Maintaining a healthy, vibrant lawn is a source of pride for many homeowners. However, pests such as grubs, chinch bugs, and armyworms can wreak havoc on your lawn, causing damage and making it less attractive.
In this article, we will explore various methods for getting rid of bugs in the lawn, including natural and chemical options. We’ll also provide tips for preventing future infestations and answer common questions about lawn pests.
Whether you’re dealing with a current infestation or want to take steps to prevent one from occurring, this article will provide the information you need to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful.
What are Grubs?
Grubs are the larval stage of beetles, such as Japanese beetles, June bugs, and chafer beetles. They are white, C-shaped, and typically found in the soil. They feed on the roots of grass and other plants, which can damage or kill the plants. Grubs can cause brown patches on your lawn and attract animals like skunks and birds that dig up the turf to eat them. It’s essential to know how to get rid of grubs before they cause significant damage to your lawn.
Ways To Get Rid Of Grubs Naturally
- Beneficial Nematodes: These microscopic worms feed on lawn grubs and other pests in the soil. They are a natural and effective way to get rid of grubs without using harsh chemicals. You can purchase beneficial nematodes online or at a garden center and apply them to your lawn using a hose-end sprayer.
- Limit Moisture: Lawn grubs thrive in moist soil, so limiting the water you use on your lawn can help control their population. Water your lawn deeply and infrequently, and avoid watering in the evening, promoting moisture retention.
- Milky Spore: This is a natural soil bacteria that explicitly targets Japanese beetle grubs. It’s applied to your lawn in granular form and can last up to 10 years, providing long-term control.
- Use Neem Oil or Azadirachtin: These are natural insecticides derived from the neem tree. They effectively control a wide range of pests, including lawn grubs. You can mix neem oil with water and apply it to your lawn using a sprayer or purchase a ready-to-use product containing Azadirachtin.
- Birds and Chickens: Certain birds, such as starlings and robins, love to eat grubs. You can attract these birds to your lawn by providing feeders and baths. Alternatively, you can keep chickens, which will eat grubs and fertilize your lawn with their droppings.
Remember, these natural methods may take longer to see results than chemical treatments, but they are better for the environment and will not harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. Also, follow the instructions on the product labels for the best results.
Get Rid Of Grubs Using Pesticide
If natural methods are not effective or if you have a severe grub infestation, using a pesticide may be necessary. However, it’s essential to use these products carefully and follow the instructions on the label to avoid harming beneficial insects, pets, and people.
Now, here are a couple of products you can use to get rid of grubs on your lawn:
This product is designed to kill grubs and other insects in your lawn quickly. It contains a powerful insecticide called trichlorfon, toxic to grubs and other pests. The granules are easy to apply using a spreader and can provide up to three months of control. However, this product should not be used on edible crops, and you should keep children and pets off the treated area until it’s dry.
- Kills grubs and other insects quickly
- Easy to apply using a spreader
- Provides up to three months of control
- Toxic to beneficial insects and should not be used on edible crops
- It can be harmful to pets and people if ingested
- Requires careful application to avoid runoff into waterways
This product is designed to provide season-long control of grubs and other pests in your lawn. It contains a slow-release formula that gradually releases the active ingredient, chlorantraniliprole, over several months. This product is also easy to apply using a spreader and can be used on most types of grass. However, avoid applying it to waterlogged soil and keep children and pets off the treated area until dry.
- Provides season-long control of grubs and other pests
- Easy to apply using a spreader
- It can be used on most types of grass
- It takes time to work and may not provide immediate results
- It can be expensive compared to other products
- It can be harmful to beneficial insects and should not be used on edible crops
It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each product and choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences. Also, remember to follow the instructions on the product label carefully and take precautions to protect yourself, others, and the environment when using pesticides.
How Do Grubs Damage Lawns And Gardens?
