Summary: Got Grubs? Well my friend you have a problem, but don't worry. I've got a solution. Tip: It's always best to treat your lawn for grubs in late summer or early fall when the grubs are near the surface eating tender grass roots.
One fine spring morning you walk outside to get some fresh air. You peruse your property, taking in your lush green lawn. All of a sudden you notice large brown patching and your day is ruined. What happened? Did someone pour gasoline on the lawn in random spots? No, it wasn't sabotage, my friend. At least, not human sabotage. I am sorry to tell you the dirty work was done by lawn grub worms.
œAw, shucks you exclaim. œGrubs! I've got Grubs. What the heck are grubs? Well, grubs, or grub worms, are the larval stage of lots of different insects. However, the one that is probably doing the deed to your green lawn is the grub worm of the Japanese beetle. They do much of their damage out of plain site, and their effects are delayed. They can wreak a lot damage on your lawn before you have noticed them. Then, it's too late. Moreover, grubs have a knack of inviting other undesirables and riff raff to your lawn, compounding the damage they have already done.
Grubs! Don't let their meager-sounding name fool you. They are more of a match than you might think. The most common type of grub is milky-white and shaped like the letter œC. Just keep in mind, it's not so much the kind of grub you're dealing with. The important issue is when to deal with them.
***image3***So, let's say you have identified the problem, Chances are the damage to you lawn has already occurred. If that is the case, well you are kind of out of luck. For the moment, that is. The crooks that robbed you of your beautiful lawn are long gone. They have grown up and are fairly resistant to insecticide treatments by this time. Fighting them at this point will just be in vain, so don't waste your money. The best time to get at them is the latter half of spring, or early fall, depending upon what region of the country you live. This is when the little devils are sewing their seeds of destruction, so to speak. It is the time when grubs are in their developing stages and are still vulnerable to biological and chemical weapons.
Like in calculus, there are many paths to find an answer to the grub equation. A good and relatively obvious way to mitigate grubs is to avoid growing plants that they love to eat. There are many kinds of plants that grubs are not attracted to. Some include; ageratum, baby's breath, forsythia's, and mulberry's. Of course, none of these are terrific substitutes for wide expanses of green lawn.
Another strategy you could use is traps. Adult Japanese beetles can be trapped either using a floral lure, or Japanese beetle traps. However, there are some issues if this is the path you should choose. Traps are really only effective if your lawn is isolated from other beetles. This may be tough considering that beetles can fly up to distances of a mile. Of course, if you can convince all your neighbors to use the traps you might have a shot at reducing the beetle population.
When non-chemical methods fail you can always crank up the firepower to save your lawn. There are numerous pesticides on the market that kill grub worms. Merit insecticide (Imadacloprid) is one of the best, although is works slowly. Or, you could turn to the biological weapons. Milky spore disease is a product that has been around for years. The spores attack only the grubs, but the soil pH has to be at levels between 6.5 to 7, plus the spores need somewhat warmer climates from mid-Ohio south.
A more effective biological cure is through the use of beneficial nematodes. These are microscopic parasitic worms that infect and ultimately kill grubs, and the best part is they occur in the wild. Application of the nematodes should be the same as other methods, which means during the fall. Also, it is important to irrigate your lawn before and after the implementation of the nematodes.
Lastly, and perhaps the best way to fight grub worm attacks is by maintaining a healthy lawn. Good mowing and watering practices creates a strong stand of grass. Avoid over-fertilizing. That actually promotes too much growth, which can weaken grass plants.
Watch for sudden dead patches and act. Don't sit around wondering what to do. Move it, bubba, and save your lawn.