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If you’ve had problems in early summer with beetles, and by late summer dead patches of grass have appeared in your lawn, you probably have grubs. Grubs are the larvae of Japanese beetles, June beetles, chafers, and others. These white, C-shaped grubs feast on organic matter in the soil, including grass roots.
There are several easy-to-spot signs that you may have grubs in your lawn:
To check if you have a grub problem, peel back a square foot of green turf in each of several areas of your lawn. If you see 6 or more grubs in each area, it may be time for action.
Beetles, like Japanese and chafer beetles, emerge in early summer, feed on plants in the garden, and lay their eggs in the soil in the lawn. Later in the summer, the grubs hatch and immediately begin to feed. They will continue to eat and grow until mid-fall, when they move deeper in the soil so they can survive through the winter. When the soil warms up again in the spring, the large, mature grubs move back into the upper soil levels, where they transform into adult beetles that emerge in early summer and start the whole process over again.
The key to controlling grubs is to kill them before they hatch and begin to cause damage to your lawn. In spring or early summer, apply a preventative grub control product, such as Scotts® GrubEx®1 to your lawn, following label directions. This is especially important if you’ve had problems with grubs in the past. One application of Scotts® GrubEx®1 can kill and prevent grubs for up to 4 months.