Rec­og­niz­ing and ad­dress­ing grub in­fes­ta­tions


Lawns face many threats, not the least of which is grubs. The lar­vae of cer­tain types of in­sects, in­clud­ing bee­tles, grubs feed on the roots of grass and plants and can turn even the green­est, most im­pres­sive lawns into un­sightly eye­sores.

Many home­own­ers spend lots of time tend­ing to their lawns, so the ef­fects of grub in­fes­ta­tions can be es­pe­cially frus­trat­ing. Learn­ing to rec­og­nize what grub in­fes­ta­tions look like and how to ad­dress them can help home­own­ers re­store their lawns as quickly as pos­si­ble.

What do grub in­fes­ta­tions look like?

Ac­cord­ing to the Univer­sity of Illi­nois Ex­ten­sion, lawns af­fected by grub in­fes­ta­tions will show wilt­ing and brown­ing of ir­reg­u­larly shaped ar­eas. But grass that is turn­ing brown is not al­ways in­dica­tive of a grub in­fes­ta­tion, as nu­mer­ous fac­tors can cause grass to turn brown.

Home­own­ers who sus­pect their lawns have been in­fested with grubs can ap­proach spots where brown grass is meet­ing green grass and pull up the sod. Grubs ap­pear slimy and C-shaped, and 10 or more within a square foot of sod is a sign that grubs have taken over.

An­other po­ten­tial in­di­ca­tor of grub in­fes­ta­tions is holes or dirt chan­nels in the lawn. These might be a byprod­uct of skunks, moles and rac­coons dig­ging up the lawn in search of grubs to eat.

Soft, spongy ground that is easy to pull up may also be in­dica­tive of grub in­fes­ta­tions.

When are grub in­fes­ta­tions likely to oc­cur?

The tim­ing of grub in­fes­ta­tions may de­pend on ge­og­ra­phy. Home­own­ers who sus­pect their lawns have been in­fested by grubs can con­sult with lawn care pro­fes­sion­als to de­ter­mine if that’s likely. Some grub in­fes­ta­tions dis­cov­ered in the spring may ac­tu­ally be byprod­ucts of in­fes­ta­tions that be­gan in the pre­vi­ous fall.

How can grub in­fes­ta­tions be treated?

One way to treat grub in­fes­ta­tions is to re­move thatch from lawns. Thatch can har­bor grubs by shield­ing them from pes­ti­cide ap­pli­ca­tions. Aer­at­ing a lawn al­lows air, wa­ter and nu­tri­ents to pen­e­trate the soil, fos­ter­ing stronger roots that pro­mote health­ier lawns. Aer­at­ing also re­moves thatch, tak­ing grubs’ shel­ters away in the process.

An­other way to com­bat grub in­fes­ta­tions is to wa­ter deeply and in­fre­quently, which en­cour­ages strong roots. Grubs pre­fer moist soil, and bee­tles are less likely to lay eggs that become grubs in lawns that are wa­tered in­fre­quently and deeply.

In­sec­ti­cides can be ap­plied to treat grub in­fes­ta­tions, but in­sec­ti­cides might be most ef­fec­tive at pre­vent­ing such in­fes­ta­tions rather than treat­ing ex­ist­ing ones. If grub in­fes­ta­tions are dis­cov­ered early, in­sec­ti­cides can pre­vent the prob­lem from spread­ing.

Grub in­fes­ta­tions can be an un­sightly nui­sance. But such prob­lems can be solved if rec­og­nized and ad­dressed quickly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.