White grubs can destroy large sections of your lawn before you realize it. Learn what to look for to prevent damage and eliminate white grubs for good.
White grubs are the immature, caterpillar like stage of Japanese Beetles. Grub infestations can quickly, and secretively, knock out giant sections of your lawn.
And if that’s not bad enough, when they become adult beetles they can destroy foliage of plants in your landscape and vegetable garden. When the beetles are done feeding they enter back into your lawn to start another generation of lawn killing, foliage destroying insects.
Sound terrible? It is! That’s why you should consider grub prevention as part of your lawn care program.
How Do You Know If You Have White Grubs?
These 4 tests should help diagnose the problem:
1. Do areas of your lawn easily roll up? If you start to see areas of lawn that look like they are dying go over and see if you can roll it up, or peel it up like a piece of carpet. Grubs feed on the root system of your lawn. Since there are no roots to anchor your lawn, large sections should easily be separated from the soil.
2. Do you see irregular brown patches in sections of your lawn? After grubs start attacking your lawns roots system, you will inevitably see the damage on the surface of your lawn. Since sections of your lawn no longer have roots to take in water and nutrients you will start to see brown patches where your lawn is dying. Lift these dead patches up and inspect to see if there are grubs in the soil under the patch.
3. Do you see evidence of animals digging in your lawn? Skunks, raccoons, crows, and other animals love feeding on grubs. Skunks and raccoons in particular will dig aggressively in search of a good snack. If sections of your lawn look dug up, then check under these damaged areas to see if you have grubs.
4. Do you see beetles chewing on leaves in your landscape? In the summer months grubs become adult beetles and they will feed on plants in your landscape. If you notice leaves that look like something is chewing on them look carefully and you will probably see beetles. These beetles likely came from your lawn, and will likely go back in your lawn to start the next generation of destruction.
5. Peel up a one foot section of lawn using a square edging shovel where you suspect there might be grub damage. Look through the soil to see if there are any grubs. If you count just a few then that is normal. If you count more then a few it means you have a grub problem. 10 or more means you have a serious infestation.
Life Cycle of a White Grub
To treat grubs it is important to first understand their lifecycle. Think of grubs as having 4 distinct stages during the year.
Spring Stage- In spring the grub is hungry and goes to the root zone of your lawn to feed on its roots. This is a quick feeding that lasts a couple of weeks so lawn damage done during this time is usually not too severe. After a couple weeks this grub turns into a beetle and flies out of the ground which brings us to the next stage.
Early Summer Stage- The grub is now a beetle and spends the summer months feeding on foliage of plants and vegetables. This is where you can visibly see damage to plants in your landscape. After several weeks as an adult beetle it is time for the beetle to return to your lawn to lay eggs and start the next generation of grubs.
Early/Mid Summer Stage– During this stage the beetle is back in your lawn and has laid eggs. This is when you want to treat your lawn because the next stage is the one that does the most damage!
Late Summer- The recently laid eggs have hatched and these little grubs are hungry! They go up to the root system of your lawn and feed on the roots for several weeks. They are trying to get big and fat so they can overwinter deep in your lawns soil.
In spring they will start the cycle all over again. Your best shot at breaking this cycle is to kill the recently hatched grubs as they move in to feed on your lawns roots.
How to Get Rid of White Grubs
We already know that the best time to kill grubs is getting them when they are young. But what product do you use for killing these insects?
Grubex is a product that is designed to kill these young grubs. The active ingredient is Chlorantraniliprole, and is one of the best over the counter insecticides for dealing with grub infestations.
Grub ex is a granular chemical that gets broadcasted over your entire lawn using a good broadcast spreader.
For applying, stick to the directions on the back of the bag.
Timing Is Important
You want to apply Grubex during the early to mid summer stage. This will most likely be before the grubs have hatched but that is a good thing. The insecticide stays in the soil long enough so it will still be effective. It is better to be too early then too late. Remember, the older a grub gets the harder it is to kill!
You don’t need to use a lot of insecticides in your lawn care program, but since grub problems can be widespread and extremely damaging grub ex is worth the investment. Don’t forget it’s not just your lawn you are saving, its also plants in your landscape and vegetable garden that Japanese Beetles feed on when those grubs are mature.
How to Kill Japanese Beetles
If you notice a lot of Japanese Beetles eating your plants then you should definitely purchase some Beetle Bags. These are really inexpensive and will control your beetle infestation and also reduce your grub problem since these beetles are about to enter your lawn and lay their eggs.
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