Gardening

WHITE GRUBS are the larvae of Japanese beetles, green June beetles, May and June beetles and Chafers.

They live in the soil and can cause damage to your lawn, and some species have much bigger appetites than others.

White Grubs will cause the turf to yellow and die in large patches. If you pull on the grass, it will come out easily because it does not have any roots.

By the time you start seeing signs of white grub damage, the insects will be hard to control. The damage does not show up until late in the fall, about the time the turf starts going dormant.

Most of the time homeowners do not even notice until spring when the turf doesn’t green up.

The presence of birds and skunks digging in your yard may suggest the presence of white grubs.

Here is the good news. You can start checking right now to see whether you have white grubs in your lawn. Now is the only good time to treat them.

If they are out there, they are small now. They are not doing a great deal of damage yet, and they are much more susceptible to the products we use to control them than when they get larger.

To check for white grubs take a shovel and cut on three sides of a square foot of lawn turf. Then fold that flap of sod back and look for grubs in the top 2 to 3 inches of soil and the grass roots.

Do that in three to five places around the lawn. Then divide the total number of grubs you find by the number of sites you tested.

If the number of white grubs averages five to ten or more per square foot, you may need to have them identified. The local Extension Office can help you with identification.

For homeowners, the best insecticides to use are those that have the following active ingredients: Trichlorfon, Imidacloprid, or Halofenozide. Before applying a pesticide, read and follow directions carefully.

Whatever you use, water it in well. You have to get it down through that turf 3 to 4 inches into the soil. White grubs are hard to control because they are in the soil.