Without picturing their squirming white bodies, the word “grub” alone is revolting to contemplate. However, these little insects are everywhere and very hard to completely avoid.
There are many other kinds of grubs in the globe, but grass grubs are the ones that most people are familiar with. Lawn grubs, sometimes referred to as white grubs, have a distinct diet much like every other grub species.
Let’s examine these grotesque creatures and discover: What Do Grubs Eat?
What are Grubs?
The larvae of many distinct species of beetle that reside in Minnesota are known as “grubs.” The June bug and Japanese beetle larvae are the most prevalent varieties. Grubs are typically 1/8 to 1 inch long, c-shaped, with brown heads and visible legs.
Late spring and early summer is when these beetles reach adulthood and begin feeding on your trees and bushes at night. They deposit their eggs on the earth again, almost guaranteeing a larger infestation the next year. When the grubs hatch, they begin eating the roots of your grass right away and can seriously harm the turf.
It’s common to see a few grubs here and there, but when there are dozens in a single square foot, your lawn is likely already exhibiting symptoms of a grub infestation.
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The larvae of Japanese beetles are known as grubs. These are the white grub larvae that eat grass. Their bodies are c-shaped, 1/8 to 1 inch long, and have brown heads and visible legs. They spend their larval stage below the surface.
Japanese beetles have a metallic-green body and copper-colored head wing coverings when fully developed, and they are about 1/3 to 1/2 inch long. Their abdomens are covered with white hair on the sides and points.
Where do grubs come from?
The larval stage of Japanese beetles, June beetles, or European chafers, among other beetle species, is known as a grub, which may invade your lawn and obliterate all of the plants and flowers there.
When you first see two or three grubs in your garden’s soil, you could even find them revolting. If you return after a week or even a few days, you will see that the grubs have multiplied and covered more of the lawn.
Let’s discuss the origin of the grubs that torture the grass turf on your yard. As is well knowledge, several species of beetles have larvae that are referred to as “white grubs” or “land grubs.” The majority of these grubs are discovered on lawns in outside suburbs, or in locations close to woods and parks.
Grubs have a reputation for consuming grass root systems and harming lawn health. It is crucial to have some sort of grub control in place to kill grubs for the finest method of lawn maintenance. Small populations of lawn grubs are harmless, but once they start to multiply, it becomes difficult to keep them under control.
Grub worms will even benefit the grass when present in modest numbers since they eat dirt thatches. This facilitates grass aeration, which benefits overall lawn maintenance.
What do grubs eat?
As they move through the soil, lawn grubs consume organic stuff. Their favorite meal is grass and plant roots, which frequently harms them.
Almost any green backyard has soil where lawn grubs may be found. They have a c-shaped white body, black heads, and a few legs towards the tops of their heads. These grubs thrive in lawn grass, such as Bermuda, fescue, bluegrass, and others, which explains why they are so common in suburban America.
These grubs eventually develop into adult beetles of their species when they become older. When these beetles reach adulthood, they will consume the blooms and leaves of plants like trees, shrubs, and vegetables.
The Life Cycle of a Grub
The life cycle begins in the spring when the grubs emerge from their winter slumber and start consuming the grass roots and other organic soil constituents. Following a meal, the grub develops into a pupa and begins the pupal stage of its life cycle.
Between the larval and adult stages of the grub’s existence, this is the dormant and immature form, the transitional stage. The grubs lay dormant under the surface of the grass during the pupal stage before developing into beetles.
The pupal stage of the beetles ends in the early to mid-summer, at which point they emerge and begin munching on the flowers and greenery in the gardens. Additionally, this is the time that the beetles begin to mate and dig deeper into the ground to deposit their eggs. The two to three week long beetle mating season.
Until they are ready to hatch, the eggs remain in the soil. The temperature and soil moisture, to mention a couple, are two factors that affect when eggs hatch. The eggs typically hatch two weeks after being deposited, at the middle to end of the “regular” summer months.
After hatching, this new generation of grubs will begin grazing on your grass. Due of this, fall is the busiest time for grub feeding. Grubs may be found everywhere in your grass; they can be as shallow as 2 inches or as deep as 8 inches before the winter when they go dormant once more.
The life cycle of the majority of beetles is just one year, however it can be up to three years for other species.
Are grubs dangerous?
Yes, grubs may pose a serious threat to your gardens since they have the potential to easily ruin the entire region during a feeding frenzy. If your dog unintentionally consumes some grubs, do not panic because they are not poisonous in and of themselves.
Small amounts of grubs can benefit the grass in a few ways, but large populations of grubs that hatch in the soil can harm the entire lawn. You may increase the number of grubs by adding their natural predators, such as ants and ground beetles.
Grubs can also be introduced to the grass since even wasp larvae eat them. You may even attempt the commercial, natural remedy of include nematodes. Little worms called nematodes devour grubs. Steinernema and Heterorhabditis species nematodes are powerful predators that can aid in garden restoration.
You can also employ chemicals like trichlorfon, imidacloprid, halofenozide, or thiamethoxam to manage the grub population. Although milky spore can also be employed, Japanese beetle grubs are the most susceptible to it. Although milky spore is a natural process and won’t harm your grass with pesticides, it takes several years to get decent results.
One kind of beetles can be managed by a bacterium called milky spore, although warm spring soil is required. To begin treating your grass, first confirm that the grub is a Japanese beetle larva. The treatment of the soil with milky spore will take a few years, but once it is established, it will last for over ten years. 10 years without grubs is a long time!
