Most people find lawn grubs gross. Usually, you will notice only two or three of them at first. But after just days or weeks, they often quickly spread throughout lawns. In this post, I will share with you everything important you need to know about lawn grubs including their benefits and how to deal with them.
What are lawn grubs?
Lawn grubs aka white grubs are the larvae of specific species of adult beetles. They are often found in lawns especially in outer suburbs or residential areas close to parks or forested areas.
The main reason why people kill lawn grubs is that they eat grass root networks and, therefore, affect the health of lawns. However, this is not all that they do. They also do help lawns to become better. They do this by feeding on thatches on topsoil thus helping improve lawn aeration and overall lawn health. In other words, they are natural dethatchers/ scarifiers.
According to experts on the insects, lawn grubs are not harmful when in small numbers. This is because the thatches and the debris on the topsoil will be enough for them. However, when their population explodes, competition for above-ground resources usually leads to some of them going underground and eating plant roots leading to poor lawn health.
What is the life cycle of lawn grubs?
Lawn grubs come from different species of beetles. Therefore, their lifecycle depends on the specific species of beetles they are.
Their life starts when mature beetles lay eggs in spring. The grubs come off the eggs when they hatch. The grubs usually evolve in 3 stages. They cause the most damage in late summer when they are big. Their presence is often marked by lawn yellowing and thinning as they cause massive damage to root networks.
The two most common lawn grub species in the United States are the masked chafer and the Japanese beetle. May and June beetles and black turfgrass beetles are also common in the United States.
However, according to insect experts, there is no need for you to know what type of lawn grub beetle species is attacking your lawn. Because they all cause the same damage to root networks.
Grub-hunters are far worse than lawn grubs
Lawn grubs damage lawn root networks. However, what’s worse about a lawn grub infestation is that it attracts animals such as raccoons and skunks that can cause far worse damage to your lawn.
When raccoons and skunks detect lawn grubs in your lawn, they can dig up your entire lawn through the night looking for them. In other words, they can turn your lawn from looking neat and lush green to looking like a recently used horse race track.
How to know if you have a lawn grub issue
Lawn grubs can exist on your lawn without negatively affecting it. When they do this, you shouldn’t really bother with them. However, when their population explodes, they usually cause too much unseen damage.
So how do you know if you have a lawn grub issue that needs an immediate solution? Well, cut up a square foot of your lawn around any visible lawn grub. Make sure you go about 3 inches deep. Count the lawn grubs beneath the piece of earth and on the soil. If there are over five grubs, you have a serious grub problem.
Alternatively, look at your lawn carefully. If you start noticing yellowing or browning patches on your otherwise lush green lawn, you should check the area for grubs. If they are present, you have a serious lawn grub problem.
You will also know you have a serious grub problem if you start noticing raccoons or skunks are digging up your lawn indiscriminately especially at night.
What to do if you have a serious lawn grub problem?
If you have a serious lawn grub problem, you should address it by first dethatching your lawn every time you see a thatched area. By dethatching thatched areas in your lawn every time you notice them using a dethatcher or a lawn aerator, you will deny lawn grubs the food they need to survive on your lawn. This will make your lawn less conducive for them to thrive on especially early on before they invade your lawn’s root networks.
Secondly, you should purchase a lawn grub killer. There are many available online on sites such as Amazon. Lawn grub killers are chemical pesticides that have chemicals such as clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and imidacloprid that kill lawn grubs very quickly.
When choosing a lawn grub killer, you should make sure you choose one that causes no harm to humans, other insects, and the environment. This is especially true if your lawn is your children’s favorite playground or if it is somewhere you spend a lot of time. Because it has been proven before that harmful chemicals used on lawns can affect users.
What are some of the best lawn grub killers?
Below are the five best lawn grub killers currently available on the market.
This is a powerful long-acting grub killer. It kills white grubs and prevents them from invading again anytime soon. It is perfect for applying during spring and can last until the end of autumn.
According to experts, not many grub killers are as deadly as this one.
The best thing about it is that it provides residual control for up to four months and that it does not affect wildlife.
BioAdvanced 24-hour Grub Killer
This grub killer is very fast and it can kill every single surface grub within 24 hours. It is perfect for both killing and controlling grubs.
This product can be used in the spring, summer, or autumn. So whenever you have a grub problem, you can use it.
The best thing about this product is that it can also kill other pests that can attack lawns e.g. ticks, sowbugs, mole crickets, millipedes, and cutworms.
St. Gabriel Milky Spore Grub
While this grub killer is relatively expensive compared to the others on this list, it is just as deadly as the other products on this list.
The best thing about it is that it is very selective. It works only on Japanese beetles and kills nothing else. So you should only purchase this if you know for sure the grubs on your lawn are Japanese grubs.
Bonide Insect and Grub Killer
This is also a very powerful grub killer. It has two killer chemicals inside it for grubs and other common lawn pests. The best thing about this formula is obviously the fact that it can kill both grubs and insects.
The second best thing about it is that it has residual insect and grub killing capacity. In other words, it can continue killing grubs and insects months after application.
Bayer Turf Revitalizer and Grub Control
This is one of the most amazing grub killing products on the market. Because it not only kills grubs but also corrects damage they have caused on your lawn. In other words, it is both a grub stopper and a cure to grub lawn effects.
It revitalizes lawns by improving root networks and making turfs greener and tougher.
This Bayer product also adds nutrients to depleted soil.