Lawn Grub Damage, Prevention & Control featured image

These little critters feed on the roots of the grass and can wreak havoc on your lawn. One day, while tending to my garden, I encountered grubs in the lawn, and I soon realized the importance of understanding how to prevent them and how to define, identify, and assess the damage they cause. So, let’s dive in and tackle these pesky invaders together!

How Do I Know That My Garden Has Grubs?

As a gardener, I will leave the definition to the scientists:

“Certainly there could be many reasons for lawns browning, especially in late summer when most grub damage occurs. Always check the root zone of affected areas for the c-shaped grubs. Carefully pull back the sod in suspect areas, particularly the marginal 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.”

– University of Illinois Extension in the article “Grubs in Lawns”.

What I know is when I see lawn grubs, I know those are lawn grubs. And I will start thinking about treating and preventing them from populating.

How I First Met Lawn Grubs

I first met this little creature in its favorite season (too long ago, I couldn’t remember exactly), late summer and early fall. I noticed unsightly patches on my otherwise healthy lawn and decided to investigate. Peeling back the turf, I was surprised to find these tiny, C-shaped critters wriggling beneath the surface. It’s when they’re most active and feasting on grassroots.

At that moment, I knew it was time to take action against these lawn grubs and protect my beautiful garden. I researched various methods, like introducing beneficial nematodes or using milky spores, to naturally control their population. Since then, I’ve become well-versed in managing lawn grubs, ensuring my grass remains lush and vibrant all year round.

If you don’t know about grubs, here is what they look like:

Those grubs look annoying, right? Do you want to know how I treat lawn grubs? Continue to read 🙂

Natural Solutions To Protect Your Lawn Against Grubs

There are several natural ways to protect your lawn against grubs. The 3 most common ways are nematodes, predator birds, and ground beetles.

#1. Nematodes

One of the most effective methods is introducing beneficial nematodes into your soil. These microscopic organisms feed on grub larvae, helping to reduce their population in your lawn. 

#2. Birds

Another natural solution is encouraging birds and other predators that feed on grubs to visit your yard by providing them with food and water sources.

lawn grub predators: blackbirds

I’ve observed various bird species in my garden, such as robins, starlings, and blackbirds, actively feeding on grubs. To attract these helpful birds, I’ve set up bird feeders and nesting boxes around the area, which has made a noticeable difference in grub control.

#3. Ground beetles

I appreciate these voracious predators that prey on lawn grubs, among other insects. To encourage ground beetles to make my garden their home, I’ve provided them with suitable habitats, like mulch, leaf litter, and logs, where they can hide and lay their eggs.

Read more: 12 Home Remedies for Cucumber Beetles – Cut Down the Damage.

More Tips On Preventing A Lawn Grub Infestation

I think there are five helpful tips here: 

  • The first tip is to make sure that your lawn is properly fertilized. A healthy lawn has a more robust root system, which makes it more difficult for grubs to penetrate and damage the grass. 
  • Also, using mulch in areas where you have noticed grubs will help prevent them from returning. Mulch will act as a natural barrier against the bugs and discourage them from returning. 
  • Another important tip for preventing grub invasions is to water your lawn strategically. Doing this will ensure the moisture reaches deeper into the soil rather than evaporating off the surface. When watering, avoid doing so during the hottest parts of the day or late at night when less evaporation occurs.
  • Keep your lawn free of leaves, grass clippings, and other organic debris that can attract adult beetles, which lay the eggs that become grubs.
  • Last but not least, apply preventive insecticides. Apply these products in late spring or early summer, following the label instructions carefully. If grubs have been a problem, consider using a preventive insecticide.

Talking of preventive insecticides, this point leads us to the following question: “When to apply grub control to the lawn?

Read more: Lawn Diseases Identification & How To Treat Them.

When to apply grub control to the lawn?

A few years back, I encountered a lawn grub infestation in my garden. I learned that the ideal time to apply grub control measures is during late summer to early fall (around August to October). This is when the grubs are actively feeding and closer to the soil surface, making it easier to target them.

So, I applied a curative grub control product to my lawn during this period. It took some time, but eventually, the grubs started to disappear. From that experience, I learned that prevention is crucial, but when grubs are already present, timely intervention is key. Read and follow the instructions on your chosen grub control product, as the application process may vary.

Before You Leave

Maintaining healthy soil and grass is the best way to prevent a lawn grub invasion. Taking immediate action after spotting signs of an infestation is vital. Do you want to read more about lawn care on Green House Center? Here are a few suggestions: 


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