You have spent time and money making your lawn beautiful. You’ve applied fertilizer every four to six weeks, and even set up an irrigation system to provide your turf with the proper amount of water at the correct time of day. Now, you’re starting to notice irregular brown patches spreading throughout the lawn. How could this be happening? What could you have done to prevent this, and how can you stop it before it ruins the whole lawn?
Lawn grubs, or white grubs, are one the most destructive pests in a lawn. They feed on the roots of the grass, hindering it from taking in water and the vital nutrients it needs to survive. In order to combat grubs we first need to understand their cycle. In the spring, grubs come out of dormancy and begin feeding on grass roots. By the end of the spring grubs enter the pupae stage, beginning the process of turning into adult Japanese beetles. In early summer the Japanese beetles emerge from the ground and begin their own cycle of feeding in the garden, before laying their eggs in the soil. The eggs then hatch in late August and the young grubs begin feeding, before hibernating deep within the soil until spring arrives and the cycle begins again.
Now that we know the cycle that the grubs go through we can better plan our attack on these pests. The most effective way to stop grubs in their tracks is to be proactive. By applying Scotts GrubEx, or Bonide Grub Beater to your lawn at the end of June and early July (ideally before July 15th), you’re making the lawn poisonous to young grubs, killing them as soon as they hatch, and before they can mature into the adult grubs that will do the most damage to your lawn.
If you missed that important summer application, you can still kill the adult grubs when they are actively feeding during the spring and fall. The first step to this process is making sure that the problem you’re dealing with really is grub related. The best way to do this is to dig up a few spots in the lawn that are about a square foot in size and two to four inches deep. If you flip that patch over and see six or more grubs then it’s a good idea to treat your lawn. Using a contact killer such as Bayer Advanced 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus (Dylox), Sevin or Bonide Insect & Grub Control will kill the adult grubs quickly, preventing them from causing severe damage to your lawn.
If you are looking for an organic alternative to grub control, then Milky Spore is the product for you. Milky Spore is a naturally occurring bacterium that affects Japanese beetle grubs. Apply Milky Spore when adult grubs are active in the soil. They will ingest it, and then become infected with the Milky disease. Once infected, the grub’s feeding habit will decline and they will die. The dead grub will then release the spores infecting other grubs as well. It is important to note that Milky Spore is not a quick solution. It can sometimes take up to two years of applications for the disease to completely control the grub population. Once it starts to work, however, it can last up to fifteen years without needing to be reapplied.
Don’t forget, we’re here to help. Whether it’s helping you identify if you have a grub problem, or selecting the best solution for your lawn, our knowledgeable staff will provide the answers you need.