How To Check For Grubs In Lawn
Before you start treating, it is important to check to make sure that indeed there are grubs damaging your lawn. Irregular brown patches of dying grass are the first sign. If you see the patches, lift the turf to check for the grub worms.
Take a shovel and dig a square foot about 3 inches deep and lift the turf to check for grub worms. If you find one or two grubs is normal and healthy, but if you find 5 or more grubs, you have a grub worm infestation that needs treatment to prevent further damage to your turfgrass.
Grub Worm Type : Oriental Beetles
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 .
Flying Moths Around Your Lawn Or Garden
Remember what we said about beetles perpetuating the reproductive cycle by laying eggs that hatch into grubs?
Well, when you begin to notice beetles flying around your lawn, garden, or yard, you should know that its about going down!
Such moths are looking for healthy lawns to lay their eggs. Lush-green lawns are seen as sufficient food sources that ensure the survival of grubs. Youll need to act fast during this stage to ensure that a grub infestation doesnt break out.
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Lawn Grubs: A Threat To Your Grass
What are Grub Worms
Lawn Grubs, often called White Grubs, are the immature form of different Scarab Beetles, such as Japanese Beetles, June “bugs” or the European Chafers. These white, C-shaped creatures have soft bodies with legs near the head. They feed on grass roots , causing sections of grass in the lawn to die. A white grub eventually turns into adult Beetles and emerge from soil to mate and lay eggs.
Most Scarab Beetles have a one-year life cycle June Beetles have a three-year cycle. Timing varies by Beetle species and region, but generally adults emerge from soil, mate, and lay eggs over the course of two to three weeks in early to midsummer.
Depending on soil moisture and temperature, eggs hatch about two weeks after being laid, in mid-to late summer. The new generation of root-munching pests begins feasting immediately after hatching. Peak feeding occurs in early fall. Typically, the pests operate a few inches below the soil surface, but burrow deeper before winter arrives.
Symptoms of Grub Feeding
As your lawn greens up in spring, keep an eye out for brown patches that never turn green. Those dead patches may be due to Grub feeding that occurred the previous fall.
What do grubs eat?
Irregularly-shaped dead patches appear in your well-irrigated lawn in late summer or early fall. Check your turf using the technique just mentioned.
Some Are Okay
Treatment: Timing Is Key
Helpful Tips to Prevent Grubs in Your Lawn
What Are Lawn Grubs
A classic lawn grub or white grub is a whitish C-shaped larva of a beetle that are about ½ inch in length. The beetles typically lay their eggs during mid summer in sunny areas of the lawn. Their larva live in the soil eating on the roots of grass and other organic matter leaving it dry, brown and dead.
Eventually grubs turn into adult beetles and come out of the soil to mate and lay eggs which hatch into more grubs.
Was This the Culprit?
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How Do I Prevent Grubs In My Lawn
I always advise people to take preventative measures rather than treating them later. Below are some means to prevent grubs in the lawn.
- Use beneficial nematodes along with Milky spore disease. This process may take a year or two but prevents further infections.
- Do not use artificial fertilizers to feed your lawn as it kills the beneficial nematodes. Use only organic fertilizer.
Inspection For Lawn Grubs
Most of the signs of grub presence mentioned above are visual and only assessed based on the look of things or what you notice. However, youll need to further clarify things by inspecting if there are indeed grubs in your lawn.
To do this, youll need to take the following measures August and September are the best times of the year to inspect and treat for grubs simply because these pests are closer to the soil surface and most active during this time.
Get a spade and cut about a square foot of the lawn section. The cut should be at least 2 to 4 inches deep. Next, pull back the cut area to reveal the soil beneath. This is the time for careful inspection. Inspect for white grubs.
There shouldnt be more than 5 per square foot. If there are, youll need to commence treatment. Replace the cut area of the soil and apply water to prevent it from dying off.
This article provides you with the critical signs of grub presence in your lawn. Now that you know, its left for you to take urgent actions to fix an existing problem.
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What Causes Lawn Grubs: The Bottom Line
Grubs are a part of nature, so setting the goal of eliminating them from your yard will likely leave you frustrated.
But by knowing what causes grubs in the soil and following the strategies we shared here, you can significantly reduce the number of grubs on your lawn so that they dont kill large patches of grass.
Introduce Natural Predators To Eat The Grubs
Grubs have plenty of natural predators. While predators like raccoons and moles will damage your yard, others wont.
Birds like chickadees, blue jays, and robins, for example, love grubs and will happily eat them all day long. Backyard chickens will also graze the yard and pick up grubs.
To use birds as a natural control method for grubs, make your yard as attractive as possible for the winged visitors.
Add bird feeders, birdbaths, and birdhouses around your yard. This will attract beneficial bird species and help keep your yards grub populations in check.
Pros: Easy, non-toxic, safe for households with kids and pets.
Cons: Birds may damage vegetable gardens or potted plants.
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More Critters Coming To Visit
Just as grubs love feasting on your lawn, many bigger creatures love feasting on your lawn grubs. You may find birds, raccoons, armadillos, skunks, or moles suddenly meandering their way over to your property to scrounge up a tasty meal for themselves.
Worried you may have a grub problem? Contact Lawn Rx today to discuss your concerns with one of our skilled lawn care professionals.
Grub Worm Type : Japanese Beetles
This lawn grub is a notorious pest in the Northeast, and their range has now expanded to include isolated populations across much of the continental United States and parts of Canada. Accidentally introduced to North America from Asia in the early 1900s, the 1/2 adult beetles are metallic green with copper-colored wing covers.
