Are you ready for an invasion of grubs?
In Southwest Florida, lawn grub infestations are fairly common because of the warm, tropical climate. Grubs often go unnoticed until the yard damage is serious. But with some preventative measures, you’ll be able to enjoy your yard without the worry of brown grass and grubs this summer.
What Are Those White, Plump Creatures?
During the summer months, female June beetles will lay as many as 60 eggs about 1 or 2 inches deep into the soil. Warm and overly watered lawns will attract these beetles to lay eggs at the beginning of summertime. The eggs, once hatched, will become larvae, also called grub worms. When they are larvae, they are white with brown heads and lie in c-shape positions in the soil, where they will feast on organic matter in the lawn. They will eat anything within the soil, usually the roots of plants. As the grubs make their way under the lawn’s surface, the more destructive they become. White grubs are the most common in Southwest Florida and are known for causing many pest control issues.
Stop overwatering: Grubs love water
Grubs can’t survive without moisture. That’s why it’s so important not to overwater your lawn, especially during the rainy season. If you have an irrigation system, there should be a rain gauge that will automatically prevent sprinklers from turning on if there has been recent rainfall. During weeks with several consecutive days of rain, turn off your sprinkler system until the rain has subsided for several days. Overwatering can also attract other pests in addition to grubs and suffocate your lawn.
Signs of a Grub Infestation
During the summer months, you might notice lawns turning an unattractive shade of brown in certain patches. These patches can be indicators of hungry grub worms that live below the surface of your lawn. White grubs will feed on the roots, which will turn grass yellow before the roots eventually die. The yard will feel spongy and will have scattered brown patches where the grass has died. Root injuries will reduce the turf’s ability to absorb water and nutrients, and your yard will not be able to withstand a drought. If your yard is heavily infested, the grass will be able to be easily lifted and pulled out of the ground.
Grubs will also attract birds, moles, raccoons, skunks, and armadillos that may dig holes in your yard as they search for grubs.
Pull a Patch!
To know just how badly your lawn has been impacted by grub worms, you can dig up a square foot of your lawn, turf, or thatch, about 2 to 4 inches deep. Seeing a few grub worms (about five per square foot) in the soil could be normal, but too many is a sign of a larger problem. In August, grubs tend to be active and closer to the top of the soil. Don’t forget to replace the squares of sod and water when the visual test is complete.
To be sure if your yard is being affected by grubs, a piece of turf should be assessed by a professional at Coastal Lawn and Pest. With proper monitoring and identification, you can prevent excessive grub yard damage and the need for new turf. Call Coastal Lawn and Pest today!