Americans like having green lawns and lush landscaping around their homes. This design usually incorporates some type of grass like Bermuda, Fescue, Bent grass or Zoysia just to name a few. These environments need food and water to keep them healthy and looking good. These same requirements are what lure many types of pests in and around the home.
Though most may only nest or traverse through the grass, some actually eat grass. Surface feeders like locusts, grasshoppers and katydids are easy to see so activity can be quickly identified and properly handled. However, pests which reside and live under the grass pose a whole other problem.
One such pest actually eats the roots of grass and the unwary homeowner won’t know it is active or present until their grass starts to die! This pest is quite common and can appear anywhere in the United States. This pest is the common GRUB !!!
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Grubs are the larval stage of beetles. There are many types of grubs but the ones which live in the dirt under grass are most likely Japanese Beetle, June Beetle, May Beetle, Black Turfgrass, Asiatic Garden or some other regional beetle which lays eggs whose larva feed on plants. Most people know what grubs look like. They usually have an off white, tan or even brown head, tend to be curled in a “C” position all the time, have lots of legs and a segmented body which is quite white.
Grubs can vary greatly in size which is not only dependent on species. Clearly the food supply has a lot to do with just how big or small any one grub might grow.
Other variables like temperature, humidity, water, local nutrients and soil type will influence their size and development. Grubs live just under grass, usually 6 inches to a few feet down, all of which depends on their species, food supplies and the time of year.
Since so many insects generate a grub like young which can live in turf, the purpose of this article is not to inform you of any one specific species. The author will, however, explain all you need to know about grubs in general and then offer control methods which are designed to control whatever type of grub you may have active on your property.
EARLY GRUB DETECTION
Grubs usually go unnoticed until the results of their feeding is observed. Such results will include dead grass, plants and flowers. It is quite common to find them still feeding even as you are removing the dead plant, turf or flower!! Such “pockets” of grubs should be more then just an alarm alerting you to what is happening. Don’t ignore it.
Grub damage is by far the most common type of damage sustained in turf grass throughout the United States. If you want to make sure you don’t fall victim to a local infestation, get a pair of STRESS DETECTION GLASSES. These unique eye glasses allow you to “see” grass and other plants which are stressed out due to fungus, drought and parasites like grubs. Early detection will give you the upper hand when combating this pest. In other words, early detection allows for early treatments.
Since the United States has such a large population of beetles along with a great selection of turf grass for them to eat, this pest won’t be going away any time soon. Furthermore, the type of environments we like to create around our homes are just what helps to attract and keep satisfied any active grub population.
ANIMALS DIG FOR GRUBS
In addition to grubs killing off plants, shrubs and grass, their presence tends to attract all kinds of animals. Moles, armadillo, badgers, birds, mice, rats, voles, shrews, gophers, groundhogs, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, prairie dogs, and skunk are just some of the animals which will readily tear up and pull apart lawns in an effort to find grubs. They love grubs and lawns which have active grub populations will undoubtedly start to experience animal digging and damage.
If you already have this activity, you need to put an end to it as soon as possible. Turf which is in a weakened state already will quickly die off from all the digging.
To prevent this from happening, spray some WHOLE CONTROL over the areas which are being attacked. This product is not a poison; instead it is a bad tasting agent that animals don’t like. The goal here is to create a bad tasting soil so digging animals will have to go elsewhere to find food. Though not a true “control” program, spraying Whole Control can definitely help to relocate and force unwanted animals to find food elsewhere.
Whole Control: http://www.bugspraycart.com/repellents/liquid/whole-control
GRUBS WILL LEAD TO OTHER PESTS
Grub infestations can also lead to other insect problems. There are many types of wasps which actually feed on grubs. These parasitic wasps thrive in yards where grubs are present and will come to feed and nest when large grub populations are active. Such activity usually scares the homeowner into some course of action and our directions on how to deal with digger bees/wasps actually helps to control the grubs for a while.
However, getting and keeping grubs under control is a never ending job and one which cannot be ignored. In fact, the author is quite convinced that the simple act of treating the yard for grub control 3-4 times a year can help to keep the yard and home free of just about any pest! That’s right. The products and treatment schedule needed to get and keep grubs under control has a tremendous benefit in that this very treatment will stop roaches, ants, bees, wasps, termites and just about any type of common pest in and around the house from ever getting established.
In fact, the act of using both a Granule and a Liquid material in the yard and alongside the home will help to keep just about all pests out. This means that if you are going to start treating your home for grubs, you will effectively be treating the home for all kinds of pests. This added benefit is just one more reason grub control should be done since it is one of the only types of pest control which has a large “all inclusive” type of effect.
