The Dirt on Grubs

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By A Landscape Professional

 

Grub Life Cycle

A Grub’s Life.

Did you know that insects make up 70-80% of all known animal life? There are over 100,000 known insects in the United States. Fewer than 100 insects can actually damage home lawns. Of these 100 insects, grubs are the most feared by home owners.

So what’s the dirt on grubs you might ask? The grub’s life cycle is very simple.

Spring: The grub feeds on grass roots and then develops into its pupal form.

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Early Summer: The adult beetle then emerges. The adults are hard shelled beetles, which feed on your ornamental plantings. The beetle mates over a two week span and retreats back into soil to lay its eggs.

Mid-Summer: The grubs hatch and begin to feed in and are white to cream colored with C shaped bodies 0.5-1.5 inches long with 3pairs of legs, most have one life cycle per year

Fall – Winter: The grubs will burrow below the frost line in the fall and stop feeding but if there is a thaw, they will resume feeding at any time, even during the winter. The grubs will continue to feed in the spring, constantly growing larger.

How do you know if you have grubs?

  • Grubs feed on roots of plants about one inch below the surface. Damage is visible in the Spring and Fall.
  • Grubs often attract predators like skunks and crows which can often cause more damage than the grub.
  • Look for patches of dead or wilting grass in April and May and Mid August through November. If you simply reach down and give these areas a tug the grass will pick up like a carpet.

What can homeowners do if they find grubs?

  • Don’t freak out!
  • Rake up the dead grass to expose the grubs to natural predators like birds, top dress with compost, seed and water.
  • Using seed like Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass will help prevent future damage.
  • Use good turf management practices like infrequent deep watering, organic fertilization, and mowing high at 3″-4″. This will result in a vigorous turf with a deep extensive root system that can tolerate relatively high grub populations without damage.

If  grub control is necessary, or you don’t want anything to do with grubs – Nature Guard can help. We offer highly effective, organic control products as well as predatory nematodes which are naturally occurring microscopic roundworms that attack soil larvae such as white grubs.  Call us today at 888.540.9696

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