Kansas City has not been lacking in the rain department the past few weeks which has been driving the ants out of the ground. On top of ants, mosquito season in full swing, flea and tick season has begun, and the emerald ash borers are attacking our trees. It feels like all of the insects are attacking at once. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. The one you may not have noticed is the white grub, they are lurking under your lawn.
Why Are White Grubs a Danger to My Lawn?
This is the larvae of either the June bug or Black Masked Chaffer. These guys are basically silent killers. They feed on the roots of your lawn and you won’t know until the damage is done. They are hatching and beginning to feed now, but because our lawns are still cool and wet the grass can handle some root pruning. But, when it gets hot and dry your lawn will die. When it dies, you will know by pulling on a brown section of turf. The section will pull up like carpet and the roots will be gone.
What is My Treatment Time Frame?
There is a small window of time at the end of July and the beginning of August when grubs are most easily killed. This is the time of year that the grubs emerge from their eggs and burrow up into the top layer of soil where they eat the roots of the grass. They are easiest to kill in this early stage of development because they are young. In early fall, the grubs will begin to burrow four to eight inches into the soil away from the cold. They will return older and hardier in the spring and will cause more damage then. You want to get your grub treatment down by the end of July or early August to be the most effective.
When Will My Lawn Coach Treat My Lawn?
The Heritage Coaches will team will ensure your lawn is being treated at the right time. We know white grubs are a major problem in the Kansas City Metro, because of this, our EcoPride system includes a grub prevention treatment. The timing of the treatment depends on the product we use and the vulnerable time of the target pest. We have found the best time to apply your treatment is throughout June or the first part of July. This ensures it is effective during the grubs’ most vulnerable time.
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What Are My Treatment Options?
White grubs are highly variable from year to year, the damage is spotty, localized and impossible to predict. If you have experienced grub issues in the past, here are 3 management techniques suggested by Iowa State University Extension:
- The Golf Course Approach – “Treat every part of the lawn, every year because you might have white grubs and heavy use of high-priced insecticide is preferable to ANY white grub damage.” -ISU
- Wait-And-See Approach – “Watch the lawn carefully during August – September for early signs of damage (wilting, turning brown). Apply a curative insecticide such as trichlorfon (Dylox, Bayer Advanced 24-Hour Grub Control) only where needed and when needed. The risk is that you might still lose some sod, especially if summer rainfall or irrigation keeps the grass growing and vigorous through July and August. Damage symptoms may not appear until after it is too late for effective treatment (late September through late October). Unfortunately, raccoons and skunks are much better at locating grub populations than we are and the first hint of a grub problem in your turf is likely to be that your lawn was “plowed” by varmints overnight.” -ISU
- The Do-Nothing Approach – “Count up how many years you DID NOT have grub damage. Divide the cost of replaced sod by that number of years. If the yearly averaged cost of sod is less than the price of insecticide, do nothing and take your lumps in the occasional year when damage occurs. This approach is much easier to follow if your attitude is ‘it’s just grass, anyway.’” -ISU
For more information on grub control or to begin treatment, contact your Lawn Coach today!