What to Do When Grubs Kill Your Lawn

Category: Lawn Care

Grub damage on lawns is one of the easiest types of lawn stresses to diagnose. Late in summer or early fall, property owners often suspect there is a problem with an area of their lawn.  Here is more information on what to do when grubs kill your lawn.

What should you look for with grubs?

There are a few telltale signs to look for. Most times, lawn areas start to lose color compared to others.  Sometimes there are holes dug in the lawn as birds, skunks, and other animals dig to get their “grub” on. In a year when there is drought, some areas just simply won’t green back up, leaving property owners suspicious about what is going on.

What are grubs?

Grubs are the larvae of several varieties of beetles that frequent our area in summer. These beetles have one mission for the month or so that they are out – to party!  They eat, mate, and lay eggs, then they die. What a life! They lay eggs in soft turf areas and the resulting grubs hatch out and begin feeding. You can’t prevent nature from doing its thing. However, if you think ahead, you can apply a preventive grub control application on your lawn in late spring or early summer, and say goodbye to your grub woes. However, sometimes people choose not to apply this preventive, forget to, or do so ineffectively. This  leaves the lawn susceptible to damage.
Grub damage is easy to diagnose. Just simply tug on areas of your turf and look underneath. Since grubs feed on root systems, the grass will pull up like a piece of new sod and the grubs won’t be hard to find. The more grubs you find in a square foot, the worse your problem is. Even if grass is still green, you could still have grub damage, so start hunting and inspecting areas of your lawn. Some years with ample rainfall and mild temperatures will keep the grass growing as grubs are feeding. But make no mistake, it’s time for you to do something about these devastating lawn pests.

What to do about grubs?

Apply Corrective Grub Control

No matter what your lawn looks like, if you are finding lots of grub activity you’ll want to apply a corrective grub control application. This is not the same material used earlier in the year for prevention. This granular material is a quick-control material with little to no residual activity. You will need to water it in thoroughly. Remember, those grubs are down a couple inches below the grass, so you’ll want to dissolve the granular material and get it down there to work. Water it in as soon as possible. Some materials start to lose their effectiveness if not watered in within 24-48 hours.

Seed Areas as Needed 

If you have areas of dead turf, you’ll need to re-seed them. Some areas will need to be scraped clean, soil added, and seeded. However, some areas may just warrant slice-seeding to repair them. Either way, they aren’t coming back on their own.

Ramp-up Your Lawn Care Program

If you’ve been taking a minimalist approach, don’t be surprised when you get minimalist results. Preventive grub control is an application almost every lawn care program should include, or have added to it. Make sure you’re covered each year so grubs don’t destroy your lawn again. It’s less expensive to prevent than to fix after the fact.

Grubs can cause some havoc on a lawn. If you’re staring down at your lawn in disgust or frustration, find yourself an award-winning lawn care company that knows how to prevent or remedy your grub problems. If you would like to talk about lawn care options to deal with grubs or other lawn issues, or even to seed to repair your lawn, don’t hesitate to contact us.


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