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Grub Worms in Your Lawn This Spring

Apr 4, 2008
Spring has arrived, and chances are you're getting out into the lawn to see what winter has done to it! As you dig around, you may come across some grub worms either in the turf, or in your flower beds.

Many homeowners' first instinct is to rush to the local big box store and purchase granular insecticide and throw is all over the lawn in mass quantities.

But there is no need to expose our environment to anymore un-needed chemicals.

Here's How Grubs Operate:
Grub worms are the larvae of the Japanese beetle or "June Bug." These beetles fly around in early summer, munching on your trees and shrubs, warming themselves on your front porch lights, and getting caught in your pool filter.

In July & August they begin laying eggs in well irrigated lawns like yours, and those eggs develop into larvae called grub worms. If you've ever seen them, they basically look like little shrimp under the turf.

Grubs chew up the turf's root system, causing dead areas that begin to appear in early Fall. Most lawns can withstand minor grub worm damage and require nothing more than normal fertilizing and proper mowing to stave off an attack. Severe grub worm infestation, however, can completely destroy a lawn in one season.

Prior to winter, around November, the grubs head deep into the soil and hidernate until June, when they emerge and the process starts again.

With this in mind, some grubs will grab a quick "root snack" this season in April and May just before they fly out, but it won't be enough to cause noticeable damage to your lawn.

Even if your lawn was severely damaged last year by grubs, the ones that you find this Spring won't do anymore damage. It's their offspring this July and August that post the biggest threat.

Some of you will be tempted to run out and buy some insecticide anyway, but it is not needed! We wouldn't want you spreading pesticides in your lawn unecessarily.

The best advice is to keep your lawn properly fertilized and mowed, and you'll be fine. If you do have noticeable damage from last season, then grab your rake and grass seed and get to work repairing.

So if your lawn care guy tells you to get a grub treatment in the Spring, or you see a scare-tactic television commercial, don't believe it!

If you are still worried about grub worms, then this summer you should put down a grub worm preventative product such as Scott's Grub X, or have your landscape professional do it for you. Be sure he uses a product that is long lasting in the soil such as Merit (Grub X contains Merit as a staple ingredient).

If you're thinking of using Dylox or Diazanon, you are also making a mistake. Those products are curatives for insects, but do nothing for long-term protection. Merit is a proven, long lasting grub worm preventative and is the industry standard to be applied in early Summer.

Japanese beetle populations have been very high in the Midwest in the last few years, so get the treatment... but wait until summer!
About the Author
Al Haneson has 20 years experience in the Green Industry. He is author of two informational lawn care sites, Dayton Lawn Service Guide and Detroit Lawn Service Guide
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