WHEN TO TREAT FOR GRUBS
For the longest time, grub control has always been addressed by using granules applied to the turf at a “key” time of the year. It has always been preached that grubs are active in “certain months” and that it is only during these times of the year that chemical treatments will have any positive impact. Well, this approach has lead to somewhat inconsistent results. The inconsistencies stem from many facts. Here are some of the problems related to a “timed” application approach to grub control.
1) Timed applications rely on a premise that there is only one time of the year that a target population is active. Though this could be true for any one species, it is not likely that anyone can tell when this time might occur. In other words, there are far too many factors which could and do cause this time to vary greatly from yard to yard, season to season. In other words, what could be the “right” time in one yard may not be “right” for a neighbor. In fact, their time could be a month or more later or earlier.
2) There are far too many species of insects laying eggs which develop into damaging grubs to use this approach. Each species has a different time of the year which is the “right” time to treat and without knowing just which species you are treating for, trying to time the application is not practical. And since it is cost prohibitive to learn just which species you might have, even if you did know, it would only narrow the time frame down to a few months due to the problem of timing stated above in item #1.
3) The development of grubs varies tremendously from insect to insect. There are many grubs which are only active for one year but most are active for 2-3 years! In other words, an application made one year due to grub damage might have an immediate impact on the population that is currently feeding. However, all the eggs which haven’t hatched nor the ones which have already moved deeper because they have already fed will be impacted. This problem – the problem associated with the fact that several species are active for short intervals of time and that not all stages of any population will be vulnerable to a treatment at the same time – means more than any other reason that you must treat several times in any one year and that you will have to do so for several years running!!!
Problem #3 is probably the biggest mistake most people fall victim to regarding a timed application. They follow the advise of some local nursery or garden center which has recommended “one application” made at a precise time will get the problem under control. Nothing further from the truth could be true!!!
Such an approach does not take into account all the eggs which have not hatched, the part of the local population which has already fed and moved deeper into the soil which will effectively shield them from any treatment as well as the fact that it not likely that any one time is ideal! Remember, grubs which develop over a period of a few years will become active at different times of the year based more on their stage of their growth. In other words, the late spring might be right for 1 year old grubs which takes 3 years to mature but in their second year, they might be more active in the middle summer months. This will vary from species to species as well so there is clearly no way you can plan for the “right” application season let alone moment!
So then when is the best time to treat for grubs? Simple: NOW !! The only exception to this rule would be if you reside somewhere cold and the ground you want to treat is either frozen or covered in snow. In these regions, it will probably be tough to treat throughout the year but if you have a mild winter, be sure to get down a treatment if possible. Remember, in cold regions treatments will last way longer since the chemical won’t be subject to the normal sun and rain which wear them down during the summer months.
But in many regions treating all year long will be required to successfully break the grub cycle once it’s established and if you follow this regime, you should see positive results in 1-2 years.
GRUB CONTROL TREATMENTS
The problems associated with grub activity can be many as detailed at the beginning of this article. Having grubs active in your yard will almost assuredly happen if you grow grass, plants, flowers, shrubs or just about anything common on and around most homes. Most important, if you water and/or feed the plants and grass, grubs will certainly be present.
Now you could choose to play a “wait and see” game and address the problem once it starts. However, the best approach to grub control is both effective at controlling current activity and for preventing them from being able to get established in the first place. Furthermore, this simple approach will help to prevent just about any type of pest from getting established on or around your home in the first place.
This means if you start with this simple program, you will be able to fire your pest control company because their service just won’t be needed! That’s right. If you stay up with this program, you will be able to effectively prevent most any of the common pests from getting a foothold on your property. This prevention will help to keep them out of the house altogether and to keep the home pest free.
GRUB LAWN GRANULES
There are two types of grub treatment schedules that apply to most any home. The first one should be utilized if you are actively trying to prevent grubs. Use this approach and maintenance program if you don’t have grubs and don’t want to get them. It is both easy to do and depending on which material you choose to apply, may only take 1-2 applications per year.
So for preventive applications, the use of a granule is best suited. There are two which do a good job. COMPLETE LAWN CONTROL GRANULES are probably your best bet if you wish to use something which will work on many pests. It is easy to apply and applications will last 2-3 months. Use 10 lbs for every 5,000 sq/ft you need to treat.
Apply this at least quarterly (once every 3 months all year long), more if you reside in a rainy region, and try to get at least 4 applications done per year. The great thing about Cyfluthrin is that it is both highly effective on just about any pest and highly repellent. This means that it will first serve to repel insects from establishing nests and/or scent trails on treated turf.
