Grub Control

Grub Control included in The Picture Perfect Plus Package

Grub control is a valuable component to a thorough turf management program, but like nutsedge control as discussed in the previous installment of our Plus Package series, it is considered an elective service and kept as an option separate from a standard maintenance program. While every lawn owner is going to need nutrient supplementation for their turf as well as standard weed control for broadleaf weeds and crabgrass, not everyone will experience a damaging presence of grubs. Even those lawns that do get an infestation of grubs may not have the issue repeat each year. Since grub control is therefore kept out of a basic program, it is important to understand what grubs are, the risk the pose to your lawn, and the value of treating for them annually.

Grub Control
White Grubs in Larvae Stage

Lawn grubs, also known as white grubs, are the larvae of beetles found just below the surface of your lawn. In our area, the most common species of beetle whose grubs are found in turf areas are of the genus Phyllophaga and include June beetles, chafers, and Japanese beetles. Lawn grubs are easy to identify. Compared to other insects, grubs are fairly large, roughly the size of the knuckle of your thumb. As their casual name would suggest, white grubs are mostly white in color, typically with orange heads and legs. These grubs maintain a curled “C” shape, and for your lawn, this “C” can stand for Carnage!

You see, the primary food source of lawn grubs is the roots of turfgrass such as fescue. Almost every lawn is going to have the occasional grub living in the soil with no visible damage to the grass. However, when these grub populations grow unchecked, the rampant root damage can be catastrophic, rapidly killing off large patches of a lawn. This is why grub control can be so vital to the success of a lawn.

Grub Control
Japanese Beetle Life Cycle

The life cycle of these beetles is simple and is the key to proper grub control. In the first year, eggs are laid in the soil of lawn areas during the summer and hatch into young larvae that begin feeding on the lawn’s roots as well as decaying matter in the soil system. These grubs feed close to the surface during the warm season, then migrate deep down in the fall to overwinter at a depth safe from freezing temperatures. The next year, this same generation of grubs returns to the surface to feed again, migrating back down in the fall, and finally surfacing again the third spring for the last time. It is at this point that they pupate, but the adult beetles spend one last winter in the soil before finally emerging the following summer as an adult. This is how many in the Phyllophaga genus of beetle got the name “May beetle” and “June beetle” based on their point of emergence. Japanese beetles have a similar life cycle, but it is condensed into one year instead of three.

Because there is the greatest larval overlap at the end of spring and beginning of summer, this is the ideal time to apply grub control. The duration of grub control can vary between products, but using grub control preventatively is found to be immensely more effective than as a hindsight treatment. If there are signs of grub and/or beetle presence within a property, properly applying preventive grub control will disrupt the life cycle enough to prevent the destruction of the property’s lawn.

Grub Control
This is what Grubs can do to your lawn

Before it gets too warm, be sure to contact your PPLM representative if you would like to consider building a grub treatment into your customized Picture Perfect Program. When paired with fungus control and nutsedge control, grub control can be bundled into our Plus Package that covers the primary ancillary services desired to maintain a healthy and uniform lawn during the summer. Be sure to watch for the final installment of this blog series that further discusses the last part of the Picture Perfect Plus Package.

PPLM Plus Package which includes Grub Control

PPLM Plus Package

Lawn Care Services That PPLM Provides For Lawns:


● – Tailored and Detailed Fertilization Programs

● – Weed Control

● – Aeration and Overseeding

● – Mosquito Control

● – Fungus Control

● – Grub Control

● – Nutsedge Control

● – Plus More…….

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