Lawn grubs: every gardener’s nightmare! While you are working hard to create a beautiful turf area (feeding your lawn, watering diligently and removing those nasty weeds), it’s just possible you might be providing lovely grub for the grubs. And your efforts above the surface might be being undermined from below…
Lawn grubs are a real problem in many Australian lawns. And while it is possible to treat them, the damage they can cause in a short space of time can take months to repair. As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”, so if you suspect your lawn is being invaded by these critters, act quickly.
The term ‘lawn grub’ covers several species of root-feeding larvae that destroy the grass. The most common of these are the larvae of cockchafers, scarab beetles, and Japanese beetles. These larvae have soft, light-coloured, C-shaped bodies, with legs close to the head.
So, how do I know if my lawn is under attack?
Irregular-shaped brown patches in your lawn may be the first sign of lawn grubs at work. Because the larvae feed on the root of the grass, they kill the turf from below, resulting in ugly dead patches in an otherwise healthy lawn. These patches will lift easily, somewhat like carpet.
An increase in bird activity on your lawn may be another tell-tale sign of lawn grubs. The grubs are nocturnal, so birds can often be seen feeding on them as they emerge in the evening or retreat at sunrise.
Lawn grubs could also be the larvae of several types of lawn moth. The adult moths are most active in the evening and can often be seen flying low over the grass. Naturally, these moths want to lay their eggs on the healthiest lawn they can find, so yours may be a prime target! The eggs only take a few days to hatch, then the trouble starts.
Once you have confirmed the presence of grubs in the lawn, it’s time to treat them. And there are several ways this can be done:
If your lawn area is small, you may be able to simply flood the larvae out using a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. After you tip the solution onto the lawn, you will notice the grubs emerging out of their holes: collect them up and repeat the process until you are satisfied that you have got rid of them all.
There are several types of chemical sprays specially designed to treat lawn grubs. Purchase the spray from your local hardware store or lawn supplier, and use it following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Because the grubs emerge at night, the most effective time to spray is early evening.
Because of the short life-cycle of lawn grubs, it may be necessary to repeat your chosen method of treatment within a few weeks.
Call the team at Rivers Edge Turf on (02) 4579 9009 for more advice on treating lawn grubs. We hate lawn pests as much as you do, and we’re here to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy lawn all year round.