White Grubs In Your Lawn How To Repair Lawn Damage From Grubs
Grub damage is typically caused in the spring and is the end result of hungry insects attacking lawns in the previous fall, coupled with raccoons and skunks digging up the lawn to look for them and eat them. Preventative grub control treatment and good lawn care practices can minimize the risk of grub damage happening on your property.
Lawn Grubs Life Cycle
While there are variations depending on which species of beetle they come from, the larvae tend to be stout, white-to-grayish with brown heads, about 3/4 of an inch to 2 inches in length. These lawn pests tend to curl up in a C shape at rest.
The grubs get their start when the adult beetles lay eggs in your turf, usually in spring. After the eggs hatch, the grubs evolve in three stages, with grub damage greatest in late summer, when you will see areas of your lawn thinning and yellowing. Later, irregular brown patches appear in your turf.
There are two major white grub species that cause problems in Ohio. Thats the Japanese beetle and the masked chafer, said Shetlar about his home turf.
Japanese beetle grubs are widespread invasive insects, and their white grub larvae are bound to be found in lawns all over the country too, not just Ohio. Other chafer species besides the masked chafer beetles also lead to white grub infestations and can establish in lawns beyond the states borders.
Other types of common lawn grubs around the United States include the larvae of the May and June beetles, green June beetle and the black turfgrass ataenius.
Its irrelevant which species it is, advised Shetlar. They cause the same kind of damage.
When Is The Best Time To Treat For Grubs
In most areas of North America, the best time to treat for grubs is in June. This is because June is when grubs start to feed on the lawn. The way the product works is that when it is applied to the lawn it gets taken up by the grass and it works when the grubs feed on the grass. Traditional grub control products such as Merit will last the rest of the year if applied in June. If you are living in an area such as Ontario, Canada where the only product available is nematodes then you should apply them in late August/early September when the grubs go for their second cycle of feeding.
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Reseeding After Lawn Grub Treatment
Dead lawn patches should be reseeded. For me, its currently too late in the season. So Ive cleared out most of the patches, treated the lawn with Scotts GrubEx, will also soon spread Winterizer fertilizer and then reseed in the spring. And hopefully, my yard will remain grub free!
This is Sharyns Slant.
Fall Turf Grass Problems Grubs Might Be The Culprit
If you are noticing ugly, dead patches in your lawn, you might have an active population of white grubs. White grubs can cause serious damage to turfgrass. Their feeding injures plant roots, causing the turf to wilt and die.
Symptoms of grub damage include:
- Patchy areas of wilting, discolored or stressed turf that does not respond to irrigation.
- Large irregular patches of dead turf that can be rolled back like a loose carpet.
- Raccoons, skunks and crows tearing up the lawn .
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Are Animals Hanging Out And Feeding In Your Grass
Have you noticed an increase in animal activity in your yard? This could be a sign that animals are attracted to a grub population growing in your yard. Animals such as raccoons, birds, skunks, and armadillos may be spending extra time in your yard to feed on grub worms.
Not only is this a problem because it may indicate a grub issue, but these visiting animals will cause problems of their own. Your turf may take a hard hit as these animals dig and toss dirt to hunt for grubs. You may even notice molehills or tunnels.
Keep an eye on the activity going on in your yard. If these animals and grubs are giving you trouble, it may be time to call a lawn care and pest control company.
Using Integrated Pest Management
Integrated Pest Management is a natural pest control solution and process that uses beneficial insects and other biological solutions. Gardeners often choose these forms of pest control due to their lower environmental impact. Beneficial bacteria and diseases are alternative solutions for killing off white grubs long-term and protecting your lawn from infestations for years to come.
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Apply Corrective Grub Control
No matter what your lawn looks like, if you are finding lots of grub activity youll want to apply a corrective grub control application. This is not the same material used earlier in the year for prevention. This granular material is a quick-control material with little to no residual activity. You will need to water it in thoroughly. Remember, those grubs are down a couple inches below the grass, so youll want to dissolve the granular material and get it down there to work. Water it in as soon as possible. Some materials start to lose their effectiveness if not watered in within 24-48 hours.
