6 Useful Tips from Experts in Grub Control and Prevention

September 14, 2020

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grub control and prevention

If you’ve noticed dead patches of grass in your lawns during late summer, you’re most likely facing grub infestation. The larvae of chafers, Japanese and June beetles are commonly called grubs. These C-shaped creatures thrive on organic matter like grassroots and damage your well-curated lawns. Our lawn care experts at Spencer offer some useful tips on grub control and prevention.

1. Identify grub damage in lawns

White grubs are most commonly found during fall. These root-eating insects target portions of the turf which become lifeless due to infestation. The grass loses its colour and texture as the injured roots can’t absorb water or nutrients properly.

when to treat for grubs

Signs to look out for:

How do you know when to treat for grubs? Our experts at Spencer tell us that you need to look out for these signs

  • The affected area feels spongy and soft; you can easily pull out the grass as the roots can no longer hold ground.
  • You will notice birds, raccoons, or skunks digging up your yard as they love to feed on mature grubs.
  • Some early symptoms include gradual thinning and yellowing of the turf grass with irregular dead patches.

Identify grub damage in lawns

2. Know the grubs

There are a few species of white grubs which are commonly found in the Midwest. It’s easy to identify them by their grayish-to-white stout bodies with brown heads. A mature grub can grow up in size from 3/8 to 2 inches long. As they rest, they curl up in a C-shape.

3. Know the lifecycle of grubs

For effective grub control and prevention, you need to follow a grub’s lifecycle. Depending on the species, the grubs can feed on your lawns for more than a year. To prevent extensive damage, you need to catch them young when they come closer to the surface in summer and fall.

In October and November, the grubs stop feeding and move deeper into the soil and remain dormant in the winter months. They become active and start feeding on grassroots actively again in early spring. As they move to the mature stage which normally happens around May, the grub will again move deeper into the soil to form a clay cell leading to pupae. In June or July, they complete their cycle and emerge as adult beetles.

Know the lifecycle of grubs


4. Time your lawn treatment for preventing grub damage

As per our lawn care experts at Moline, it’s important to know when to treat the lawn for grubs. You need to scout them at the correct time to determine the control measures. Apply a preventive grub control product before they become a menace. This can be done in the first half of August.

You can cut through the turf with a carpet or heavily-bladed knife and pull back 1/3 to 1 square foot of the turf. The tuft of grass will easily come out and you can clearly see the white grubs. Some of them will be at the underside of the thatch, so inspect carefully. If you have faced grub damage before, you will know the turf areas that are the perennial problem zones.

lawn treatment for preventing grub damage

Watch out for

  • Areas close to the pavement that are warm and attract the adult females
  • Highly-watered spaces such as a vegetable garden or flower beds
  • Your front yard which receives more water than the backyard

5. Determine how to get rid of lawn grubs

Without a proper lawn care program that takes care of your lawn through the year, it’s not possible to ensure proper grub control and prevention. Our lawn care experts in Waterloo, Spencer and Moline always point out the obvious; an underfed or a drought-stressed lawn is more prone to grub damage.

When we asked our experts about how to control lawn grubs effectively, they spoke about 3 methods.

  • Only insecticides can control a major grub infestation; it’s the best way to limit serious damage to the grub. If your lawns show signs of severe damage, you may have to apply insecticides throughout the year.
  • Take care of your lawns by watering for 1 ½ – 2 hours a week, which helps your lawn to grow. As a preventive treatment for lawns, have your lawn professionally fertilized. This will enable the grassroots to grow deeper and stronger increasing its tolerance level to grub infestation.
  • You can also take the help of curative control for grub control and prevention. You can apply treatment just after the beetles’ hatch eggs in summer. The insecticides used in this method are less damaging and they have short residual effectiveness. Apply the insecticides in late August and September when the grubs are in a vulnerable stage.

how to get rid of lawn grubs

6. Contact a lawn care expert in Waterloo

Usually, 1 or 2 grubs do not cause much trouble, but a severely infested lawn will require expert intervention. Our experts will tell you that grub prevention becomes much easier, but there are no options left once they take over. September is already here; it’s the ideal time to take the help of experts and treat your lawn properly to prevent grub damage.

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