White Grubs: A Common Lawn Infestation
When a homeowner sees brown patches in what was once a lush green lawn, it’s natural to conclude that the problem is inadequate hydration. Over the next couple of weeks the homeowner diligently waters the brown patches, but never sees any noticeable improvement. To make the situation even worse, local wildlife seems irresistibly drawn to the spot. Birds, raccoon and possum have all been seen, apparently feeding from that bad patch. Extra watering doesn’t seem to be helping, so maybe the wildlife is to blame. This may be the case, but it’s not the above ground critters who are causing the damage. Chances are very good that white grubs are the true culprits.
White grubs are beetles in the midst of their larval stage. Many scarab beetles spend some portion of their one or three year life span as a white grub. Japanese beetles, northern masked chafer beetles and May and June beetles are all common species whose larvae attack lawns. The beetles themselves pose no threat to your grass. However, if you’re noticing a large population of beetles around your yard and garden, then you may be facing a white grub infestation in your lawn in the coming months. During the summer adult beetles lay eggs in your lawn. Once the grubs hatch, they immediately begin feeding on the roots of your turf. They are voracious feeders, and the more of them there are, the greater the damage to your lawn. When cold weather arrives the larvae burrow deeper underground to protect themselves from dropping temperatures. As soon as the weather heats up, they go right back to eating your lawn’s roots, beginning the cycle all over again until they mature and lay eggs of their own.
White Grubs – Signs of A Problem
People who have a white grub infestation in their lawn typically notice a stubborn brown patch first. Despite applications of water and fertilizer, nothing seems to heal that spot. It’s also common to notice quite a bit of wildlife activity around that area as birds and animals love to feast upon these grubs. Another telltale sign for most homeowners is that the grass can be rolled back just like a carpet. This happens because the white grubs have decimated the root system and there is no longer any connection between the visible turf and the nutrient rich soil below. If you have a patch of lawn that seems to be dried out and dying, try rolling back a bit of it. When you do you may notice many small, plump, white grubs. Usually, they are rolled up in a C-shape. It’s possible to investigate the grubs in minute detail to find out what kind of beetle they will someday become, but it’s not necessary. The best thing you can do for your lawn at this point is to call in your lawn maintenance professionals. Finding a white grub infestation in your lawn is never a pleasant experience. Nonetheless, it is possible to get rid of these pests and recapture the healthy green turf you once enjoyed. Contact a professional lawn care company to deal with the situation.