Insecticides That Do Not Work On Grubs
Do not use products containing ONLY lambda-cyhalothrin, gamma-cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, cyfluthrin or permethrin for grub control. Products containing only these ingredients will not work for grub control because the active ingredient binds with organic material and will not move down to where the grubs are feeding. These products work well for above-ground feeding insects that live on the grass leaves or soil surface, but not for insects that feed on the roots. At one garden center a clerk showed us two products, one containing only permethrin and one containing only bifenthrin, when we asked for products to control grubs. Neither of the products listed grubs on the label printed on the bag and neither of the products would have controlled grubs.
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How Do I Know If I Have Grub Worms In My Lawn
Signs of Grubs in Lawn
Just so, how do I get rid of grub worms in my lawn?
Answer 1: Earth-friendly beneficial nematodes seek out and kill grubs and other soil-inhabiting insects. They come on a sponge that you soak in water, put in a sprayer and spray your dirt or lawn. They will multiply over time and continue to kill grubs.
Additionally, what is the best time to treat for grubs? Grubs burrow deep into the soil and rest through the winter. Some move as much as 12 inches below the surface. Come March, lawns already under attack by grubs are best treated in early spring or fall. Apply Bayer Advanced 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus for fast results.
Also asked, why do I have grubs in my lawn?
Lawn grubs have soft bodies with legs near the head. They feed on grassroots , causing sections of grass in the lawn to die. Grubs eventually turn into adult beetles and emerge from soil to mate and lay eggs, which hatch into more grubs.
How do I get rid of grubs in my lawn naturally?
Milky spore is another natural bacteria that can help if you are dealing with Japanese beetle grubs specifically. Another simple way to kill off grubs is to let them dry out. They only thrive in moist soil and will die during a drought. Avoid watering the grass and you might find that is enough to kill them.
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Enlist The Help Of A Lawn Pro
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.
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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.
Controlling Grubs In The Lawn
Beetles, like Japanese and chafer beetles, emerge in early summer, feed on plants in the garden, and lay their eggs in the soil in the lawn. Later in the summer, the grubs hatch and immediately begin to feed. They will continue to eat and grow until mid-fall, when they move deeper in the soil so they can survive through the winter. When the soil warms up again in the spring, the large, mature grubs move back into the upper soil levels, where they transform into adult beetles that emerge in early summer and start the whole process over again.
The key to controlling grubs is to kill them before they hatch and begin to cause damage to your lawn. In spring or early summer, apply a preventative grub control product, such as Scotts® GrubEx®1 to your lawn, following label directions. This is especially important if youve had problems with grubs in the past. One application of Scotts® GrubEx®1 can kill and prevent grubs for up to 4 months.
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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.
What Are The Signs
- The easiest way to tell if you have got lawn grubs is by looking for irregular brown patches throughout the lawn.
- As lawn grubs dine on the roots of a lawn, the grass will also be easy to pull away from the ground and wont have any roots attached.
- You will find an increase in activity from other wildlife species. Birds, racoons and other rodents feed on lawn grub worms and will have higher interest than normal in your lawn.
- A special increase in beetles flying around the lawn, females will be scouting the area for a place to lay their eggs.
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Grub Control: Its Time To Treat Grubs On Your Lawn
One of the most common and potentially destructive insect in lawns of all types is white grub. It is also known as grub worms, annual white grubs or just plain old grubs. They damage turf by feeding on the roots of the plant as well as disturbing the soil with their constant search for edible roots. They eat whatever is in front of them, including soil and other organic matter.
The digging and feeding of grubs is bad enough, but there are several animals that will feed on grubs when the grubs are active. Grubs are generally active in the late summer through fall and then again for a brief time in the early spring.
Birds, skunks, raccoons, armadillos, foxes, wild pigs and moles may dig up a lawn while looking for a tasty grub meal. These varmints can do more damage to a lawn with their digging then the damage caused by the grubs themselves.