Nematodes are worms that thrive in moist soil, as we briefly touched on before. Nematodes should be purchased after considering the species and the time of year.
Applying them in the early morning or on gloomy days is preferable because they shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight. Apply them every two weeks if you have a grub issue. Use nematodes two or three times a year if you’re using them as a preventative measure.
Where do grubs live?
Almost every ecosystem on earth supports the existence of grubs. The precise range and preferred environments of a grub depend on its species. The majority of beetles found in North America and Europe lay their eggs in the soil merely a few millimeters below the surface.
The majority of these species may be found wherever there are soft roots, especially the roots of grasses and cereal grains, that they can consume. As a result, they are quite common in fields, backyards, and forest floors. In practically every suburban area, a simple digging stick or shovel is likely to turn up white grubs.
The rhinoceros beetle and the dung beetle are two of the most well-known scarab beetles, although being less frequent. The dung beetle is renowned for moving animal excrement around in balls that it pushes.
These conflicts frequently favor the vast headlands of Africa. The rhinoceros beetle is another well-known insect that is widespread in North America.
How do you know if you have grubs?
There are several additional techniques to identify a grub infestation in addition to the typical natural methods that grubs use to infest your grass.
Looking for dead areas of grass in your yard is the simplest approach to determine whether you have grubs there. If you attempt, these sections of grass in your yard will start to pull back like carpet. The yard is completely destroyed by the grub worms, which eat the soil’s delicate grass roots. The grass is often held in place by the roots.
You’ll notice that the lawn seems soft even before these patches are visible. In quest of adult grubs to eat, raccoons, armadillos, and birds will also dig up the garden. These indications are sufficient to identify whether grubs are present in your grass. In order to prevent this grub infestation from damaging your grass, it is crucial to treat your lawn often using the proper products.
What causes lawn grubs?
The larvae of chafer and Japanese beetles are the most harmful kind of grass grubs. Other grub species that may be found in lawns all around the world are the green June beetle, May and June beetles, Asiatic garden beetles, and oriental beetles.
Numerous factors might be to blame for a significant grub infestation in your lawn’s soil. Grubs may eat freely on your lawn and increase their number if there is an accumulation of thatch in the turf. The soil of your lawn does, however, contain a large number of helpful insects.
By applying chemical items to the grass, these insects will be killed, which is essential for grub population management. As a result, your grass will have more hazardous insects like grubs. The use of chemicals may also hinder grass growth. Less grass causes the lawn to become stressed, which makes it easier for pests to enter these conditions.
In this soil, some beetle species deposit their eggs, which, under ideal circumstances, hatch into grubs that populate your grass in increasing numbers. It won’t be simple to bring your grass back in decent shape if you let it go out of hand.
Do grubs hurt lawns?
Nearly every grass in existence has grubs. The more crucial issue to solve is if the grub population is too high for your lawn. Up to nine grubs can be tolerated by a square foot of grass before any substantial harm is done.
If the damage is any less, it’s doubtful that grubs are to blame. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that several animals consume the grubs and might harm the grass while doing so. Skunks, robins, ravens, moles, and even armadillos are common lawn-destroying grub-eaters.
How Grubs Can Damage Your Lawn
Grubs may seriously harm your grass for a number of different reasons. Either they are eating the turf’s roots, or other creatures digging up the grubs themselves to eat are doing damage. When your lawn begins to green up in the spring and you see that certain patches are not greening up at all, it might be a clue that grubs damaged that area by eating on it in the previous fall.
Grab a handful of grass from the “dead” section of your lawn to check for grubs. If the grass just pulls up without any roots holding it down, grubs have devoured the turf there.
More birds, skunks, raccoons, or moles could also be present and digging on your grass, which might be another clue that your lawn has grub infestations. That might be an attempt by them to burrow down and devour the grubs.
The presence of a spongy region in your yard together with a healthy, well-irrigated lawn may be an early warning of grubs before the brown spots are seen, which may surprise most people. All of these are indications that grubs may be infesting your grass, but you can’t always rely on them.
A spongy region and brown patches may be caused by several lawn illnesses, whereby the animals also consume other surface insects. To accurately evaluate grub damage, you must begin by excavating a number of 1 square foot areas that are 2 to 6 inches deep.
You will be able to tell if grubs are present and feasting on your grass if they are. However, having a few grubs in your grass is typical and acceptable. A little grub population may readily coexist with a healthy grass. A typical grass should have 0 to 5 grubs per cubic foot and may be able to support up to 9 grubs per square foot.
How To Get Rid Of Grubs
Like other insects, it’s difficult to totally wipe off the colony. There is no reason to fear if you see some grubs on your grass. However, you’ll start to notice the damage around 10 or more per square foot. There are numerous methods for managing grubs:
Maintain a healthy fertilization program for your grass and set your mower at a height of 2 to 3 inches. This encourages a robust root system that is less vulnerable to grub invasion.
To repair damaged areas and deter further beetles from attacking the already stressed grass, treat dead or dying patches with an application of overseeding.
Put some pesticide on. Depending on what time of year you’re applying it depends on what you use. Imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin-containing products work well as preventative measures, but carbaryl, trichlorfon, or zeta-cypermethrin-containing products work better in the late summer and early fall. Make sure to ask a lawn care specialist.