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How To Tell If I Have Grubs In My Lawn

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Enlist The Help Of A Lawn Pro

How to check your lawn if you think you have lawn grubs

Professional help is what we always recommend for grub control. Using preventative measures like pesticides on your own can be dangerous because you may not know the best ways to apply the treatments. Additionally, it can be very frustrating if you dont have the necessary tools or knowledge. You could end up battling the same issue year after year not knowing how to stop it. With decades of experience treating grubs in the local area, Tailor Made Lawns can make sure your lawn is treated efficiently and left healthier than before.

Breaking The Japanese Beetle’s Lifecycle

Breaking the beetles annual lifecycle is key to controlling grubs in your lawn. Understanding their lifecycle will help you identify the best time for treatment and what product to use.

Spring: As the weather warms, grubs migrate upward where they transform into adult beetles.

Summer: Beetles emerge in early-summer and eat plants throughout the garden. They lay their eggs in the lawn and in late-summer, around August, the grubs emerge and begin feeding.

Fall: Larvae will continue to eat and grow fat through mid-fall.

Winter: Grubs move 26 below the soils surface to survive winter.

How Do You Know Grubs Are Causing Damage To Your Lawn

There are several indications that the brown patch in your lawn is caused by grubs:

  • grub-loving birds and animals, including raccoons, skunks, and moles, are digging up your lawn and,
  • areas of the lawn feel squishy, like freshly laid sod, caused by grubs are eating away at the roots.

To determine if its really a grub problem and not a lawn disease, remove a one-square-foot patch of the damaged lawn to a depth of about 2, as well as a few areas of the lawn that are green and healthy. If you only see a few grubs, it may not be necessary to treat, especially if the turf is healthy. If you find six or more in a square foot, its probably time for insecticide treatment.

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How To Control Lawn Grubs

A few grubs aren’t a problem, but if you see lots of them when you turn the soil, take action.

If youve had problems in early summer with beetles, and by late summer dead patches of grass have appeared in your lawn, you probably have grubs. Grubs are the larvae of Japanese beetles, June beetles, chafers, and others. These white, C-shaped grubs feast on organic matter in the soil, including grass roots.

How Natural Predators Kill Lawn Grubs

What to Do When Grubs Kill Your Lawn

Biological predators, like birds, raccoons, moles and more, are an option when it comes to grub control for lawns. You can choose to leave your soil exposed to welcome animals to devour the pests. For example, you can use bird feeders to attract birds to your yard to feast on the grubs. But do keep in mind, animals will dig holes in your lawn, which can cause further damage to your yard.

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How To Tell If Grubs Are Killing Your Grass

A healthy, well-kept lawn has an abundance of lush, green grass that feels as soft as a plush carpet. If the grass in your lawn starts dying with no obvious cause, you may have a white grub infestation. White grubs feed just below the surface of the soil, and a close look reveals them devouring grass roots. When your lawn’s grass starts turning brown, look around for signs that white grubs are the source of the problem.


Watch your yard for crows, moles, raccoons and skunks. These animals like to eat white grubs, so if you see them often, it is a sign of grub infestation. Moles alone do not indicate the presence of grubs, because they also feed on other insects and earthworms.


Look for dying or dead patches of grass in spring, late summer and fall. Patches will look brown and have an irregular shape.


Check your lawn for tan beetles, called masked chafers, in the evening during late summer. White grubs mature as one of several types of beetles, often masked chafer beetles. If you see adult masked chafer beetles, grubs may also be present. The grub form of Japanese, May and June beetles also causes problems in lawns. Find masked chafers with a black light trap, and use a pheromone floral lure trap to locate flying Japanese beetles.


Use a garden spade to dig up one square foot of sod in your yard. Look for plump, ridged white grubs that curl themselves into a “C” shape.


Does Your Grass Have Severe Damage Such As Full

Again, grubs feed on the root systems and destabilize the connection between the grass and the roots. So what happens when a grub infestation gets to the worst-case level?

Areas that have been weakened by grub feeding will become completely detached. Thats right! Your turf will be able to be easily pulled up and rolled away like a rug!

The time frame for seeing this level of damage is usually between June and October in DFW. Repairing this extreme damage caused by grubs is burdensome and expensive. Save yourself the trouble by catching the grub issue before you have a full-blown grub nightmare on your hands.

