Damage Control for Your Lawn

Grub Trouble

Grubs 101

grubsGrubs are the larval stage of beetles. Two primary types are most likely to wreak havoc in your yard this summer. The annual white grub is the most common lawn-wrecking grub in Illinois. This larval stage of the masked chafer beetle is C-shaped, white with a dark head. Unlike the Japanese beetle larva, annual white grubs do not usually damage plants, only your lawn. Don’t you feel good about that? Japanese beetle grubs look very much like annual white grubs, but these mighty munchers will feed on both your lawn and plants.

Do I have grubs?

  • In Illinois, Japanese beetle grubs and annual white grubs usually emerge late July and August and will continue to chow on grass roots through the fall.
  • Random brown patches appear on your lawn.
  • Turf can easily be pulled back like a rug, and when it is pulled back…presto! Grubs.
  • Skunks and raccoons are tearing up the lawn like it’s their life’s work.
  • Lawns can withstand 12 or so grubs per square foot without too much damage, but more than that, and they will damage your lawn.

Prevention and Cure

We always imagine that what we put in the ground will run off into our lakes and rivers, and so we recommend natural pesticides over chemical applications.

  • Beetles prefer to lay eggs in moist soil. Avoid overwatering especially in the evening/night. Thank you, Mother Nature for all these nighttime thunderstorms.
  • Check your soil’s PH level. When the level drops below 6.0, it becomes more susceptible to grubs.
  • Apply grub control only to your lawn’s brown spots and the areas immediately adjacent.
  • Eco granules are natural, food oil-based grub control. They are safe for pets, children, and wildlife. Apply Eco IC Concentrate or Organic Grub RTS over the granules to activate them.
  • Japanese beetle grubs are susceptible to milky spore (Bacillus popilliae) disease. While its success is mixed, milky spore, a non-toxic control method, can be found at many garden centers.
  • Beneficial nematodes are parasites that attack certain larvae while leaving plants and wildlife alone. Two of the most effective nematodes are Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema glaseri. In this instance, watering is a must! Both before and after application. Nematodes can be found at larger garden centers.