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How Do I Kill Grub Worms In My Lawn

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The When Of Grub Worm Treatment

LAWN GRUBS//Grub Worms: How To Get Rid of Lawn Grubs

Grubex from Scotts is effective and a long lasting pest control but like diazinon Grubex can take 3 weeks to kill the grub wroms under many conditions. Scotts recommends applying Spring to Late Summer before insects hatch to prevent turf grass damage.

The best time to apply is probably around July once you know the numbers of adult grubs are high, soil moisture is low to keep the beetles egg laying concentrated.

How Can I Control Grubs While Protecting Bees And Other Pollinators

Before applying any insecticides, the lawn should be mowed prior to application so there arent weeds flowering in the lawn while the product is being applied.

Also be conscious of drift. If its windy and you spray an area of your lawn, theres a chance the product could drift onto flowering plants nearby. Likewise, if youre using a spreader for a granular product, ensure you limit your application to lawn areas that have been mowed and do have a grub infestation.

Theres little reason to apply any of these products to your entire lawn if only a section of the lawn has a grub infestation. Only use chemicals to control grubs if necessary, and always follow all instructions on the label.

How To Get Rid Of Grubs In Your Lawn

Although most homeowners expect to find some worms in their soil, no one expects the severe damage that one particular worm can inflict. Yes, we mean the peculiar damage left by the white grub worm. Grub worms feed on roots, and with a large enough population and some time, they can actually detach your grass from its roots in some areas.

What does that look like, you may wonder? These severed areas of grass will literally roll up like a cheap rug. So if you think you have a grub problem and youd like your grass to stay put, then its time to snub those grubs from your lawn.

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What Do Grub Worms Turn Into

Depending on their exact species, grub worms could turn into several different adult beetles. As grubs, they all look really similar, and if you want to tell one type of grub worm apart from the others, youll need a magnifying glass and the strange desire to examine the hairs on their butts . Each type is also subtly different in size right before they turn into an adult, but size shouldnt be relied on for identification because they grow from egg to pupae over the course of several months, changing size along the way.

Grub Worm Type : Oriental Beetles

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Since its introduction in the 1920s, this Asian species has become common from Maine to South Carolina and west to Wisconsin. Adult beetles emerge in late June through July and are active for two months. They are similar in size to Japanese beetles but are straw-colored with dark, irregular blotches on their wing covers. Active only at night, the adult beetles feed on flowers and skeletonize leaves. Though they sound intimidating, adult Oriental beetles seldom cause noticeable damage.

The grubs however, can cause substantial injury to the roots turf grass. Often blamed on the more visible Japanese beetle, the damage caused by Oriental beetle grubs generates a brown, patchy lawn, particularly in late summer and fall.

To distinguish this grub worm from other types, look for two parallel rows of dark hairs on their posterior .

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How To Diagnose A Grub Infestation

  • You noticed many beetles in the yard the summer before.
  • You see holes from armadillos, raccoons, and skunks digging in your yard, or birds patrolling your lawn regularly.
  • There are dead patches of turfgrass in the spring.
  • Your lawn feels spongy when you walk across it, a bit like freshly-laid sod.
  • You can peel back patches of grass easily, like a piece of loose carpet.
  • When you peel back dead, brown patches, you see grubs.
  • You see more than 10 lawn grubs in a 1 square foot of exposed soil.

Grubs, or white grubs, are the larval form of many species of adult beetles. They look like a creature out of the movie Alien. Japanese beetles, June beetles, European chafers, and scarab beetles all begin life as wrinkly, white, C-shaped creepy crawlies that live beneath the thatch layer of your lawn. They live in this soil layer, feasting on the tender grass roots that anchor your lawn to the earth.

Prevention From Future Attacks

While products like Grub Killa will kill grubs that are currently in your lawn, there is no residual effect so there is no ongoing protection.

