Pale white lawn grubs will destroy an otherwise beautiful lawn by eating the roots and killing the grass. Just a few grubs in your lawn are not major a cause for concern, but an infestation needs to be eliminated promptly.
Do You Have a Lawn Grub Problem?
The first step to getting your lawn back to a healthy state is to determine if lawn grubs are the reason for your troubles. While brown patches can be caused by many different things, grass that can be pulled up easily is a clear sign that the roots have been chewed by grubs.
Most likely, you will also have noticed an increase in animal activity. Birds, raccoons, and skunks all love to eat grubs. If you are seeing lots of holes in your lawn from the pecking and digging, the animals are probably feasting on the abundance of lawn grubs.
If you are still not sure that lawn grubs are to blame, you can test your soil. Remove a square foot of grass from the brown area, about two or three inches deep. Whether you have an infestation or not, some grubs are likely to be present. Five grubs or less is natural and nothing needs to be done. Ten grubs indicate a small problem, but more than ten is a serious issue that you need to take care of immediately.
Natural Solutions to Lawn Grubs
You have a few options other than chemicals to rid your lawn of grubs. Natural solutions will not harm the beneficial insects living on your lawn and are safe for the environment. However, the time for them to be effective is much longer. In fact, some natural remedies can take years to eliminate a colony of lawn grubs.
Beneficial nematodes are microscopic parasitic worms that occur naturally. They invade grubs and kill them off with the bacteria they release. While this method is quite effective, it can take up to three years before it solves the issue. A milky spore is a bacterium that kills lawn grubs without causing you harm. It is applied by sprinkling a powder onto the lawn. Again, this solution will take several years to be effective.
Drying out your lawn is risky, but does work. A dry lawn is unwelcoming to lawn grubs. Moisture is necessary for their eggs to survive. Forego watering your lawn for three to four weeks until the soil becomes dry. Most types of grass will bounce back following such a short dry spell.
Chemical Solutions to Lawn Grubs
A surefire way to eliminate a grub infestation is with chemical control. However, this will also kill off any beneficial insects as well. The two types of chemical treatments are curative and preventative.
Curative chemical treatments will get rid of the existing larvae. The lawn must be watered before and after the treatment to ensure absorption into the soil. Different chemicals kill the pest at different stages, so be sure to read the manufacturer instructions and apply at the right time of year.
Preventative chemicals work to prevent new generations of lawn grubs from invading in the future. Again, read the product label to ensure you choose the product that is right for your application.