Unlike other types of pest grubs, the last abdominal segment of each Japanese beetle grub has a distinctive V-shaped row of tiny, dark hairs. The larvae grow up to 1-inch in length and spend the winter deep below the soil surface.
Adult Japanese beetles consume the foliage of over 300 different plants, beginning in mid-summer. Though they live for only 30-45 days, the adult beetles can cause a good bit of damage. Dont ignore newly emerged adult beetles. Early hand-picking goes a long way. Knock the adults into soapy water or squash them.
Our online course Organic Pest Control for the Vegetable Garden, provides even more information about managing pests like Japanese beetles in a series of videos that total 2 hours and 30 minutes of learning time.
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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.
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.
How To Get Rid Of Grubs In Lawn: 6 Effective Ways + Natural Control
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If there are grubs in your lawn, youll start to notice a change in the shade of your turfgrass. Browning of grass during summer and early fall is a likely sign of white grub worms causing the damage. The key to getting rid of lawn grubs is first identifying their signs, and then applying the best control method as I am going to show you here.
The white grub worms in your lawn are a larval stage of scarab beetles. As soon as winter ends, these worms become active when warmth kicks in. They start to damage your lawn by eating grass roots at a high rate.
If you fail to identify and kill lawn grubs on time, theyll develop into pupae, and later into full-grown beetles. The beetles will later start eating lawn grass and other foliage in your yard, causing even further plant damage.
But how do you know youre dealing with grubs in your lawn and not a disease or other problems?
Lawn Grubs Is Your Lawn Under Attack
Tell-tale signs of infestation and treatment for lawn grubs
The warmer months of the year are the peak time for invasion of your lawn by lawn grubs. Find out the tell tale signs of lawn grub attack and how you can rid yourself of these pests before they do too much damage.
Your Lawn Becomes Attractive To Critters
Apart from the damage caused by grubs, their presence is also inviting to other predators such as moles, raccoons, skunks, and armadillos among others. This worsens your situation as such critters come around to dig up your lawn, thus further ruining it.
Your best bet is to identity grub presence as early as possible. If youre too late to do this and find critters coming around and digging up your lawn, consider taking appropriate action by calling for effective pest management.
This approach is comprehensive and looks at the source of critter attraction. Grubs are focused on and eliminated to make your lawn less attractive to these critters.
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Apply Neem Oil Homemade Grubworm Killer
Neem oil has insecticidal properties and is effective in repelling grub worms in lawns and gardens. This natural pesticide deters grubs from feeding, laying eggs, and growing into adults, thus breaking their cycle and helping in their control and stopping lawn damage.
To use neem oil recipe to get rid of grubs naturally, mix neem oil with water and spray it on a grub-infested lawn using a hose-end sprayer. Apply generously over the areas with dead patches of grass to make sure you target the larvae.
Another common homemade recipe for getting rid of grubs naturally is dawn dish soap. While it is not 100% effective at controlling grubs, it can help control mild infestations in your lawn.
To get rid of grubs naturally using dish soap, mix dawn soap with water and spray it over the infested area. The dish soaps solutions smothers and suffocates grub worms and Japanese beetles, killing them in the process. This DIY solution can also kill adult beetles and prevent them from laying eggs in your lawn.
According to the Clemson University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Insecticidal soaps kill by suffocation, they appear to disrupt the cellular membranes of the insect, and they remove protective waxes that cover the insect, resulting in dehydration.
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.
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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.
How To Get Rid Of Grubs Organically
Despite your best attempts at preventing grub worms, they still may become troublesome enough to warrant corrective measures if your lawn has brow patches that peel back like a carpet.
Please dont use grub killers based on synthetic chemicals. Most are made from a class of pesticides called neonictinoids. These chemicals are systemic, meaning theyre absorbed by the roots then carried throughout the plants vascular system where they also travel into the pollen and nectar.When you use these products on the lawn, they are also absorbed by nearby trees, shrubs, and flowers where pollinators feed. Avoid using them. They have recently been implicated in the decline of many insect species as well as birds.
Thankfully, all four types of grub worms are susceptible to the following natural product control that doesnt bring harm to pollinators and other non-target critters.
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Simple Grub Control Options
- Birds: Do what you can to attract birds to your yard using bird feeders, bird baths and nesting homes. Birds eat bugs including grubs.
- Beer: Another lawn control option that is said to work is to set a beer trap. Use an old plastic bowl approximately three inches deep by six inches in diameter. Dig a hold so the bowl fits to where the top lip of the container is at ground level. Pour beer in the bowl.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Grub Worms In Your Lawn
Grub worms damage your lawn by feeding on the roots, and eventually turn into adult beetles that eat the leaves of other prized plants in your garden. Many homeowners simply treat their lawn with a chemical grub control product, or grub killer, once or twice a year. But there are also a number of natural methods that can be effective ways to get rid of grub worms. Check out the following tips from our readers on how to get rid of grubs naturally.
Q: I have white grub worms all over my garden and I hate to use pesticides. Are there any natural methods to get rid of them?
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. They have nematodes that seek and destroy flea larvae too. Here’s what one reader says about his experience with nematodes: “Works great. Did my yard last year, my dogs never have fleas unless we go someplace else. The nematodes for grubs work equally as well. Had them in my compost pile, wiped them out. No more grubs!” .
Answer 5: Other readers have seen results using neem oil. Mix as directed with water and spray affected areas of your lawn to deter beetles from laying eggs, as well as keep grubs from feeding. .
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