After all the work it takes to build and maintain a healthy, vibrant, beautiful lawn, the last thing you want are lawn grubs ruining all your good effort. Lawn grubs or white grubs are various beetles in their larvae stage. These grubs can cause patches of grass to die as they drain the roots of your grass. With that said, not all grubs are created equal, and some grubs are much worse than others. Here are some of the worst of the worst.
The June Beetle like all white grubs falls under the family of scarab beetles and is one of the most common lawn grubs found in the eastern parts of North America. Lawn grubs are all similar in appearance prior to reaching maturity – they have fleshy bodies that are white or yellow in colour, are curled and C-shaped with six legs, while their heads can be anywhere from brown to black. Additionally, they tend not to grow to more than 4 cm in length.
As mentioned earlier, lawn grubs are beetles when they are still larvae. They are so harmful because they are still growing, feeding on plant roots, particularly on the roots of grass. It is the eating of the roots that causes plants to die, turning your lawn brown and uneven. June Beetles are particularly detrimental in terms of the length of their harmful eating, as they take 3 years to hit maturity, meaning 3 years to do damage to your lawn. Typically they are most active anywhere from late spring to early fall.
The European Chafer is an especially destructive lawn grub as the level of harm it can do to your lawn is not limited to its own feeding but also when it is being fed upon. This is because animals that prey upon them tend to dig up lawns in order to get to them. With that said, it does plenty of damage on its own, as its main feeding window goes longer than the June Beetles’, starting earlier and ending later.
The Japanese Beetle is one of the more prevalent lawn grubs in North America. Unlike some other grubs, they get no better once they reach maturity, where they can wreck fruits, flowers, and leaves alike. As larvae, however, they feed on grass roots, causing grass to wilt and die. Taking about a year to become an adult, the Japanese Beetle is most active in late spring and early summer, during the start of its life cycle, and early fall, when it approaches maturity.
What to do about them?
The most effective method that is available in Ontario is the Beneficial Nematode. This living organism is a natural predator to grubs when they are coming to the surface as the weather cools in September. It is best applied diluted in water and sprayed in target zones. As always, it is important that it be watered in for desired results.