How to Control Grubs in Your Lawn
Knowing how to control grubs in your lawn is essential because grubs are… grubby. Grubs are the larval stage of many common beetles, such as June Bugs, Japanese Beetles, and Chafers.
Grubs spend their lives in the soil, where they feed on the roots of plants, including grass, ornamentals, and shrubs. Most grubs reach their peak from mid to late summer. Eventually, grubs damage root systems to the point that they can no longer efficiently uptake water leading the grass to wilt and eventually die.
Grubs also attract predators such as birds, raccoons, and moles that will damage a lawn digging for grubs to feed on.
How to Control Grubs in Your Lawn
Grub prevention begins with a healthy lawn. A thick lawn with a sound root system is a good defense against an invasion of grubs.
Mowing Best Practices
Proper mowing helps your lawn grow thick and lush, which it protects it against those grubby white invaders. The best practice for most types of grass is only to mow the top one-third of the blade. When the blades are cut shorter, the grass concentrates on regrowing the blades, not the root system. The plant can develop a deeper and more robust root system by only topping off the blades, which means more nutrients and water. Here’s more on mowing, What to Know Before You Mow
Keep Your Lawn Hydrated
Most types of grasses need about 1 inch of water a week. Therefore, it’s essential to know how and when to irrigate your lawn.
Don’t water in the middle of the day
“All irrigation should occur in the early morning. Air temperature is usually the coolest before sunrise. Afternoon or early evening irrigation locks heat in the soil. This puts tremendous stress on the roots. Late day applications of irrigation also promote disease like a brown patch in tall fescue.” — MSU — How to choose and when to apply grub control products for your lawn.
Some people believe it’s a good idea to “cool” your lawn by watering it during the middle of the day. Although watering your lawn any time of day is better than not watering it, there is no advantage to afternoon watering. The water quickly evaporates during the heat peak, and much of it doesn’t reach the roots where it’s needed.
Lawn upkeep can go a long way to preventing a grub disaster in your lawn. After that, there are two grub control methods: one is to treat spots as they appear or after the fact, and the other is by taking preventative action in early summer. We recommend taking preventative action. Here’s more from Purdue University, Purdue.edu Turfgrass Science Category: Insect Control.
Can You Do It Yourself?
Yes, you can, but be sure to use the correct insecticide. Not all insecticides work on grubs, and some that may prevent grubs in the spring may not work in the fall. The other thing to consider is your safety and protection. We’d recommend wearing rubber gloves, rubber boots, a mask, and long sleeves.
Here’s what Michigan State University Extension shared on grub control.
- “To kill grubs in the spring or fall, use carbaryl or trichlorfon.
- Always wear rubber gloves and rubber boots when applying insecticides to turfgrass.
- Make sure to irrigate the lawn with at least 1/2 inch of water and allow the grass to dry before allowing anyone or pets into the treated area.”
For more information on what insecticides are effective and when to use them read this MSU — How to choose and when to apply grub control products for your lawn.
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If we can answer any questions about how to control grubs, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.
About the Author
Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Leadership.com. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s a beer geek, and on weekends (after COVID-19), he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management.