If you are one of the unlucky few this summer season that has discovered grub related lawn damage than please read on. Everyone loves a beautiful healthy lawn that makes a property stand out, but you should know that your lawn can be destroyed in just a few days if white grubs (in particular) are allowed to feed freely on your lawn’s root zone. Grubs are the larval stage (four stages of development = egg, larva, pupa and adult) of various scarab/flying beetles that call your lawn and landscape home. The main beetle varieties found in Northern Illinois are the masked chafer and Japanese beetle. Several other beetle varieties include Asiatic garden beetle, European chafer, green June beetle, May and June beetles and Oriental beetle. Grubs can be described as dirty white colored, soft bodied, and robust with a brown head and six well-developed legs, with exception of green June beetle grubs, which do not have well developed legs. When the turf is lifted to expose the grubs, they usually will be lying on their sides in a C-shaped position. The life cycles of the above mentioned beetles are completed in 12 months with the exception of the common May or June beetle, which has a three-year life cycle. Adult beetles lay eggs in the ground during the summer. As soon as grubs hatch, they start feeding on the lawn roots until cold weather drives them two to eight inches deeper into the soil where they overwinter. As temperatures warm in the spring, the grubs move up from the lower soil regions and resume feeding near the surface until they become mature and pupate from May through early-June. Later emergence can occur and is dependent on local weather conditions. Heavy white grub infestations can destroy grass roots, causing the affected area to become spongy, which allows the sod to be rolled back like a piece of carpet. Even though grub infestations are not always obvious, damage is routinely discovered in spring (April or May) and late summer and fall (September and October). When you see grub eating skunks, raccoon’s or crows in your yard you need to inspect your lawn to see if grub populations are beyond 5-10 grubs per square foot. Please keep in mind that grubs do not typically appear in shade lawns. Since adult beetles usually lay eggs in full-sun green lawn areas with adequate moisture, if your lawn is dry, dormant and/or poorly rooted you will have little risk of grub damage. It is highly recommended to prevent grub damage by applying a preventative insecticide such as Imidacloprid (Merit) between late June and the beginning of August seasonally. However, if no preventative insecticide is applied and a grub outbreak is discovered than a curative insecticide like Trichlorfon (Dylox) is highly recommended to prevent large scale turf damage. If significant grub damage has occurred, the lawn will need some renovation work in early fall or the following spring to rebuild lawn density. If you suspect your lawn has grubs, please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. to schedule an on-site visit to have our team professionally analyze your lawn and offer control and repair recommendations for your review.
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