Lawn Problem Solvers - Insects and Grubs
Lawn Insects and Pests
Perhaps nothing is more frustrating than seeing grubs eat away at the lawn that you take such good care of all year long. Grubs are actually larvae of beetles that feed on grass roots. They typically do this during Spring and Fall.
There are a few telltale symptoms of a grub problem. You will see irregular patches seem to form in certain parts of the lawn, and these areas can almost be pulled back up in rolls since the roots have been severed. You may also notice moles or skunks digging in the yard, since these rodents feed on the grubs.
'White Grub' is a general name that applies to several species of scarab beetles.
It is most effective to control grubs during mid Summer, when the beetles are laying their eggs. These eggs are most easily killed by grub control chemicals. You can also try to control them in the Spring and Fall, but the mature grubs will be more resistant to the chemicals.
Grubs are also sensitive to environmental factors. Summers that are very dry often result in reduced insect presence the following fall and spring. Do not purposefully cause a drought in your lawn though!
It is important to understand the life cycle of these insects. Japanese beetles lay their eggs in the soil in July. The eggs hatch and begin to feed and grow as grubs into the Fall. Prior to the onset of winter, they stop feeding and burrow deep into the soil where they remain until Spring. They resume feeding in Spring and emerge as pupae in June where they feed on trees and shrubs while mating.
Areas damaged by grubs can be mitigated by irrigation and overseeding in the Fall. Irrigation helps the plants that are affected by providing water to the shallow, damaged roots. If you typically have grub problems each year, you may want to start applying a grub control chemical in late July as a preventative measure.