More importantly, it will kill them in a few days if they ignore its’ presence. Cyfluthrin is a great product for keeping away ants, roaches, crickets, digger bees or wasps, mole crickets and just about any type of turf pest.
Another type of lawn granule that can be applied is MERIT GRANULES. This material uses a different active which is highly effective on grubs. The big benefit of using Merit is that you don’t have to treat quite as frequently. Though residuals can last up to a full growing season, you will be better served if you apply it twice a year.
Regardless of which granule you choose to use, it must be applied uniformly and at the right rate. Be sure to get an accurate count of the square footage being treated and use a good GRANULE SPREADER to apply them.
GRUB CONTROL LIQUID SPRAY
The second type of treatment schedule you should employ is if you have current grub activity. When grubs are actively present, you need something to work quickly. Since granules are designed to release slowly, they don’t give you the strong knockdown and quick kill of a liquid application.
For this reason, it is best to do both a granule application and then a liquid application over the top if you are dealing with an active population of grubs.
First, apply the required amount of either the Cyfluthrin or Merit Granules listed above. Once the granules are down, use either CYONARA RTS or CYONARA CONCENTRATE sprayed over the top. These liquid concentrates will penetrate soil much faster then the granules alone. By penetrating faster, they will have a big impact on the active grubs almost immediately. This will help to reduce grub damage and protect your turf and plants.
The Cyonara RTS comes with its’ own hose end sprayer and is ideal for anyone with a yard 5000 sq/ft or less. The concentrated form of Cyonara will need to be applied using a HOSE END SPRAYER to get it equally dispersed. Yes this is more work but it will prove to be a lot more cost effective since it’s so much more concentrated (therefore it goes a lot further).
And adding some SPREADER STICKER to the sprayer mix will enable the product to work much faster. Spreader Sticker will let the Cyonara penetrate the soil faster and will essentially enhance the performance of your treatment.
Spreader Sticker: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/additive/spreader-sticker
When treating a yard which has any activity, it is always best to treat the whole yard. Remember, just because you haven’t seen damaged grass or plants in some areas it does not mean that grubs are not present. Since you are treating a pest infestation for which a good visible inspection is just about impossible to perform, it is always best to treat as much of the area as possible. This insures you won’t miss a vital “grub pocket” which could lead to a lot more damage a month or two later. Treat at least once a month for two applications of liquid to insure you get good coverage.
GRUB CONTROL ORGANIC TREATMENT
One last option is the use of organic sprays and granules. For starters, the ESSENTRIA GRANULES are made with food grade actives making them harmless to animals and people. Ideal for use in sensitive areas, Essentria works well on white grubs and treatments will last 1-2 months per application.
Essentria Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/exempt/granule/eco-exempt-org-g-22-lb
After applying granules, spray over the top with ORGANIC GRUB KILLER RTS. This spray is certified for “organic gardening” so it’s about as safe as it gets when you need to spray something for a persistent grub infestation. Each quart will cover about 4,000 sq/ft and you should spray after each application of granules.
Organic Grub Killer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/organic/liquid/grub-killer-32-oz-rtser
GRUB CONTROL TAKES TIME
This is important to understand. Once you get grubs, it will take at least 2 years of treating to insure you get all the potential larva that could be in the soil. Since so many species take 2-3 years to fully grow, you must followup and stay the course if you wish to get rid of these guys for good.
Non doubt the most common mistake people make regarding grub treatments is to not follow up the second year with granule treatments. They mistakenly believe the “one shot” of granules and/or liquids applied the year before should have killed off everything when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Only after two good seasons of consistent treatments making sure that enough product is applied in a timely fashion can you expect to knock them out once and for all.
Grubs are the most common turf problem found throughout the United States. There are many reasons why they like to feed on our grass, plants and shrubs and though they might be out of sight, the damage they do will soon be quite evident. If you have had a bad experience with grubs and want to treat your turf so you don’t get them again, use some of the Cyfluthrin or Merit Granules. Applied throughout the year, either of these products will effectively keep grub populations minimal.
If you have an active population of grubs and want to take control of the problem quickly, apply the granules first and then spray over the top of them with either form of Cyonara. These liquid materials will penetrate the soil faster compared to using just granules alone in tun will kill off the currently active grubs helping to minimize their damage that much faster. Follow this treatment program and you can keep this pesky lawn pest minimized. By doing so you will ultimately reduce lawn damage which will save you a lot of money, aggravation and time!
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. On Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and on Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
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