubs (or beetle larvae) start feeding on turf roots. As feeding continues and the root system is destroyed, the lawn looses its ability to take up water. If no action is taken, the lawn can be ruined.

An Unseen Threat
Grubs live and feed underground, so they aren’t readily visible. Even if your lawn appears healthy above ground, that doesn’t mean grubs aren’t feeding on the root system down below.

That’s why it’s a good idea to perform periodic “grub inspections.” Simply pull up a small section of sod to see if any grubs are visible (most have off-white bodies with brown heads, and they assume a “C” position when disturbed).  If you see more than six grubs per square foot, your lawn is in need of treatment.

Other signs pointing to a grub infestation include:

  • Turf that feels spongy as you walk across it
  • Dead turf that can be rolled up easily (like loose carpet)
  • Irregular brown patches throughout your lawn

Fighting Back Against Grubs
Systemic insecticides are a very effective mean of grub control. Turf roots absorb them, and the grubs are killed as they feed on the roots.  For best results, systemic insecticides should be applied before eggs hatch. This can help to stop grub damage from occurring in the first place. If grub damage does appear before treatment can be made, reseeding and extra watering may be necessary to repair the affected areas.

As with any lawn pests, it’s better to be proactive than reactive. Regular inspection for grubs and properly timed treatments will give your turf the protection it needs.


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