Scientific name: Scarabaeidae

Problems they can cause: Larvae damage the root system of the turf making it difficult to obtain water and nutrients from the soil.

What are white grubs?

“White grubs” is the name given to the larvae of many different species of scarab beetles that infest the soils of lawns and landscapes, including Japanese Beetles, European Chafer Oriental Beetles and others. Most of these beetles have a one-year life cycle, meaning that if you have a problem with them one year you’ll likely have a problem every year.  

Signs of grubs in your lawn

Lawns can often withstand high populations of white grubs without causing noticeable signs of damage. The key is keeping the population below the threshold where damage becomes obvious. Damage is usually first noticed in the fall as patches of brown turf that will pull easily from the soil revealing the grubs beneath. In addition, white grubs are a food source for many different species of wildlife that will dig at the lawn in search of them.

How to prevent & control grubs

If your lawn has a history of white grub infestation, the application of a preventive control product prior to egg hatch will give excellent levels of control. If white grubs are discovered in a lawn not treated with a preventive control, curative controls are available but are not as effective nor as environmentally friendly as the preventive products. Timing is key; the larger the grub, the more difficult it is to control.

How to repair lawn damage from grubs?

White grub damage can be extensive and devastating, often requiring reestablishment of large parts of a lawn. Typically, repair efforts begin with cleaning upturned and dead turf from the lawn, the application of a curative control product and reseeding. Small, contained areas of damage may be restored by applying a curative control product and watering aggressively to make up for the lack of sufficient roots to draw adequate amounts of water from the soil.

Helpful tips

The secret to successful white grub control, with both preventive and curative products, is to thoroughly water the product into the soil as soon as possible after application. This is especially true of the curative control as it is very vulnerable to breakdown in direct sunlight.