Grub Control and Prevention

Grubs can quickly put a damper on your beautiful lawn, leaving you with dead or damaged grass. Typically white in color, grubs are larvae of Japanese beetles and feed off of the roots of grass. Whether they've already invaded or you just want to setup your lawn for grub prevention, consider using the following steps to show these pesky critters who is boss.

How to Know if You Have a Grub Problem:

If you have dead patches on your lawn, or if your grass peels back easily like carpet, chances are the grubs have invaded. To properly inspect your lawn for grubs, pull back a section of grass and scrape away the top layer of soil in the ground. If you notice that more than a few of the C-shaped creatures are happily burrowed, it's time to take action.

 

Grub Prevention:

If you don't see any grubs in your lawn or garden, but have noticed an abundance of beetles lurking, you should use a preventive product before grub hatching season starts. Also consider your lawn maintenance when trying to prevent grubs. Allow your grass to grow at least 2 inches high, because beetles prefer shorter grass when laying eggs. Additionally, lawns and gardens that are over-watered are likely to attract beetles, because egg hatching requires a moist soil. Try periodic, heavy watering at this time, rather than everyday light watering.

 

Grub Control:

If you find less than five grubs in your soil, don't worry, your lawn can withstand the feeding done by so few of them. However, if there are 10 or more grubs present, it is time to take control. There are two different ways to control grubs in your lawn and garden, naturally or chemically.

Natural Controls

  • Milky Spore: this natural bacterium is only effective in controlling Japanese beetle grubs. It takes years for it to be recognized in the soil, so this method is ideal for long term treatment.
  • Beneficial Nematodes: these microscopic worms live in soil and feed on grubs. Once the grub is consumed, the worm releases a bacterium that kills remaining grubs.
  • Irrigation: grubs tend to thrive in soil that is constantly moist. Limiting the water intake of your lawn will decrease survival rate among grubs.

Chemical Controls

  • Apply chemical grub controls at the time when grubs are young and regularly feeding, which is typically between July and August.
  • In order to target grubs, water your lawn after application. Watering will move the chemicals down toward the soil and bring the grubs up, where they can meet somewhere in the middle.

If you are unsure how to proceed with grub control, it is best to take a sample of the affected area to a professional before moving forward with treatment.