Grubs are the lawn-damaging larvae of Japanese beetles, European chafers, Oriental beetles, and others. These white and C-shaped grubs feast on organic matter in your soil, including the grassroots. If your lawn has a grub problem, you will likely notice dead patches of grass any time from early spring to mid-summer. At that time, the damage stops due to the grubs developing into pupae and adults. So, when is the best time to apply grub control and treat the damage caused? It depends on a few of the following factors.
Signs of Grub Damage
If you are not sure whether your lawn problems are due to grubs, there are a few significant signs:
- Raccoons, skunks, or birds are digging up your yard. These animals love to dine on large, mature grubs.
- You can pull back dead patches of your lawn like a loose carpet. This happens when grubs eat the roots that are holding the turf firmly in place.
- Before the dead patches appear, your lawn feels spongy when stepped on.
You can peel back a square foot of green turf in different areas of your lawn. If you see six or more grubs in each area, it is time for curative action.
Preventing or Killing?
The best time for grub control depends on whether you want to prevent grubs or kill the ones already damaging your lawn. It is often best to put down grub preventers from April through mid-July when grubs are ready to hatch.
If you want to stop grub damage right away, the best time to apply a grub killer to your lawn is when you first see signs of damage. This is typically any time between mid-summer through September when the grub larvae feed the most.
Can You Apply Grub Control Too Early?
If you want to prevent grub damage next season, there is a commercial product (Acelepryn) that allows you to go out in early spring. Most big box stores have consumer products with Imidacloprid which need to be applied from June through July before the grub eggs hatch.
Insecticides are best used in ways that let them be in high concentration at the root zone while the eggs are hatching, and young grubs are present. If the timing is right, you can control about 80 percent of the grubworm infestation for next season.
What To Do After Applying Pesticides
To enjoy the best effects of your pesticide, follow these tips after application:
- Water your lawn immediately.
- Monitor your yard for grub activity after treatment. After applying grub killer, you should expect eradication to happen within a few days to a week.
Do You Need Grub Control Every Year?
If you found grubs in your lawn last spring or fall, you may need to apply a grub preventer. You do not have to apply grub control annually unless you see grub damage. If you have been treating your lawn with a preventer and killer for successive years, it may be time to stop until you notice any signs of grub damage return.
In healthy turfs, grubs may not be a significant problem. However, you should apply grub control treatment when you see signs of damage. Otherwise, your turf can suffer significantly.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!