You can prevent lawn grubs attacking by using a product called Acelepryn GR. Acelepryn GR gives unmatched season-long grub control against a wide range of insect pests including African Black Beetle, Argentinian Scarab, Billbugs and several species of caterpillars including Cutworm, Sod Webworm and Lawn Armyworms.

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A Summary For Successful Grub Control

  • Check the bag or bottle to determine what active ingredient the product contains.
  • Do not use products containing ONLY lambda-cyhalothrin, gamma-cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, cyfluthrin or permethrin for any phase of grub control.
  • Do not use preventive compounds such as clothianidin, thiamethoxam or imidacloprid now. Use them in June or July to control grubs that would be damaging turf in the fall. Applying them now will allow some of the chemical to leach through the turf or break down to the point that not enough insecticide will be there in July to control grubs.
  • The preventive compound chlorantraniliprole should ideally be applied in April or May to control grubs that would be damaging turf in the fall as it will take longer for the material to move to where the grubs will be feeding in July.
  • To kill grubs in the spring or fall, use carbaryl or trichlorfon.
  • Always wear rubber gloves and rubber boots when applying insecticides to turfgrass.
  • Make sure to irrigate the lawn with at least 0.5 inches of water* and allow the grass to dry before allowing anyone or pets into the treated area. Irrigation is essential for the chemical to be most effective.
  • Store insecticide products in a locked cabinet not accessible to children.
  • Proper fertilization is important to prevent and allow the lawn to recover from grub damage.
  • Mow lawns immediately before applying an insecticide for grubs to remove weed flowers and protect bees.
  • Apply in spring or fall to active grubs.

How To Tell If Grubs Are Killing Your Grass

DIY How to kill grub worms. brown spots grass pulling out. How to treat grubs. My lawn has grubs

The beetles show up from early to mid-summer during which time they lay their eggs.

The new set of grubs that hatch from those eggs starts destroying your lawn immediately.

As winter approaches, they burrow deeper into the soil to protect themselves from the cold.

When spring arrives, they awaken and resume eating the roots of grass before they turn into pupae when you have a lawn grub infestation, you will notice the following:

  • Your lawn feels spongy when you step on it because it is not firmly supported by its roots .
  • Its almost as if it has just been laid.
  • After noticing the looseness, you see patches of brown, dead grass even when you water your lawn regularly.
  • Animals like raccoons, birds, armadillos, and skunks start visiting your lawn looking for grubs.
  • Be careful with this observation as they could also be looking for earthworms.

If you have correctly identified all those signs, the next step is to physically verify that you have an infestation.

Dig up a few sections of sod each section typically one square foot area, three inches deep.

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The Best Grub Worm Control: Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes are microscopic predators of all four species of grub worms. Applied in late spring when the soil temperature is above 60 degrees F, these minuscule worm-like creatures seek out and kill grubs throughout the growing season. They do not harm other insects, humans, pets, or the soil. Plus, theyre easy to apply, completely safe, and highly effective. And dont worry they dont look gross. In fact, they just look like powder. To apply, youll mix the powder with water and spray the mixture over your lawn in a hose-end sprayer.

Because nematodes are a living organism, purchase fresh stock from a reputable source and store them according to label instructions. The particular species of nematodes used against grubs is not winter-hardy and should be reapplied every spring if grub damage is present.

Beneficial nematodes acclimate to your lawn best when the soil is moist, so water your lawn both before and after applying the nematodes. Use distilled water to mix the solution and apply the spray in the evening to give the nematodes time to burrow down into the soil before the sun rises. A few weeks after application, look for reddish-brown grubs a sure sign the nematodes are doing their job!

How Do You Get Rid Of Grubs Naturally

The grubs in your lawn can be eliminated with natural methods like applying milky spore, attracting house wrens and predatory birds, and over-the-counter grub killers including neem oil. These products are available in many garden stores, including large retail brokers like Home Depot or Lowes. If youre up for the challenge, beneficial nematodes are another excellent option. Just be sure you are applying the right amount per square foot.

