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How To Treat Grubs In Lawn

Is Your Lawn Ready For A New Best Friend

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

Ready to evict those gobbling grubs and stop groaning about your Idaho Falls or Boise, ID lawn? Weve got your back targeted grub control treatment is included in our complete lawn care package.Help prevent lawn grubs by making sure your lawn is healthy in the first place.Make it easy on yourself. Choose an Idaho Falls or Boise, ID professional lawn care service that bundles your yards most-needed treatments into one convenient, no-fuss plan. Fertilizing, weed control, grub control. Done.Got a few minutes? Thats all you need to get started.

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

Chemical Ways To Get Rid Of Lawn Grubs

Chemical control is sure to kill off your lawn grubs, but it comes at a costusing these treatments can kill beneficial insects, too. There are two types of chemical treatments.

  • Curative: These eliminate existing larvae. Youll need to water your lawn before and after you apply a curative pesticide to make sure it gets soaked up by the soil. The most common curatives include the ingredients carbaryl and trichlorfon. Different curatives may kill grubs at different stages, so the time of year you apply them may differ. Always read the instructions before applying this type of chemical treatment.
  • Preventive: These products will help prevent future generations of grubs from taking over. Youll find these sold as Merit and Mach 2.
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    Why Are Grubs Bad

    A large grub population can decimate a vegetable garden, flower bed or natural grass lawn, but most serious grub issues that homeowners deal with have to do with their lawns. While a small population is generally not an issue and will not destroy your grass, a population of 10 or more grubs per square foot can cause significant damage.

    The damage caused by grubs is largely due to their diet, which consists primarily of grass roots, as well as other organic matter in the soil. As they eat the roots of your grass, they destroy the root system, which means your grass will not get the water and soil nutrients it needs to stay healthy. This will lead to patches of grass that are brown, dead and easy to pull out of the ground.


    A significant grub population can also lead to lawn, flowerbed, and garden destruction indirectly as birds, raccoons, and other grub-eating critters tear up your lawn or garden to get to the grubs.

    Lawn Grub Treatment Applications

    Lawn Grubs: How to Identify, Get Rid of, and Prevent Them

    Lawn grub treatment must enter the soil. An application requires watering immediately afterward in order for the chemicals to penetrate into the ground.

    Before applying grub treatments to the grass, remember you will also destroy some other insects in the soil, including varieties of grubs which do not damage plant roots.

    For this reason, if you already enjoy a healthy green lawn, you may wish to use caution in initiating an aggressive grub treatment program.

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    Apply Grub Control Pesticide

    Grub control insecticides that contain bifenthrin, imidacloprid, or carbaryl are very effective at killing grubs in an already established lawn. Insecticides containing these active ingredients such as GrubEx, Merit, and Sevin are mostly systemic and kill when they come in contact with the grub worms.

    There are liquid grub killers and granular grub killers on the market. Therefore, to get rid of grubs in your lawn, do the following:

    • For granular pesticides, apply using the regular garden spreader and water the treatment into the soil to kill the grubs.
    • For liquid grub killers, mix with water according to the label and spray the infested areas thoroughly to ensure the pesticide goes deep into the soil.

    It is important to choose the best, most effective grub killer for this purpose. Scotts GrubEx is one of the industrys most trusted grubworm destroyers.

    Affiliate links and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on: 2022-08-09


    Timing is key

    When using a pesticide to control grubs, you have two options: a grub preventer, or a grub killer.

    Grub killers act almost immediately, meaning you need to apply them as soon as you see lawn damage from grub worm activity. But for grub preventers, they have a lasting effect and mostly prevent grubs from the next season.

    As such, make sure you apply grub control at the right time as per this guide and the label of the insecticide youre using.

    Signs Of Grubs In Your Lawn & How To Get Rid Of Them

    Grubs are gross. Thats enough to give them the boot, but the squishy little villains feast on your lawns roots, causing whole sections of it to turn brown, wilt, and die.Then they turn into beetles that lay eggs that, oh yay, turn into more grubs.The only thing worse than grubs is, well, more grubs.How do you know if you have lawn grubs?Then, how do you get rid of those grubs?Nows not the time to be squeamish. Lets take a look.


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    Dethatch And Aerate Your Lawn

    Dethatching and aeration make your lawn less attractive for grubs. Because thatch and dense, compacted soil provide a thick layer of shelter for grubs, removing thatch and aerating the lawn creates a less welcoming environment for the pests.

    Additionally, these methods make it easier for milky spore disease, nematodes, and other natural solutions to penetrate the surface of the lawn and reach the grubskilling them faster and more efficiently.

    Pros: Safe, effective, good for the lawn.

    Cons: Labor-intensive. Does not kill grubs.


    How To Treat Grub Damaged Lawn

    How to treat & prevent lawn grub infestation in your lawn

    Grubs can be annoying, especially when they interrupt a beautiful growing season. If not careful, the infestations can spread quickly, damaging most of your lawn. Frustrating, yes. Incurable? No.

    Youve fully committed to this grass-growing business. So far, its going wonderfully. Youve taken the proper steps to grow, fertilize, and maintain your grass. Except for the fact that despite your best efforts, sections of your grass continue to wilt and die. Not sure why? Well, its more than likely grubs.

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    Controlling Lawn Grubs With The Best Grub Killer

    Early fall marks a peak feeding time for Grubs as they fatten up before winter. Once soil temperatures drop, Grubs dig in, heading 4-8 inches below ground, where theyll stay snug until spring. That means early fall before temperatures tumble is a key time to go after Grubs, and as a result you can help prevent some of the most common lawn problems before they start.

