The Yard Butler

What Season is Best for Applying Lawn Grub Control?

Lawn with dirt clumps

It might seem like pests are always damaging your lawn year-round, but you can actually predict when these bugs make their appearance! There’s a pattern to when they show up, so bringing awareness to this grub cycle can do your yard wonders. 

To prep your lawn in advance, it’s important to know what grubs are, when they lay eggs, and signs of an infestation, since all these factors determine your removal process!

Best Season to Apply Lawn Grub Removal

In general, the best time to apply lawn grub control is early spring and late summer. During this time of year, the grubs are most active throughout your yard and can be an annoyance. Usually around May is when grub damage becomes noticeable and when you will start to see the signs.

When exactly to take charge comes down to your intentions. Depending on if you are trying to prevent or kill the grubs will determine your timing and how you do so.

You can go about grub removal in three different ways. The first approach is annually applying a preventative insecticide on your lawn. Second, is applying a curative insecticide once your lawn has damage or signs of being infested with grubs. You usually wait till you see damage before you do that. The last option is to not do anything. Instead of applying preventatives and insecticides, you can repair the tarnished areas of your lawn as it gets damaged.

Preventative Grub Treatments

If you are wanting to go the preventative insecticide route, late June through early August is the prime time for this. During this range, they are preparing to hatch so if you catch them early on, no damage will be done.

Treating your lawn in spring will kill the grubs that are emerging from the soil.

Curative Grub Treatments

For a curative grub treatment, carbaryl and trichlorfon kills these pests at any point of their life. You can apply these pesticides in spring or fall, and it might take up to four weeks to fully effect your infestation. In the fall time, they usually kill 20 to 80 percent of the grubs in your lawn and that number goes down if you procrastinate doing this until the late fall.

What Are Grubs and Why Do They Damage My Lawn?

These bugs are larvae of various beetle species like Chafer beetles, Japanese beetles, May beetles, and June beetles. The listed species classify as grubs when they are in their larval stages. They have a white, c-shaped body and legs right next to their brown heads. Grubs eventually turn into beetles and emerge from the soil. 

You might be wondering how such a small bug can do such destructive damage? Well, this is because the beetles lay eggs in the summer, which eventually hatch into grubs. These grubs eat the roots of your grass until it gets cold outside again, leaving dead patches. They settle in two to eight inches deep into the soil and start eating away again once the weather becomes warm. Late spring and early summer are when the grubs mature, and by midsummer they are adults. 

When grubs eat your grass, they are fully removing it from the soil, which is often frustrating for whoever owns the property. Although these bugs are little, don’t underestimate the burden they can have over you!

How Often Does My Lawn Need Grub Removal?

It’s common to apply grub preventing insecticides annually to make sure they don’t come back for the next season. You typically don’t have to do this every year unless you see grub damage in your yard. On the other hand, if you noticed these larvae in your lawn the past spring or fall, then you should apply a preventer.

Say you have been applying grub insecticides for years, you could stop doing this until you see any signs of grubs damaging your lawn.

All in all, grubs may not be that big of a problem for healthy grass, but you’ll want to implement a grub removal once they start visibly tarnishing your lawn.

The Yard Butler can help you out with your grub problems, since we have special insecticide services that eliminate these pests. With just one phone call, we can remove those grubs and lift that weight off your shoulders.

Signs Of Lawn Grubs

These guys show themselves in subtle ways and it’s easy for them to go unnoticed in the beginning stages. To make sure no grubs will infest, you should stay observant of your property so that you can pick up on any patterns or changes. That being said, look out for the following signs:

Dead Patches of Grass

This is one of the most common signs of a grub infestation. Odd-shaped patches of dead grass throughout your lawn is an indicator that these bugs are eating your turf! This sign is most prevalent in late summer since it’s their feeding season.

This warning sign is tricky because your grass can have dead patches for other natural reasons as well. For example, your turf could be dehydrated or have other turf diseases that kill it. Either way, these dead patches could still be evidence of grubs and you should inspect it further.

Moths Around Your Yard

Mature grubs, which look like little moths, will hover over your lawn, beds, and garden’s surface. This is an earlier sign of a grub infestation. They do this as a search for healthy grass that will provide an adequate food source for their babies.

Animals Digging in Your Yard

Larger critters love to eat the grubs in your grass. If you see birds, raccoons, skunks, or moles all of a sudden hanging out on your property, they are most likely feasting on your grubs. Birds will also create pencil-sized holes from eating grubs, which can cause some damage in itself.

Noticing this should encourage you to analyze your yard and apply some insecticides before it’s too late!

Spongy Lawn

As you walk along your lawn, any spongy spots you notice could mean that you have a grub infestation. The grubs detach the grass’s roots from the soil, leaving a springy and less dense feel. Even if your turf appears to be healthy, this texture is a clear sign of grubs in your grass. 

Grass Lifts Like Carpet

As a result of grubs feasting on your lawn, the grass will become yellow and can be lifted like a carpet. This is a good way to test your turf. Grab it and lift up to see if it rolls back like freshly laid sod. 

If you don’t treat this, the grubs can quickly destroy your whole yard, leaving you with a pricey renovation and forcing to re-turf.

Visibly Seeing Grubs in Your Lawn

As obvious as it is, witnessing the small, white bugs on your lawn should set off alarms in your head. This requires some inspecting by digging up small sections of your lawn and trying to find the culprit.

Even with green healthy-looking grass, it’s possible for grubs to still be causing damage, so make sure to still be cautious and check for them. Especially if there has been sufficient rainfall and mild temperatures that year, the grass is capable of still growing while the grubs are eating.

You can also look underneath your grass to see if there are small white critters sitting in the soil. The more of these bugs you see in a square foot, the worse your infestation is.

What’s Next After Applying Insecticides?

Once you’ve distinguished a grub problem and relied on The Yard Butler for your insecticide services, you no longer have to worry about the grubs…. For the most part! it’s important for you to water your lawn frequently, take care of it, and monitor your grass for any lingering grub issues.

You can expect to see these bugs leave your property within a few days to a week after the insecticides are applied. If you are recovering from hurtful damage, you’ll need to reseed areas of your lawn. For some sections, you may also need to scrape them clean, add soil, and then reseed.

Repairing Your Lawn Post-Grub Damage

Although you might have eliminated grubs from your yard at this point, you still have to clean up their damage.

To repair your yard, you can remove the dead grass with a rake, aerate your lawn, select grass seed that is a good fit for your lawn, irrigate your entire yard to generate the grass seed, and fertilize before you set a watering schedule. For this, you should use a drop spreader to disperse a slow-release fertilizer and apply this by using a spreader over your lawn in rows. When watering, keep your soil moist for roughly two weeks, or at least until the seed grows. Once it starts to sprout, reduce the amount of watering to a regular amount. 

For your future self, take action before the grubs do by treating your lawn with care and paying close attention to any red flags that can help you dodge the bullet of these bugs!