Lawn Grub Prevention, Detection, and Control
Grubs, also known as white grubs, are C-shaped and about ½ inch in length. They love the warm weather, so this summer, it’s important to be vigilant to signs of an infestation.
Lawn grubs feed on organic matter in the soil and grassroots, causing patches of grass to die. They eventually become beetles, damaging flowers and foliage as they feed.
Most beetles live up to a year. Adult beetles mate and lay eggs during summer, which hatch into more grubs by mid-August. They feed actively during this time, and damage is most evident in the sunny parts of the lawn. Grubs are inactive during winter.
Southern Botanical, your Dallas residential landscaping experts, shares information on how to prevent lawn grubs, as well as tips on detection and control. Read on.
Signs of lawn grubs
Grub damage can manifest in three ways. Brown, bare patches in your lawn are the tell-tale signs of an infestation. Small animals like birds and racoons may tear up your lawn to feed on grubs. Your turf might feel ‘spongy’ and may lift up easily to reveal damaged roots.
Lawn grub prevention and control
Grubs are hard to eradicate. Your best defense is periodic scouting, most especially in late summer when the damage can be the most extensive.
If an outbreak has occurred, you can apply insecticide. A word of caution: insecticides are very dangerous and is best handled by a licensed professional.
If you want to go organic, your best bet is knowing how to prevent lawn grubs. Integrated pest management and healthy soil will definitely give you the upper hand in grub prevention. Remember, a healthy lawn can fend off most diseases!
Similar to a lot of different pests, grubs have a preference for a specific set of circumstances. Many pests like closely-cropped grass. This may mean that you need to mow your lawn less frequently, but by doing this, you are exposing your turf to a lot of problems. Keeping your grass around two to three inches long will help keep it healthy and able to resist pests and disease.
There are also some beneficial species of nematodes that you can introduce as a natural grub predator. They are watered into the soil and inject a toxin that kills the grub. Typical application of beneficial nematodes is every 3-6 weeks.
Lawn grubs feed on the roots, and this usually means that you need to start from scratch and reseed damaged areas. With proper care and vigilance, you can repair lawn grub damage.
“Grub Control: How to get rid of grubs in the lawn,” Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, https://www.johnson.k-state.edu/lawn-garden/agent-articles/insects/grub-control.html
“Healthy Lawn, Healthy Environment,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-04/documents/healthy_lawn_healthy_environment.pdf
“FAQ: How to Kill White Grubs with Nematodes,” Biologic, https://biologicco.com/blog/faq-how-to-kill-white-grubs-with-nematodes/