Grubs

Grubs, the larval stage of beetles like the Japanese beetle and the European chafer, have a lifecycle that begins with eggs laid in the soil during the summer. These eggs hatch into grubs that feed on grass roots, causing significant lawn damage in late summer to fall. As winter approaches, grubs burrow deeper into the soil to overwinter, pausing their destructive feeding. In spring, they briefly resume feeding before pupating into adult beetles, completing the cycle and starting the process over by laying eggs again in the summer. This lifecycle is crucial for timing preventive and curative treatments effectively.

Photo credits: Nature’s Perspective Landscaping

Late Spring to Early Summer (Preventive Phase)

  • Products: Apply Scotts GrubEx, which contains chlorantraniliprole. It’s safe for bees when used as directed because it targets grubs specifically without significantly harming pollinators.
  • Goal: Prevent grub eggs from developing into damaging larvae. Chlorantraniliprole is effective when applied before the beetles lay their eggs, offering season-long control.
  • Impact on Bees: Chlorantraniliprole is a safer choice for bees, crucial for maintaining pollinator health in your garden and the environment.

Summer (Monitoring Phase)

  • Observation: Watch for signs of grubs, such as brown patches or birds pecking at your lawn. Early detection is key.
  • Consideration for Bees: Avoid using broad-spectrum insecticides for spot treatments if you see signs of grubs, as these can be harmful to bees.

Late Summer to Early Fall (Curative Phase)

  • Products: If grubs are present and causing damage, products like BIOADVANCED 24-Hour Grub Killer Plus, which often contains trichlorfon or dylox, can be used for quick results. However, be mindful of the timing and necessity, as these ingredients can have a more significant environmental impact.
  • Application: Apply only if necessary and follow label instructions carefully to mitigate any potential harm to non-target organisms, including bees.

Fall to Early Spring (Maintenance Phase)

  • Lawn Care: Continue with good cultural practices—deep, infrequent watering; proper fertilization; and mowing at the correct height for Bermuda grass—to strengthen your lawn against next season’s pests.
  • Planning: Late fall is a good time to plan for next year’s preventive treatment based on this year’s observations and effectiveness of the applied treatments.

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