How to Detect & Control Grubs in the Lawn This Summer

signs of grubs in lawn iowa

This time of year is when it’s important for , , , Waterloo, and homeowners to apply grub control to their lawns.

By applying insecticide now, you will be able to attack grubs while they are young, small and close to the surface. One way to tell if it’s time for a grub treatment is if you observe Japanese Beetles depositing eggs in the soil. Grubs emerge from their eggs about 3 weeks after eggs are deposited into the soil around shrubs and in lawns. At Lawn-Tek, we take grub control very seriously as it could cause widespread damage to your lawn. Call us today for grub treatment options in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Quad Cities, Waterloo, and Des Moines!

Many homeowners are concerned about grubs in the lawn and ways to manage them. If left untreated, most grub damage will be noticeable by late summer into early fall. While a relatively small percentage of lawns will actually get grubs in a given year, this insect can cause serious damage when a significant population occurs on a lawn or other turf area.


How do I know if I have grubs in my lawn?

grubs-in-lawnPeel back a damaged grass.

Grubs feed on the grass roots, so lawns that are damaged because of grubs will show wilting and browning in irregularly shaped areas. There are certainly many reasons for lawns browning, especially in late summer when most grub damage occurs, so you can’t assume that the lawn is brown only because of grubs. Always check the root zone of affected areas to look for the white, c-shaped grubs.

Particularly check areas where brown grass meets green grass, and look for the grubs. Usually, a population of about 10 or more grubs per square foot will lead to browning of the lawn.

Raccoons, skunks, and moles have damaged areas of the lawn.

Grubs are part of the food supply for many other animals, most of them you do not want to hang around your lawn or house. These rodents and animals include birds, raccoon, moles, and skunks… just to name a few. If you see evidence of animals digging in your lawn, it could be because they are feeding on the grubs beneath the surface. The easiest solution to get rid of these pests is to eliminate their food source. The damage from these rodents causes increased problems… not only do you have brown, dying grass but you also have unwanted pests digging and tearing up the lawn.


How can I predict if my lawn will have grub damage this year?

It is difficult to predict grub problems, as insects can go in cycles and many factors influence the chances of grubs appearing in your lawn. Lots of adult beetles on the lawn in June or July is one indication. Also, having irrigated lawns surrounded by drier turf increases the chances of grub damage to your lawn. Note these factors and watch lawns closely starting about mid-August and continuing into September for wilting and browning areas, and then check the root zone for grubs.


Can I prevent grub damage?

There are some options to consider. One option is allowing the lawn to go into dormancy if conditions dry due to lack of rainfall in June, reducing the odds of grub damage since the adult beetles look for green lawns with good soil moisture for egg laying. The downside is the lawn will be brown and dormant.

Another option is to closely monitor the lawn as we advance into summer and be ready to act if grubs start to appear. Watch for grass areas going off-color and just starting to brown, particularly those areas that have been irrigated. Check the root zone for small grubs.



What should be done after grub damage has occurred?

If significant grub damage has occurred, the lawn will need some renovation work in early fall. Rake away dead debris. Water the lawn area, as some of the grass with damaged roots may recover, especially if the weather cools down. Bare or thin areas may need some reseeding. To prevent potential disease problems, bare and thin areas should be top-dressed to bring the soil levels even with surrounding areas before you reseed.


Call for Help!

We’ve been sucessfully helping Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Quad Cities, Waterloo, and Des Moines homeowners with grub control for many years! Contact us by speaking with one of our lawn care technicians or by filling our online free form.

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