Stop Grubs From Devouring Your Marlborough Lawn With Grub Preventive

Many things cause brown patches on our lawns. In fact, brown patches are the number one reason we get calls at our office regarding lawn issues. Sometimes the problem is easy to fix. But when water and fertilizer no longer work, and you continue to notice repeated lawn damage, a lawn pest may be to blame.

One of the most common lawn pests in Massachusetts is the grass-devouring grub. These sneaky critters have giant-sized appetites, and your Marlborough turf could be their next meal. Learn more about these tiny yet ferocious creatures, how to identify damage when it occurs, prevent them from damaging your lawn, and stop them if they do.

Grub Identification

Grubs are the larvae of scarab beetles. Underground, grubs look like white caterpillars. They range from white to grey to brown and are approximately 3/8 to two inches long. Because they live one to three inches below the surface of your lawn, they are had to spot. However, if you are lucky enough to view one, they will probably be curled up in a C-shaped position.

Grub Behavior

The adult grubs seek cozy spots amongst your Marlborough turf to lay their eggs and bury them underneath the surface. The eggs take anywhere from six to 50 days to hatch. Depending on the species, grubs may feed in the soil for a year or more. Once they hatch, they begin to feed on your lawn’s roots devouring everything in sight. 

In the fall, when soil temperatures begin to cool, grubs stop feeding and move deeper into the soil. They lie dormant throughout winter but resume feeding the following spring. When mature (in Marlborough, this is typically in late May), the grubs move deeper into the soil and transform into pupae. The adult beetles emerge a few weeks later, completing their one-year cycle.

Signs and Symptoms of Grub Damage

Because they are so tiny and buried beneath the surface, they can be hard to spot. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the symptoms. Early prevention can help put an end to them before they wreak too much havoc on your lawn. Some giveaways of grub damage include:

  • Browning, where areas of your grass will not green even when overwatered or fertilized
  • Your grass feels spongy and very soft
  • Sections of your grass roll up easily like carpet when stepped on or kicked up
  • The early death of plants in your garden that otherwise have shown no signs of distress or poor health
  • Another sign is damage done by moles, raccoons, skunks, and other medium-sized animals through the tearing up of your lawn. This is because moles and other animals consider grubs a gourmet meal, and they will stop at nothing to obtain this fancy feast.

How to Check Your Marlborough Lawn for Grubs

Because symptoms of grub damage can mimic signs of other lawn diseases, pests, and stressors, you can try the at-home grub test to be sure they are causing the damage. Simply take a shovel and dig up a small section of your lawn where you suspect grubs are. Be sure to check a few different spots. If your grass is experiencing a grub infestation, you will spot them. You can also try tugging on a soft, spongy area of your grass. If it pulls up like a piece of carpet, you have a grub problem.

Grub Prevention

Preventing grubs is not always easy. Even the healthiest of lawns can fall under attack. However, a healthy and robust lawn will be better equipped to fight off an infestation should one occur. The first step in preventing grubs is to invest in a year-round lawn fertilization program. Providing your Marlborough area lawn with adequate nutrients and minerals will give it the food it needs to stay strong and fight off diseases and pests. Other ways you can help to prevent a grub takeover include:

  • Raise the blade on your lawnmower. Keep your grass at least two inches high to make the grubs work harder. They will give up and move onto a different yard.
  • Grubs are attracted to moisture and humidity. Therefore, switch up your irrigation schedule and consider watering your lawn once a week for a bit longer. Allow it to dry out in between waterings. 

Once you have grubs, the chances of them coming back increase. Start keeping an eye out for the swarms of brown, half-inch long beetles surfacing your lawn around dusk between June and July. If you see them, you can still prevent the young from hatching through insecticides. Because using insecticides takes precision and accuracy, we recommend utilizing a professional lawn care company with the knowledge and training needed.

Prevent Grubs From Destroying Your Lawn With Great Lawns Plus Grub Prevention Option

Great Lawns Plus has been managing and treating lawns throughout Marlborough for over 40 years and can help you prevent a grub infestation. The best way to avoid a grub attack is by maintaining a healthy lawn. Great Lawns Plus can help you do that with our lawn care fertilization program. Our 5-step lawn care fertilization program was designed with the right amount of fertilizer in mind to keep your turf healthy and strong.

As an optional add-on, we also provide grub preventive. Our highly effective grub preventive is applied between the third and fourth steps around June, directly when grubs begin to resurface. We use a mix of two separate insect controls, one for surface insects such as chinch bugs and one for sub-surface insects for grubs.

Sping will be here before you know it. Learn more and sign up now by visiting our website and filling out our online form. Or you can give us a call at 508-251-2426.

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