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Fixing Grubworm Lawn Damage

Dead patches make the lawn look ugly, but theres something you can do to fix them and restore your lawn to a lush green look. Grubs kill grass because they feed on the roots. If the damage is extensive, it may be difficult to attempt reviving the grass successfully.

If the damaged grass peels off the soil like carpet, then you want to consider removing the dead patches and planting new grass in the bare spots.

In general, here are options on what to do to repair the damage in your lawn:

Keep in mind that before the damage occurs, it is best to prevent and control pests in your lawn. If you had any grubs in your turf last year, ensure you put down a grub killer and preventative treatment early spring to stop and prevent damage early enough.

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How Grubs Affect Your Lawn

Do You Have Grubs in Your Lawn DIY

Grubs are the larvae of many kinds of beetles, such as Japanese beetles or June bugs. Grubs can be found within your lawn during the late summer months after the beetles have laid their eggs around July. Female beetles lay their eggs about one or two inches deep in the soil. They will spend two to three weeks laying eggs and will each produce as many as 60 eggs in this time. Once the eggs hatch between the two-to-four week mark, these grub worms begin looking for food to fuel their growth.

The lawn grubs youll likely find are small, white, worm-like pests that live in the soil and feast on organic matter in the lawn. They will eat anything within the soil thats in their path, including the roots of grass. By devouring the grass roots, they begin to kill off patches of your lawn, leaving it brown in certain areas. Grubs will continue to expand their destruction as they move under the lawns surface.

When severe destruction occurs from grubs in the lawn, its a result of the lawns health not being adequate enough to outpace the grubs feeding on it. In other words, a healthy lawn will grow faster than the grubs can eat it.

If your grass is unhealthy, youll want to kill these white grubs in the lawn immediately after finding them. Then take appropriate measures the restore your lawns health so it can withstand pests in the future.

The fewer mature female beetles you have in your yard, the less chance you will have of facing a grub problem later in the summer.

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Uneven Loose Or Spongy Grass

If you notice a low-lying area in your lawn that wasnt there before, it could be caused by grub activity beneath the surface. As the grubs feed on grass, there are fewer and fewer blades to hold soil in place. When it rains, its easy for the soil to wash away, creating an uneven terrain. Spongy grass is another red flag. While well-watered grass should feel soft, if you feel like youre walking on a foam mat or a running track, thats not a good sign. Or your grass could become loose and can be rolled back easily like sod. If you can do this, you should see the grubs in the soil as you peel back the grass. Look for white, c-shaped bugs that look like a cross between a worm and a caterpillar.

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.

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Encourage More Birds In Your Lawn

You might have noticed small brown birds feeding in your lawn and backyard if you have grubs in your lawn. This bird is called the House Wren.

Since these birds feed on the white grubs and other lawn insects, I would recommend encouraging them near your lawn or backyard. You can do this by providing bird houses for house wrens around your lawn.

Soon enough youll start seeing house wrens flying about your yard with white grub worms in their beaks. Their increased feeding activity will reduce the population of grubs in highly infested lawns.

However, this method may also cause damage since birds also start digging up the lawn to find the food. The birds may also not be able to stop large infestations of grubs.

What Chemical Products Can I Use To Control Grubs In My Lawn

Controlling Grubs in Your Lawn

If you have a severe grub infestation and want to use a chemical product to control grubs, you have a number of widely available options.

From about late April into early June, you can effectively use a product with the active ingredient chlorantraniliprole to control all species of white grubs we have in New Hampshire. This chemical also controls caterpillars such as webworms and armyworms. This product is most effective when the grub is actively feeding so applying it 2 to 3 months in advance of severe grub feeding from June to August is recommended. This ingredient is in two widely available products: GrubEx® and Roundup® For Lawns Bug Destroyer. The U.S. EPA designates this chemical as a low risk pesticide due to its low toxicity to bees and other beneficial insects.

Some products registered for controlling grubs just have a pyrethroid, such as products with the active ingredient Gamma-Cyhalothrin, commonly found in the Spectracide® Triazicide® Insect Killer For Lawns. According to research from Michigan State University, products that only contain lambda-cyhalothrin, gamma-cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, cyfluthrin or permethrin do not work for grub control.

