Stop em’ while you can! Several species of white grubs can cause damage to turf grasses in Kentucky. Two of the most common are the larvae of masked chafers and Japanese Beetles. Other Beetle species occasionally infesting the turf are the larvae of May Beetles, June Beetles, and the black turfgrass ataenius. All of these grubs have firm, grayish-white bodies with brown heads, 3 pairs of legs and a transparent abdomen. Most are seen curled in a c-shape when resting. Grubs feed on organic matter and root hairs causing complications with water and nutrient uptake especially in drought stress and on young plant life. Dead spots will result in the turf if control measures and regular watering are not initiated. Often, turf can easily be picked up in large sections, exposing the invading grubs. In addition to the damage the grubs themselves cause, greater damage to the turf may be caused by animals feeding on the grubs, including skunks, moles, and birds. Damage to this extent could lead to unplanned turf renovations.
Grub Treatment Methods
Applying a soil insecticide may be the only way to avoid serious damage to the turf if grubs are profuse. Two strategies are available for controlling grubs with insecticides.
With the curative method, treatment is applied in the late summer when grubs are present. The ideal time to apply a curative grub application in Kentucky is late July to early August when grubs tend to be smaller, therefore more easily controlled. Treatments are able to be applied in Late August to September, however at this time the grubs are larger and can be tough to kill. Curative treatments are an effective control approach when grub populations are known. Since infestations tend to be limited to patches of turf, only parts of the lawn will need treatment. Grub “hot spots”, which can be identified by sampling, commonly occur in Kentucky bluegrass seeded lawns, heavily irrigated lawns during June and July months, turf in full sun, and turf grasses previously damaged the year prior. Accurate timing of curative grub insecticides can be tricky, therefore See Green recommends taking a more cautious strategy with preventative grub care.
With preventative control, insecticides are applied as insurance before grub issues arise giving homeowners a greater peace of mind. Preventative treatments are applied in mid-May through July disrupting the molting process and decreasing damage to the lawn. See Green offers grub control applications in many of our lawn care programs to protect the investment you have in your lawn.