As you start working on your garden in preparation for spring, you may come across lawn grubs in your soil. The C-shaped, white grubs are the larvae of scarab beetles, and feed on plant roots and decaying organic matter. While a few grubs won’t cause serious damage to your plants or grass, a large amount is cause for treatment. Continue reading to learn more about what to do about lawn grubs in your landscape this spring.
Grubs will most likely be found in your yard area, as many scarab beetles lay their eggs in turfgrass. A healthy lawn will tolerate some damage from grubs without showing symptoms, so it’s important to keep your grass as healthy as possible. As we lead up to spring, be sure to follow proper watering, mowing, and fertilizing practices. Also, be sure to aerate and dethatch your grass, as aeration destroys a number of grubs.
In spring, lawn grubs are large and can easily be seen, so it’s almost time to start monitoring your yard and to remain on the lookout. Although the best time for grub control measures is later on in the summertime, spring monitoring will help give you a better idea of how many grubs you are dealing with. Use a sharp spade or shovel to cut through a patch of grass, and roll back a flap of turf t look at the root area. Count the grubs present in one square foot of lawn grass roots using a few samples, and if the samples average six or fewer grubs, you will know that lawn damage is unlikely.
If you find more than six grubs per one square foot, it may be necessary to start treatment. Consider using beneficial nematodes, or parasites that kill white grubs without killing naturally occurring parasites and predators. It’s best to wait to apply these nematodes when the grubs are most active- which is generally late spring, summer, or early fall. It’s also important to wait until the weather reaches above 60 degrees F, but it also shouldn’t be too hot, such as on a summer day at noon. Mix the live nematodes with water and apply with a hose-on sprayer, following the directions for the kind that you purchase. Then irrigate the lawn with ¼ inches of water, and monitor the area to see if it needs another application two weeks later.
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