Grubs can cause significant damage to lawns and gardens by feeding on the roots of grass and other plants. As they feed, they can create tunnels in the soil, which can further damage the roots and create a network of tunnels for other pests to move through.
Some signs of grub damage in lawns include brown or dead patches of grass that detach easily from the soil, irregularly shaped patches, and spongy areas of turf that feel soft when walked on. In gardens, grubs may feed on the roots of plants, causing wilting, stunted growth, or even death.
If left untreated, a grub infestation can quickly become severe and lead to widespread damage to your lawn and garden. Therefore, it’s essential to prevent and control grubs to protect your landscaping investment.
How To Know If There Are Grubs On Your Lawn
Before we dive into how to get rid of grubs in your lawn, it’s essential to know whether you have a grub infestation in your lawn or not. There are some signs to look out for to determine if there are grubs in your lawn. And by recognizing these signs early, you can take action to prevent the infestation from becoming severe and damaging your lawn.
- Brown patches: Grubs feed on the roots of grass, which can cause the affected area of your lawn to turn brown and wilt. If you notice brown patches that don’t respond to watering or fertilization, it could signify a grub infestation.
- Soft turf: As grubs feed on the roots of grass, they can loosen the soil, causing the affected area of your lawn to feel spongy or soft when walked on.
- Increased pest activity: Grubs can attract other pests to your lawn, such as raccoons, skunks, and birds, which may dig up the grass for a meal.
- Visible grubs: In some cases, you may be able to see the grubs themselves. Look for C-shaped, cream-colored larvae, about ½ to 1 inch long, in the soil or just below the surface.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to confirm the presence of grubs and determine the severity of the infestation before taking steps to control them. You can do this by digging up a small section of your lawn and inspecting the soil for grubs. If you find more than five grubs per square foot, you likely have a significant infestation that may require treatment.
Ways To Prevent Grubs On Your Lawn
- Maintain a healthy lawn: A thick, healthy lawn is less attractive to grubs than a weak, stressed one. To promote a healthy lawn, water deeply and infrequently, mow at the appropriate height, and fertilize appropriately.
- Manage thatch: Thatch buildup can provide a habitat for grubs to live and feed. Manage thatch by aerating and dethatching your lawn regularly.
- Reduce watering: Overwatering can create moist conditions that attract grubs. Water your lawn only when necessary, and avoid watering in the evening or at night when the soil may not have time to dry out before morning.
- Use compost: Adding compost to your lawn can improve soil health, which can, in turn, help promote a healthy lawn that is less attractive to grubs.
- Practice proper lawn care: Proper lawn care, including mowing, fertilizing, and aerating, can help keep your lawn healthy and less susceptible to grub infestations.
- Consider removing and replacing damaged sod: If you have a severe grub infestation, consider removing and replacing the affected sod. This can help eliminate the current population of grubs and prevent future infestations.
- Consider resistant grass varieties: Some grass varieties are more resistant to grubs than others. Consider planting these varieties on your lawn to reduce the risk of infestation.
By taking these preventative measures, you can reduce the risk of grubs infesting your lawn and avoid the need for costly and time-consuming control methods.
Can grubs go away on their own?
Grubs may go away on their own if their food source goes away or their natural enemies predate upon them. However, a severe infestation can cause significant damage to your lawn and may require control measures.
What do grubs turn into?
Grubs turn into adult beetles, which can lay eggs in your lawn and start a new generation of grubs.
What does a grub eat?
Grubs feed on the roots of grass, causing damage to your lawn. They can also feed on the roots of other plants in your garden.
Are there grub-resistant grasses?
Yes, some grass varieties are more resistant to grubs than others. For example, fine fescues and perennial ryegrass are known to be less attractive to grubs.
Is there a perfect time to treat grubs?
The best time to treat grubs is in the late summer or early fall when they are small and close to the soil’s surface. This is the time when they are most vulnerable to control measures. However, if you notice signs of a severe infestation, you may need to treat them earlier in the season.