White Grubs will eventually grow up to be June Beetles, also known as May Beetles. Gardeners frequently find these C-shaped bugs in their gardens and lawns. They are easily identifiable by their white body, legs located near their head, and their classic C-shape. These pests feed on the roots of grass causing damage and can even kill the lawn where they are living.
Signs of White Grubs
White Grubs live under our lawns so it can be hard to tell if you’re dealing with them. Most homeowners don’t want to dig up their lawn just to identify what may be eating it. So how do you know if your lawn is being eaten by White Grubs or something else?
As White Grubs begin to eat the roots of your lawn, you may notice sections of it begin to fade in color. This is because their nutrient supply has been reduced due to their damaged root system.
As the damage continues and the roots of the grass are eaten away even more, you may notice these areas begin to feel spongy. Without the root structure to support the plant you will notice it isn’t as firm as it used to be.
This leads to the last problem, when animals that feed on grubs begin to dig up the damaged sections of grass to reach the grubs. With the root structure already so damaged, these animals can easily remove large sections of grass creating an eyesore.
White Grubs Lifecycle
White Grubs have a three-year life cycle. The adults lay eggs in spring that hatch about three weeks later. These larvae then feed on the roots of our grass causing the most damage at this stage in their life cycle. This feeding and damage is most prevalent throughout summer and into the fall. As the end of fall approaches these larva travel deeper into the soil and remain inactive until the following spring. This cycle repeats before they transform into pupae and ultimately into beetles. These young beetles don’t leave the soil their first year, instead staying underground to overwinter. The following spring, the beetles emerge, lay eggs, and the cycle repeats.
How to Treat for White Grubs
Typically, our lawns can handle a certain number of white grubs without any difficulty. We don’t see a lot of problems unless the number of grubs is relatively high, or your lawn is already weekend. But you shouldn’t wait until you see evidence of damage from these pests to act. Prevention is the best way to keep your lawn healthy and White Grub populations down.
One of the best ways to help prevent damage from White Grubs is to improve the health of your lawn in the first place. Watering for an hour to two hours every week and having a professional fertilize will help your grass grow stronger and heal faster from any potential damage.
Another option for treatment is introducing predatory nematodes to the lawn at the end of fall. These tiny creatures are released into the soil where they attack grubs. With this treatment you’ll see a significant reduction in the amount of damage done from grubs in the following spring.
Deter Digging Animals
If you’re dealing with digging animals that are trying to access grubs deep in your lawn it can be frustrating. Even if you’ve dealt with controlling the number of grubs and keeping your grass healthy these animals may return in the hopes of finding a quick meal. There are a variety of ways to deter these animals including fencing or spraying chemicals, that can be very effective.
Fixing Your Damaged Lawn
If your lawn is already damaged from grubs and digging animals, you’ll need to repair this area. This involves several things and should be left to the professionals.
First, we will have to remove any dead or damaged grass. This gives us a clean and healthy area to start with to give your new lawn the best chance going forward. We will then aerate and seed with the same species of grass to match your existing lawn. While we are working on getting your lawn back in tiptop shape, we can also help with treating for White Grubs or any other pests that may be affecting your landscape, so you don’t have to worry about it going forward.