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The Professional Approach With Gecko Green

For preventative and curative treatments to have any effect on grub worms, timing and product choice are critical. Effectively treating grub worms is difficult! Let Gecko Green remove that guesswork from the equation for you and remove the grub worms simultaneously!

The professionals with Gecko Green will identify any grub worms and expertly select and time treatments. For pest control and treatment made easy call Gecko Green for a free quote today!

Signs Of Grub Damage In Your Lawn

How To Get Rid Of Grub Worms In Flower Bed

Not sure whether you have grubs in your yard or not?

Here are a few sure-fire signs that will help you identify grub damage:

  • Yellowing grass. As grubs consume the roots of turfgrass, the grass turns spongy and yellow. If you tug at it, it will roll back like a carpet.
  • The presence of other pest species. Skunks, raccoons, and other digging pests love to eat grubs and will destroy your lawn searching for them. This damage can be as expensive and difficult to fix as grub damage itself.
  • Increasing numbers of moths or beetles. If youve noticed many moths or beetles flying around at grass level, it could signify that you have a serious grub problem.
  • The appearance of drought. If your yard looks drought-stricken, despite regular watering, the problem could be grubs. Grub damage often looks like drought, but additional watering wont fix it.
  • Brown, patchy grass. Before the grass begins to yellow and pull up, it will turn brown and patchy. This damage will appear in random spots around the lawn.
  • The presence of white grubs. Use a spade to cut a square foot section of turf, about 2-4 inches deep. Pull back the square and inspect the soil below. If you see grubs, youve got an infestationeven if you havent noticed damage in your lawn.
  • It can be tough to identify what grub damage looks like, especially since it often resembles other types of damage, like drought.

    However, keeping an eye out for these six signs can help you stop grub damage in its tracks.

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    Do I Need To Treat For Grubs

    If you have a very high concentration of grubs 10 or more grubs per square foot treatment may be necessary to maintain healthy grass. However, if you have a lower count of grubs, yet arent seeing good results in your lawn, thats a clue that you should revisit your lawn care practices more broadly.

    Some of the best practices we recommend are:

    • Testing your soil every 2-3 years, and following the fertilizer and amendment recommendations.
    • Keeping grass mowed high at least 2, and ideally 3 or more which means that your grass will have a deeper, healthier root system that can tolerate more sub-surface insect feeding.

    How To Identify Lawn Grubs

    If you suspect your lawn is infested with lawn grubs, here are a few signs to look out for to confirm your doubts.

    Increased Bird Activity

    One of the first signs that suggest you have lawn grubs is bird activity in your garden. Grubs make a delicious snack for some birds, and youll find them circling your lawn, looking for lunch.

    Brown Patches

    As your turf recovers from the hot summer temperatures, watch out for brown patches, especially after the fall fertilizing. You can lift some of the turf in the affected area, and if it rolls up easily like a carpet, chances are your lawn is invaded by grubs. Grubs feed on roots therefore, they can weaken your turf and make it susceptible to lawn diseases.

    Presence of Grubs in the Soil

    Another clear sign of grub infestation is the presence of C-shaped and white worms in the soil. While a few of these harmful pests shouldnt worry you, a large number of them can destroy your beautiful lawn and cause severe damage.

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    Make A Grub Killer With Borax

    Borax is a common household cleaning ingredient that can be used to kill grubs.

    However, it should be noted that borax contains boron, which builds up in the soil and can kill your lawn in high concentrations. With that in mind, use this method sparinglyif at all.

    If you decide to use borax, add a tablespoon to a spray bottle filled with warm water. Apply the solution liberally anywhere youve noticed grub activity.

    Pros: Effective for short-term use.

    Cons: Borax grub killer can damage plants when used too frequently or in sensitive areas, like flowerbeds or vegetable gardens.

    What Are Grub Worms

    How to kill grubs in your lawn, and How to prevent grubs in your lawn

    They are essentially nothing more than small, wriggly larvae laid by adult beetles and hatching out as little white worms. In all life stages, theyre especially harmful to your garden and need to be dealt with as soon as possible.