Grubs are members of the scarab beetle family. Some of these stout-bodied insects can be colorful in design.
How To Kill Grubs In Your Lawn
During the late summer and early fall, you may begin to notice lawns turning an unattractive shade of brown in certain unsightly, dying patches. The likely explanation is the grass is being destroyed by hungry, thriving grub worms living below the surface of the lawn. If this has happened in your lawn, there is good news. These pests can be controlled, and your lawn can be restored back to its healthy state by getting rid of grub worms.
Better yet, because of a growing preference for natural gardening solutions, there are now some easy and natural ways to kill lawn grubs and stop them from reappearing next year. This means youll be able to get back to enjoying your yard year-round without concern of nasty grubs eating away at it.
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How To Get Rid Of Lawn Grubs
In most climates, grubs are near the surface of the soil. Theyre at their smallest and most vulnerable in August and September, so these are the best months to treat for them.
Sod Solutions recommends Dylox 6.2 Granular White Grub Insecticide, which needs to be applied with a broadcast spreader and watered within 24 hours. However, this product is toxic to wildlife, and shouldnt enter storm drains or drainage ditches. For a natural pest solution, try one or more of these options:
- Introduce nematodes beneficial, microscopic worms that feed on grub worms.
- Introduce milky spore, a naturally occurring disease that attacks grub worms but doesnt harm other plants or wildlife. The spores must be spread several times over two years, but they protect your lawn for 10 years or more.
- Create a bird-friendly habitat by placing birdhouses and birdbaths in your yard to attract insect-eating birds like robins, wrens and jays. Theyll eat the grubs, along with the beetles once they start to emerge.
Prevention & Maintenance Tips
Applying a preventative grub control product in the spring or early summer will provide much better grub control than waiting until after the damage has occurred. Use a spreader to apply Scotts® GrubEx®1. Be sure to follow application directions. To activate the product, water immediately after applying. A drought-stressed, underfed lawn will show grub damage faster, and with fewer grubs per square foot, than a properly-fed, well-maintained lawn. A properly maintained lawn can tolerate more grubs per square foot than a stressed lawn. Repair dead patches caused by grubs with Scotts® EZ Seed®.
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How To Spot Grub Damage
A common tell-tale sign that you have grubs in your lawn is an increase in birds looking for a meal in your yard. Not only do grubs ruin your lawn themselves, but animals looking to eat grubs do damage as well. Raccoons, opossums, skunks, and moles all feast on grubs while digging up your yard.
Seeing yellow or brown dead spots is also a sign that grubs are eating your lawn. The grubs move around once theyve eaten an entire area so youll see continuous spots popping up around where these things travel.
How To Detect Grub Worms
Knowing how to detect grub worms is key to treating them. Visible lawn grub damage can be seen from late summer to early fall. Look for irregular brown patches of lawn that peel away easily from the soil, like carpet. To determine the extent of infestation or which areas require treatment, dig up small sections of lawn. Typically, more than five grub worms per ¼ square foot warrants treatment and lawn grub control.
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Weed Control & Fertilization
Our Professional Turf Program provides a balanced, slow-release, fertilizer at the time of each treatment. Each Treatment will contain a different control product based on the time of the season, starting with Crabgrass Control in the Spring, Broadleaf Weed Control Pre-Summer, to Insect identification and control through mid Summer.
Will Controlling Grubs In My Lawn Help Control The Garden Beetles That Eat My Plants
Not necessarily, because the adult stage of grubs are flying beetles that can travel to your garden from outside your property. Learn more about these beetles.
Disclaimer: The use of specific brand or trade names in this article is for educational purposes only. The University of New Hampshire does not support the use of one product over others of similar composition, nor does it guarantee the efficacy or quality of any product. The user is responsible for applying pesticides only as directed on the label and in compliance with the law. Product availability is subject to change depending on registration status in the State of New Hampshire and other factors.
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