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Got Grubs?

The next generation of grubs has recently hatched. Checking your lawn for these destructive white larvae is easy and can be done before they get a foothold and begin damaging your lawn. Because they just hatched, grubs are quite small. As a result, they don’t have as big an appetite as they will when they grow up.

Photo Credit: Bruce Watt, University of Maine, Bugwood.org.

Grubs are the larval form of European chafer grubs and Japanese beetles, both of which are active in the Rochester and Finger Lakes regions. You may have seen big brown beetles flying around over the last few weeks. You may have even heard them. They tend to fly toward light and smack into windows. Those are last year’s grubs in their adult stage. They are flying around with mating as their prime objective.

After mating, the adults, which are commonly called June bugs, lay their eggs in the turf and then die. Upon hatching, the tiny grubs burrow just below the soil surface and begin feeding on grass roots. To check your lawn, select several spots in various areas of the yard. With a sharp knife, cut a one-foot square section of sod and peel it back.

If June bugs have selected your lawn to be home for the next generation, you’ll see white, crescent-shaped grubs. Count the number in each patch. If there are six or fewer, there is no cause for concern. Seven or more indicate the need for a grub control treatment. When you’ve finished counting, you can just lay the sod back in place and walk on it so it makes contact with the soil beneath it.

Left untreated, the newly hatched grubs will continue to gorge themselves on grass roots until the fall temperatures start to feel more like winter. Then they’ll burrow deeper into the soil to overwinter. In the spring, they will again come up to the root zone to dine until it’s time to pupate and morph into adults.

Late summer and early fall are the best times to treat for grubs. They are small and weak so the control material is more effective. If you wait until spring to treat them, they will be about two inches long and stronger, possibly too strong for the treatment to be lethal.

If you would rather leave grub management to our professionals, we would be happy to do an inspection and treat if necessary, regardless of whether or not you are on a lawn care program.

One comment on “Got Grubs?

  1. There are not common here, but when they show up, they skunks tend to them. Skunk damage is not so bad to repair.

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