    They nibble on the roots of your plants and later in life, chew up the leaves of your crops.

    Because of their damaging nature, its imperative to get rid of them from your garden as soon as theyre spotted. If not, youll be in for a rough time dealing with them as they mature.

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    Is Dish Soap Effective For Grub Control

    It is a given, that dish soap can kill grubs in your lawn or garden, but how effective is it?

    Flushing white grubs from underneath the lawn using dish soap is not possible. The best method you can use to check if there are grubs is to dig up a square foot of the lawn a couple of inches deep and inspecting if there are grubs damaging the roots.


    I have tested the effectiveness of using detergents and insecticidal soaps to get rid of grubs in infested lawns and while it works, there are quite some limitations to it.

    In early spring when white grub worms start to damage the lawn, youll notice brown patches and spots in your lawn. If the damage is small and limited, you can control the grubs using dawn dish soap.

    However, for extensive damage over large areas of the lawn, it is very difficult to control grubs because youre spraying on top of the lawn while grub worms continue to cause damage to the roots.

    For you to have any success, you may need to pour large amounts of soapy water on your lawn to smother grubs.

    I found this to be a practical solution for small areas of infestation. Large yards will require a lot of this application of dawn dish soap to kill grubs effectively.

    Summer treatments

    Japanese beetles, in their adult stage, can be killed in the lawn using dish soap. The soap dissolves their exoskeleton and interferes with their cell membranes. The soapy cover suffocates them to death.


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    Introduce Milky Spore Disease

    Introducing milky spore disease in your lawn will help control the Japanese beetle larva and reduce their population naturally. The disease is applied on the turf as a dust and is very effective in controlling Japanese beetle grubs. As the grubs feed on the roots of the grass, they ingest the bacteria and get infected and die.

    To get rid of white grubs in your lawn using milky spore bacteria, apply a tablespoon of the dust spacing four feet apart from each deposit. Do not use a spreader or a garden sprayer to spread. Water the treatment lightly for about 15 minutes.

    Milky spore is a great natural treatment for grubs that last long usually providing grub control for even more than 15 years.

    However, the results may not be immediate since it takes time for the disease to develop to full effectiveness in the turf. In cooler climates, youll start seeing results after a few seasons.

    Once it takes effect, this grub worm fix is very effective and lasts very long, making it great for lawns with recurring instances of grub damage.

    The disadvantage of using milky spore is that it only gets rid of Japanese beetle grub worms and not other species. If you have June bugs and May beetles, you might want to use other natural ways of removing them in your lawn.

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    How Do I Know If I Have Grubs

    Many lawn issues that resemble grub damage can be caused by something else, including disease, drought stress, hairy chinch bugs, sod webworms, shade, compaction, and more. In the early spring, for example, many homeowners suspect grub damage because of the condition of their lawn after snow melt.

    The only way to be sure that you have grubs is to scout for them in your lawn.

  • Using a shovel or a lawn edger, you can make a cut in a one-foot section of your lawn where you suspect grub activity.
  • Peel up a one square-foot section of grass and soil from that cut. If there is significant grub damage, the grass should peel up quite easily.
  • Sift around in the soil, simply counting how many grubs you find. If you count 10 or more grubs per square foot, you have a serious infestation. Finding a few grubs is normal and not cause for concern.
  • Replace the grass youve cut in short order to avoid any damage to the lawn.
  • Depending on the size of your lawn, you may want to scout for grubs in several places in the lawn. Just because there are a lot of grubs, or not a lot of grubs, in a particular square foot doesnt mean that the entire lawn either does or doesnt have a grub infestation. You can focus your scouting on areas of the lawn that are showing symptoms of grub feeding.

    As youre scouting for grubs in your lawn, take notes so you remember which areas of your lawn have high counts and which dont. This is important if and when you decide to treat the lawn.

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