Now that spring is here and grass is actively growing, we are able to assess the quality and health of our client’s turf. But with warmer weather come insects, too. Some are beneficial, some are not. Case in point: grubs. The larval stage of Japanese and other beetles, grubs can wreak havoc on even the best maintained lawns, eventually killing the grass if left untreated.
In the late summer, a female beetle lays between 40 and 60 eggs in the top layers of soil. Moist, well-watered soil is most desired, as it is easier to dig through and keeps the eggs from drying out. During the fall, these eggs hatch into larvae (grubs) and begin feeding on tender grass roots in your lawn, eventually killing the grass plants. If measures aren’t taken to kill the grubs in the fall, they then hibernate during winter and awaken in spring to begin feeding again before growing into adult beetles and starting the cycle anew.
Normally, a deep winter freeze would kill many of these pests. However, with the mild winter temperatures we’ve had this year, it’s very likely that a fresh swarm of grubs is soon waking up to feed. Good indicators of a grub problems usually do not come until fall, such as brown patches of grass that peel up easy in chunks like carpet. This happens since grubs eat the grass roots, so the dead grass can be easily pulled up. Another spotting technique is to check for skunk holes, as they claw and dig for fattened grubs during the fall season.
Using these visual clues, grubs are easy to spot close-up, as their light color is easily distinguishable against brown dirt. Most live up to two inches below the surface and a small hand tool can be used to reveal those deeper in the dirt. Any more than 4 grubs per square foot of grass is considered unhealthy for your lawn and extensive lawn damage could result if not treated promptly.
If you believe you have a grub problem or are interested in preventing one, Brian-Kyles is happy to help. Preventative and curative insecticide treatments are effective at preventing extensive grub damage and we offer these treatments in both spring and fall to keep an infestation at bay. Spring preventative applications are done in late May or early June after the grubs have awakened for the feeding cycle, but before they become resistant to treatment. So now is the perfect time to schedule your lawn for a preventative application if you don’t already have one under contract. Contact us today for pricing and more information.
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