Ask a Lawn Care Specialist: What’s the Best Lawn Treatment for Grubs?


Got dead patches of your lawn you can pull up with ease? Have certain critters taken interest in digging up your yard? You might have grubs! Here’s a quick summary of what they are exactly and the best lawn

Grubs are larvae of beetles, such as June beetle, Japanese beetle, among others. They can be identified via dried grass as well as brown patches on the lawn. Grubs can be effectively controlled through the use of pesticides, insecticides, nematodes, among other control measures. 

What are grubs/how can I tell I have grubs?

Lawn grubs are usually the larvae of different types of beetles, such as June beetle, Green June beetle, Japanese beetle, Black Turfgrass Ataenius beetle, Masked Schafer beetle, among others. They are commonly referred to as white grubs and are C-shaped creatures with half an inch length. The grubs feed on grassroots that causes sections of the grass in the lawn to dry and die. 

Most grubs have a one-year life cycle while others have up to a 3-year life cycle. The adult ones usually emerge from the soil, mate, and lay eggs over a period of 2 to 3 weeks during the summer. Eggs hatch about 2 weeks after being laid depending on the soil moisture and temperature. The grubs begin feasting immediately after hatching, and they usually station themselves a few inches below the soil surface. This means that grubs are continually destroying your lawn when present. 

You can easily identify grubs invasion when your lawn has irregular patches of grass that are brown and dry. If there are brown patches on the grass, pull up about 1 square foot of the grass around the sod and see whether it pulls up easily. If you see more than 5-10 grubs per square foot, it means that the lawn is highly attacked and preventive measures should be undertaken. If the average number of grubs is about 5, there is no need to treat the grass, but you need to keep up with the recommended lawn maintenance practices. 

The presence of grubs can also be indicated by skunks, birds, raccoons, and moles. They tear up the lawn or dig tunnels underneath to feed on the grubs. These are scary indicators of grubs and immediate actions should be undertaken to get rid of them.  

How do I get rid of them?

You can use pesticides to control grubs. Immature grubs are susceptible to pesticides and can easily die when newly hatched. This can be done in the mid to late summer, as well as in the early fall when eggs have hatched. 

Different insecticides usually kill immature grubs and other pests on contact. A preventative insecticide kills the existing grubs over an extended period. This is because mature grubs take longer to die when compared to the newly hatched ones.  There are different types of insecticides and pesticides available in the market and can be used with expert advice. 

Grubs can also be effectively controlled via the use of nematodes. Nematodes, also known as Steinernema carpocapsae, are a parasite of the grubs. Nematodes should be applied during the summer when eggs are being hatched.

Cultural control of grubs includes maintaining the lawn well, watering regularly, using grass fertilizers, and soil nutrient conditioner. Even though there may be some grubs in the lawn, the grass will be deep-rooted and therefore hard to destroy. 

One of the best ways to prevent grubs is to maintain a healthy lawn. If you need help this season, Lawn Troopers is prepared to defend your lawn on all fronts! Contact us to request a quote that fits your needs today.