What Is A Grub?
At its most basic, a grub is the immature form of a beetle. Most lawn grubs (or white grubs) are juvenile forms of various types of scarab beetle, such as Japanese Beetles or June Bugs. The adult beetle emerges in early summer to feed, mate, and lay eggs in the lawn. The egs hatch and by late summer the grubs are active underneath the surface, eating organic matter. When the temperature begins to drop in fall, the grubs move deeper into the ground to survive the cold winter. They will emerge the following summer as adult beetles, and the cycle will repeat.
What Do I Look For?
The symptoms of a grub infestation can be easily spotted. Here are the most common sigs that you have too many grubs:
-Brown dead patches of grass. Grubs eat the roots of the grass - when there are too many grubs in one place, they eat the roots faster than the grass regrows. This results in dead patches in the yard that do not grow back. Pull up the dead grass and inspect the soil underneath, as well as some of the surrounding areas that grubs may be moving to. You may notice that you have dead patches in the spring - this is a sign of grub damage from the previous summer and fall.
- A "spongy" feel. Oftentimes, the lawn will begin to feel spongy or springy under your feet even before the grass begins to die. If you are noticing a difference in how your yard feels, it might be time to check for grubs.
-Animal destruction. Animals that eat grubs, such as raccoons, skunks, birds, and moles, will be drawn to your yard. Not only that, they will begin digging and tearing into the grass to find and eat the grubs. In a yard with a healthy grub balance (less than 5 per sq foot), this is not normally an issue.
Do I Need to Treat My Lawn?
Whether or not you need to treat for grubs depend on how many of them you have. Grubs are naturally found in almost every lawn, and the presence of a few does not mean you need to do a full lawn treatment. Normally, the growth of a healthy lawn is able to outstrip the activity of the grubs. But because grubs eat the roots of the grass, a high grub poppulation can have serious effects on your yard. Generally, you want under 5 grubs per square foot. To test your yard, pull up a square foot of grass in a few different places and count any grubs that you see. It is best to do this test in late summer, when the grubs are active and just an inch or two below the surface.
I Have A Grub Problem!
If you have an overabundance of grubs, never fear! There are many great products to choose from. You can choose a biological method or a chemical method according to your preferences.
Milky Spore--Milky spore is the common name for spores of the bacterium Bacillus popillae. Milky spore disease builds up in turf slowly (over 2-4 years) as grubs ingest the spores, become infected, and die, each releasing 1-2 billion spores back into the soil.
Scotts® GrubEx® Season-Long
Kills grubs before they damage your lawn. Just one application protects from grubs all season long.
Sevin® Brand Insecticide
Sevin is one of the most effective and recommended insecticides to use for control of damaging, adult Japanese beetles. Sevin is also very effective in the control of ticks that transmit Lyme disease.