    In spring, when Grubs emerge from soil, they dont feed much, making spring Grub control less effective. Lawn damage you see in spring actually occurred the previous fall, which makes fall control even more important. Stop Grubs in autumn, and you can dramatically limit lawn damage. Try these grub killer tactics to curtail activity this fall.


    Grub Killer Spikes

    Spike sandals, typically sold for aerating lawns, dont aerate very well. But a study by Colorado State University has shown that walking over Grub-infested lawns repeatedly while wearing the sandals is an effective grub killer that can cut Grub populations in half literally.

    To control Grubs most effectively, water the lawn the day before you plan to spike it. Applying about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water will cause Grubs to move higher in soil, closer to the soil surface and your spikes. Watering will also help if the soil is dry by making it easier for spikes to penetrate.

    Dethatching and Grub Prevention

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    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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    Recommended Practices As You Use Pesticides

    • If you decide to use a pesticide to kill the grubs, it will probably be toxic to good insects like bees and other pollinators as well.
    • To protect them from harm, mow your lawn before you apply the chemical to get rid of flowers that may attract them.
    • Water your lawn after you apply the pesticide to avoid burning your plants and to enable the soil to absorb it.
    • Dont apply too much pesticides as it will run off your lawn and into the environment. Use only the recommended usage on the back of the bottle.

    Lawn Grubs Life Cycle

    How to Get Rid of Lawn Grubs

    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.

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    Spring Time Isnt Ideal For Grub Control

    When springtime sets in, a lot of homeowners make the mistake of thinking that grubs can be controlled effectively.

    However, findings have shown that such assumptions are false. In spring, grubs are almost clocking a year of their lifecycle.

    What does that mean? It means that these pests are ready to metamorphose into beetles.

    Attacking them at this stage wont be a good idea. Their reasons are simple when insecticides are used on grubs at this stage, other beneficial organisms in the soil are affected or killed off.

    Plus, grubs cause limited damage at this stage of their development.

    When they eventually become beetles, they fly off in search of favorable territory. A favorable territory will be one with attractive plants such as crepe myrtle, roses, and ornamental cherries among several others.

    Areas with such attractive plants that serve as food create ideal conditions for breeding. In other words, the reproductive cycle starts again with a new generation of grubs being unleashed. What time is ideal then?

    Grub Treatment Natural Methods Of Killing Grubs

    If you have a grub problem, the best time to kill them is when they are freshly hatched and living near the surface that is usually between late summer and early fall.

    At that stage, they will have started eating roots.

    If you dont fancy pumping chemicals into your lawn, you can go with one of the following natural remedies:

    • Nematodes:

    Beneficial nematodes can eliminate up to 75% of lawn grubs.

    The nematodes carry bacteria that infect and kill white grubs.

    Beneficial Nematodes come in solid or liquid form.

    • Milky Spore:

    It is a kind of bacteria that infects and kills grubs of the Japanese beetle.

    This is a great organic grub treatment that kills grubs naturally.

    It is very effective and will not kill your earthworms.

    I have had much better results with milky spore than with chemicals.

    • Garlic:

    The scent of garlic repels Japanese beetles and their grubs.

    Place ground garlic cloves in strategic places around your garden to deter these pests.

    It is a hormone inhibitor that disrupts the normal functions of the grubs.

    It will make them fail to eat, mate, or lay eggs.

    • Birds:

    You can build houses for some bird species near your lawn and they will eat the grubs along with other pests.

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    When Is The Best Time To Apply Grub Control

    Although, you should only start treating your lawn after you discover you have a grub problem. You dont have to wait till that time to take precautions.

    As you already know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Its usually better to enter into fall without fear or worries about grub infestation.

    Preventative measures are usually best applied during spring and summer. Spring because, at this time, overwintering grubs are just beginning to come out. Summer is also a good time to go for grub control because what youll have to deal with are newly hatched grubs and not mature adults.

    During spring, when the weather is a little warm, you can apply chlorantraniliprole products. While in summer, you can use thiamethoxam and imidacloprid to attack emerging grubs.

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    After Applying Grub Killer

    Treating Spring Lawn Grubs

    Once the grub control is applied, it is essential to care properly for your lawn afterward and ensure the solution gets where it needs to be. Because grubs thrive among the roots of the grass in the soil, the grub killer needs to be watered in. This makes sure that the grub killer granules reach the roots instead of just sitting on top of the grass. It is recommended to water about half an inch over the treated area right away.

    It is also important to monitor your lawn for grubs or other activities during the next week or so. If the grubs dont appear to have died off, then you may need to reapply. Make sure always to read and follow the label, but it may be the case that you need a stronger dosage.

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    Encourage Birds To Hang Out In Your Yard

    Birds love to dine on grubs, so if you do not mind birds digging around in your flowerbeds or lawn, invite more of them to hang out in your yard. You can attract birds with bird feeders, bird baths and bird houses. To learn more about attracting birds to your yard, read Learn the Secrets of Attracting Birds to Your Backyard.

    If you dig up grubs, you can also scatter them on top of the ground to encourage birds to eat them. Just know that any that are not snatched up by hungry birds will burrow back into the soil.

    What Are Grub Worms

    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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    White Grub Management In Turfgrass

    Factsheet | HGIC 2156 | Jul 15, 2021 |

    Close-up of white grub.Alton N. Sparks, Jr., University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

    White grubs are the larval stage of several different scarab beetles. In South Carolina, as well as the rest of the southeastern United States, turfgrass can be attacked by the grub stage of Japanese beetles, masked chafers, May and June beetles, and green June beetles. From year to year, the Japanese beetle consistently causes the most damage to both turfgrass and ornamentals. There are two additional scarab beetles that attack turf and are relatively new to the southeastern United States. The black turfgrass Ataenius beetle and the oriental beetle are slowly expanding their range and can soon be a problem for turfgrass managers in South Carolina.


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