How To Tell If Your Yard Has Grubs

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Grub in soil

Grubs are elusive creatures. You’ll likely never see them above the ground unless they’re caught in the mouth of a hungry bird. However, the damage they cause to lawns is hard to ignore. Here’s how to tell if you have grubs in your yard, and what you can do to get rid of them.

Signs You Have Grubs In Your Texas Lawn

You Notice More Animals Than Usual

It’s not unusual to see a possum meandering about, or birds snagging the occasional worm. However, if you notice more birds, possums, raccoons, or skunks than usual, it could be a signal you’ve got grubs. You might think grubs are gross, but for many animals, grubs are a staple in their diet. As such, critters will tear up your turf if there’s a good number of grubs beneath the surface. All this digging creates horrible damage to your lawn.

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damaged lawn from grubs

Damaged Turfgrass Roots

As grubs feed on the roots of the grass, the blades above the surface will start to brown, wilt, or even die. It goes without saying, but this is NOT how you want your lawn to look. Many homeowners mistake dead or dying grass for lack of moisture or nutrients. However, if you’ve tried extra watering and fertilizer, and things still look damaged, it could be a sign of grubs. Keep in mind that grub damage often has more than one telltale sign, so if you have thinning grass, it does not automatically mean you have grubs. Unfortunately, there are many bugs that dine on our lawns. If you notice dead grass in conjunction with the other signs we discuss, it could be time to consider grub treatment.

Uneven, Loose, Or Spongy Grass

If you notice a low-lying area in your lawn that wasn’t there before, it could be caused by grub activity beneath the surface. As the grubs feed on grass, there are fewer and fewer blades to hold soil in place. When it rains, it’s easy for the soil to wash away, creating an uneven terrain. Spongy grass is another red flag. While well-watered grass should feel soft, if you feel like you’re walking on a foam mat or a running track, that’s not a good sign. Or your grass could become loose and can be rolled back easily like sod. If you can do this, you should see the grubs in the soil as you peel back the grass. Look for white, c-shaped bugs that look like a cross between a worm and a caterpillar.

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grubs in the dirt

What Are Grubs Anyway?

Grubs are the larvae of Japanese beetles. These larvae begin their life below the soil and will emerge when they reach adulthood – in the same way, that tadpoles begin their lives in the water before eventually moving to land. Adult beetles are between 1/3 and 1/2 inches and have shiny green heads and bodies. Their larvae, the white grubs we love to hate, are c-shaped with brown heads and about 1/8 to one full inch in length.

How To Treat Grub Worms In Texas

Any time you’re dealing with a pest issue outdoors, it’s impossible to eliminate every single member of that species. In fact, having some grubs on your lawn is not going to cause problems. It’s when they have a dense population that things take a turn. A dense population would be ten or more grubs per square foot.

There are several key things you can do yourself to treat for grubs.

  • Keep your lawn well-nourished with nitrogen fertilizer, as well as phosphorous and potassium. These are the three key ingredients to a healthy lawn. 
  • Keep the mower height between 2 and 3 inches. This promotes a healthy root system, which is less prone to grub infestation. Sticking to a good lawn maintenance routine will solve and prevent a variety of problems – not only grubs. 
  • Treat dead or dying areas with an overseeding application to restore damaged areas, and discourage more beetles from moving in. Gro Lawn offers aeration and overseeding as part of our lawn care programs so if you don’t want to aerate the lawn yourself, we can help!
  • Apply an insecticide that contains imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin. These are good as preventative measures during the spring. If you wait until later in the summer or fall, you’ll need what’s known as a “curative” product. This type of solution should contain carbaryl, trichlorfon, or zeta-cypermethrin.

There are some things in life that will go away if we ignore them. Grubs are not one of those things. If you suspect you’ve got grubs, don’t hesitate to contact professional lawn care services. The longer you wait, the more extensive the damage will become.

Get Grub Control Near Fort Worth, Texas

Grubs are tough but not as tough as the experts at Gro Lawn. If you’re wondering: “where can I find the best lawn care services near me?” look no further. Our team will eradicate these pesky bugs so your lawn can return to its natural lush green state. If you’d like to learn more about our grub control program, call or leave us a message online. We’re happy to discuss this with you! You can also learn more about pest control and lawn care through our blog. And if you’d like to stay up to date on the latest offerings or service deals, be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our Youtube channel.

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