In most cases, whether its early spring or fall, its preferable to simply wait until the next appropriate window for using a preventative product that gets better results and is more targeted. Learn more about current insecticide approaches for white grubs from UMass Extension.

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Get Grub Control In North Texas

For 20 years, the professionals at Lawn Lab have helped rescue lawns in the Plano area from the hungry jaws of grubs. If you suspect you have a grub problem, dont hesitate to give us a call. Our grub control treatment will swiftly eradicate these annoying critters without harming your grass, trees, shrubs, or flower beds. We can easily add a grub control treatment to your existing lawn care program or as a stand-alone treatment.

Speak with an expert grub control technician today! Call or leave us a message on our online form. Dont forget to like us on and check out our blog page, where you can learn more about other yard care topics, stay up to date on the latest service offerings, and see photos of our work.

How To Repair A Grub Damaged Lawn

If grub damage has occurred despite your best efforts, immediate repair is needed to prevent further problems later. Following these simple steps can help to repair grub-damaged lawns.

  • Rake out any loose, dead grass.
  • Have a local qualified lawn care company do a core aeration and overseeding of your lawn with the proper species of grass.
  • If animals have flipped up to grass when digging, dont despair. Wet the flipped turf to soften it and roll it back into place if your grass is generally healthy there is a good chance that it will re-root, just like sod.
  • Follow the preventative suggestions above to keep further grub damage from occurring your newly repaired lawn.
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    Top Recommended Company For Grub Control

    TruGreen offers extensive Grub Prevention & Control Services. A specialist will use a pre-emptive application to eliminate white grubs before they can do too much damage. The specialist will start by monitoring the lawn for adult beetle activity, then apply insect control just before the hatching season. The product will get absorbed by the soil and stay in the root system to eradicate grubs that hatch.

    Brown Patches In Your Lawn

    Controlling Grubs in Your Lawn — Expert Lawn Care Tips

    As your lawn recovers from the winter chill and spring sees your lawn becoming greener, especially after your spring fertilising, keep an eye out for brown patches that stay brown. You can lift some of the grass in the patched and if lawn grubs are the culprit youll find that the grass will roll up like a carpet, as it has no roots.

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    Chafer Grub Lawn Damage

    Chafer grubs are the larval forms of Chafer Beetle. A severe infestation of these larvae causes brown patches in the lawn.

    Chafer grubs devour the roots of the grass and could go unnoticed for months. They are only outed by critters when they dig out the lawn.

    The aforementioned methods work well to eliminate chafer grubs but the most efficient way to get rid of them is by using Provado.

    Provado Lawn Grub killer

    Provado lawn grub killer can eliminate Chafer grubs and Leatherjacket larvae efficiently. Imidacloprid thats present in the insecticide is the miracle behind such efficiency.

    Grub Control For Lawns

    Left unchecked, white grubs in your lawn will continue their destructive course and will eventually sever the roots of the grass so badly, it will be unable to regrow. Having your yard re-turfed is expensive and time consuming. Protect your lawn by using OMRI Listed® and compliant Safer® Brand products for a healthy and organic lawn.

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    Let Birds Do The Work

    Yes, birds! This is an easy way to get rid of some the grubs on your lawn. Birds like to feed on grubs, so if you attract them to your lawn they may help you out a bit. To attract the birds you can use things like nesting homes or bird feeders. This method – although easy – will most likely not get rid of all the grubs in your yard. You will also be left cleaning up the mess birds leave behind after digging up their meal. We don’t

    How Bad Are Grubs For The Lawn

    Grub damage apparent in Miami Valley lawns This week my ...

    Grubs, which are the larval, or immature, stage of several species of beetles and chafers, can damage a lawn by feeding on the roots of your grass. Healthier grass can tolerate more grub feeding, and all grass can tolerate some grub feeding.

    A grub infestation will cause patches of thinning turf, and these patches will gradually increase in size. Often times grub damaged grass will pull out very easily at the roots.

    What we often hear from homeowners is that they believe they have grubs because animals like moles, skunks, crows and racoons are digging in the lawn. This isnt a reliable clue, however, because grub infestations arent always accompanied by animal damage and animal damage doesnt always result from a grub infestation. These animals feed on other insects in the lawn, like earthworms, which are beneficial to the health of the lawn. That all said, if you do have grubs and animals are digging for them in the lawn, that can be detrimental to the health of your turf and to the appearance of your yard.

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