How to Tell if You Have a Grub Problem

If you’ve spent any time outside this summer, you know that insects are everywhere. Most insects are beneficial or harmless to us, our lawns and our landscapes. Of all the insects though, few are as despised or well-known as Japanese beetles and their counterparts Masked Shaffer, European Shaffer, Oriental Garden Beetle, and others. These summertime insect pests eat the foliage of many of our trees, shrubs and flowers in their adult form and then lay eggs–that become grubs (larvae)–that feed on the roots of our shrubs and lawns.

Grubs––the larval form of various insects and beetles––are prevalent in late summer and early fall and their survival rates spike when the ground is moist (as it has been most of this summer and in lawns that are irrigated). Moist soil is where the female beetles like to lay their eggs, insuring high survival rates of their young and high populations of beetles the following year. High numbers of grubs (7 to 10 per square foot) can destroy your lawn right under your feet!

How can you tell if your yard is infested with grubs?

Fading Lawn

A heavy infestation of grubs can make even a healthy strand of grass look weak. This is due to the grubs eating the grass roots faster than the grass can grow them back, eventually causing the grass to die if it doesn’t get enough water. A lawn with a bad grub infestation will peel right up just like a carpet if gently pulled upon.

Soft Ground

The feeding action of grubs softens the soil as they eat both the grass roots, and the soil around the grass roots, causing the soil in those areas to be loose and softer than other areas. If there are areas in your lawn that feel soft and spongy when you walk on them, you may have a severe grub infestation.

Holes in your Lawn

As much as beetle grubs like to feed on the roots of your lawn and shrubs, many other animals like to feed on those grubs, as they are a nutritious, high protein meal to fatten up those animals before winter. Unfortunately, a grub infestation could cause those animals to ruin your lawn. Birds, raccoons and skunks, for example, will often dig up the ground to find grubs, thus doing even more damage to your lawn. Sometimes this may require hundreds or thousands of dollars in repair costs.

These are just a few of the ways to tell if you have grubs. If you aren’t sure if your lawn has a grub problem, but your lawn isn’t looking as good as you think it should, Complete Lawn Care can help. Our experts will come to your house for free to help you find out what is bugging your lawn and how to fix it in an affordable and environmentally friendly way.

With our comprehensive knowledge of plants, trees, and lawns, Complete Lawn Care’s goal is to help you maintain a healthy lawn and landscape year-round. Contact us today for more information on ridding your lawn of grubs and beautifying your yard.