Every summer, there’s a mass exodus that takes place – beetles swarming out of the ground, devouring landscapes, mating, and laying eggs to spawn a new generation of what is one of the most feared words in lawn care – GRUBS!
As a professional lawn care company, we often get lots of questions about these highly destructive lawn pests. Let’s start at the beginning – exactly what are grubs?
What are Grubs?
Grubs are beetle larvae. There are several species of beetles that produce turf-damaging larvae – Japanese Beetles are the most well known, but European Chafers, and Northern Masked Chafers are some of the other culprits in our area.
These beetles feed on your landscape plants, mate, and lay their eggs in landscape beds and lawn areas nearby. After approximately 1 month, the eggs hatch, and the larvae feed on the root system of your turf, which causes damage to your lawn. Grubs are literally eating your lawn out from under you.
Your lawn tries its best to re-grow its root system, but in most cases cannot keep up with grub feeding, particularly when there is a large population. Grub damage begins to be evident in the late summer to fall months, as lawn areas turn brown and tear up easily.
Grub Control and Lawn Care Companies
Lawn Care companies recommend a Preventative Grub Control treatment as part of their lawn care programs, or as an important added treatment. This treatment typically costs more than other lawn care applications, as its materials cost more.
This often becomes a treatment that some property owners consider going without to reduce their overall costs. Is a Preventative Grub Control treatment worth the cost? Let’s consider your options when it comes to dealing with grubs on your lawn.
Option 1) Take a gamble and skip the grub control
Grubs could easily damage a major portion of a residential lawn in one year. Let’s say, for example, that your lawn is 8,000 square feet. Grubs could easily destroy half of that lawn in one year, leaving you with 4,000 square feet to re-seed.
You then have two more expenses coming your way. First, you must apply a corrective grub control treatment, that will quickly stop the grubs from continuing to damage the lawn. The cost to treat the entire lawn with a corrective material is more costly than the preventative treatment. You’d be looking at approximately $100-$125. Secondly, you will need to repair any damaged areas.
Going back to our hypothetical 4,000 sq. ft. of grub damage, slice-seeding for an area that size will run at least $400. You have to re-establish turf immediately, or else face huge up-hill battles with erosion and weed problems the following year. The cost of Option 1 could end up costing you $500+.
Option 2) Apply Milky Spore to treat Grubs
This method is a natural way to try to combat grubs by adding a bacteria to your lawn that attacks grubs. We occasionally hear this as an alternative to applying grub control.
The problem with this option is that the results from university tests show them good in some areas and hardly at all in others. The Milky Spore bacteria only affects one species of grubs, and can takes years to work, leaving your lawn vulnerable in the meantime to other species of grubs.
For the cost of approximately $100 to treat a 8,000 sq. ft. lawn for limited control, this isn’t the best option.
Option 3) Apply a Preventive Grub Control treatment in late spring through mid-summer
The cost of this treatment, is actually not as much as people suspect.
The cost for a treatment for 8,000 sq. ft. would run you $75-$100, depending upon what material is used. Proportionally, this option is about 20% the cost of re-seeding.
How Grub Control Works and its Guarantee
Also, when we apply a Preventative Grub Control treatment to our customer’s properties, if they follow the aftercare directions (watering product in) and incur any damage, we will gladly repair the damage at our cost. We will stand behind this treatment.
The way preventive grub control works, when applied by a professional lawn care company, is fairly simple. We apply a product to the lawn that will target the grubs exclusively.
As grub control is watered in, the dissolved material remains in the top couple inches of soil where it will remain for the duration of the current year to effectively kill grubs. Since it’s not possible to prevent beetles from flying onto your property to lay their eggs, this material is ready to do its job of killing grubs before they destroy your lawn.
Is Preventive Grub Control worth the cost? The answer must be “Yes!” if you are intent on maintaining a healthy lawn, and a healthy budget! If you would like to discuss preventive grub control for your property, we would be happy to give you a free consultation.