What are Grubs?
Grubs are small, white worms that can decimate a lawn by feeding on the roots and killing the grass above. The worms are typically larvae from beetles that lay eggs in the grass. Grubs come in different types, depending on the beetle that produced the egg. Some grubs can live for a year in the lawn, while tougher and more difficult breeds of grubs can live for up to three years in your lawn.
The most common type of grub comes from Asian Beetles, which resemble ladybugs. These grubs typically hatch in midsummer and start feeding on the roots. All grass types are susceptible to grub infestation. Some beetles produce larvae that live for multiple seasons under the grass. For these larvae, the longer they live, the more difficult they become to kill and may cause widespread infestation of neighborhoods and cities.
Grub damage usually appears in the driest times of the year. As the grubs eat the roots of the grass, without moisture to help the grass regenerate its root system, the grass on top turns brown and can actually be pulled back from the soil with little effort. Most grub damage can go for days without being recognized due to the lack of rain and the grass around it also turning brown. Most people learn they have grubs after skunks, raccoons and other vermin peel back the grass to feed on the grubs, leaving torn-up yards in their path.
Checking for Grubs and Removal
The best way to check for grubs is to pull on dead areas of your lawn to see if the grass can be pulled away easily. Even dry lawns will still be anchored to the soil if their roots are intact. If the grass comes up, the white larvae should be easily visible. First-year beetles can be exterminated with over-the-counter products, but second- or third-year grubs will require professional assistance.