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White Grub Control
White grubs, or grub worms, are very damaging lawn pests, and can be very difficult to control, because the damage may appear to be from other factors like drought or dogs. When you do identify grubs as the culprits of the damage, you will want to know how to kill grubs; being proactive and knowing how to identify white grub damage can help you to minimize and control damage to your lawn.
White Grubs are the larvae stage of Japanese Beetles. Please visit our Japanese Beetle page to control the adult stage of white grubs.
White Grub Identification
White grubs are the larval stage of scarab beetles. The most prevalent damaging beetles in this species are Japanese beetles and masked chafer beetles, but other scarab beetles that have been known to cause damage include: Asiatic garden beetle, European chafer beetle, green June beetles, May and June beetles, and Oriental beetles. These lawn grubs are a milky white color with six legs. They are plump looking and c-shaped, and are usually one inch to one and a half inches long.
White Grub Damage
White grubs eat the roots of the grass that makes up your lawn. This can cause brown patches and spongy turf. The damage may be most apparent in spring (April and May) or late summer and fall (September and October). When damage is especially bad, you will be able to pull the turf up in large sheets or pieces. Grub insects provide food for skunks, grows, and moles; an increase in activity from these animals may indicate a grub infestation. These animals can also cause secondary damage.
How to Check for Grub Damage
It takes a little bit of work to determine if you have a big enough grub infestation to warrant control methods. You will have to dig samples of your turf and soil in various areas of your lawn and examine the samples for grubs. There are various opinions in how big of a sample and how many grubs per sample, but a square foot, about a few inches deep, in at least six different areas in your lawn should be sufficient. Some grubs in your soil are completely normal; even five in a sample is a fairly low number. Ten to twenty grubs are usually enough for grub control to begin.
How to Get Rid of Grubs
Getting rid of grubs can be very difficult because of the variability in species and climate that affects the life cycle stages of the larvae, and the difficulty in ensuring your insecticide application has entered the critical root level. Keep these things in mind when treating for white grubs:
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