Are you looking to prevent grubs in your lawn this year?
Grubs in your lawn can cause damage to your grass, such as patchy and brown spots in your lawn.
They can also attract animals that feed on grubs, such as skunks, which can damage your grass from digging for grubs (as well as setting up a potentially stinky situation).
So how do you prevent grub damage to your lawn?
Applying grub control products to your lawn is a sure-fire way to prevent these problems. But when is the best time to apply?
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Make sure damage is caused by grubs
Before you apply any grub control products, be certain that the damage in your lawn is actually caused by grubs and not by lawn diseases, drought, pets or other common causes of brown spots.
Dig up 3 or 4 inches of your turf and sift through it. You can identify grubs by their C-shaped, creamy-white body, and brownish head and six legs. They may vary in size from 1/4 to 2 inches, depending on the type of beetle and their age.
Related: How to identify grubs
When to apply grub control
The best time to apply grub control products is when the insects are still in the larval stage. In northern Illinois, this will typically be in early June. At this point in their development, the grubs aren’t feeding enough to damage your lawn.
If you notice grub damage in the early spring, it was actually caused by grubs in the previous year. This makes it important to take preventative measures ahead of time.
Related: Mid-August through September is the season for grub damage
Types of products
If your lawn is prone to grub infestations, you should apply a slow-release grub killer near the beginning of June after any new grass seeds are established enough that you are doing your regular mowing routine. A slow release product will remain in your grass longer and attack mature grubs feeding on your grass in July and August.
After applying grub controls, water the area well so it will soak into the soil all the way into the root systems where grubs will be feeding.
There are instant grub killer products available (as opposed to slow-release) that you can use at any time of the year to target an infestation. These will wear off and wash away quickly though and can be less effective for an ongoing grub problem. They can also be too powerful to use on younger grass or new turf.
Some grub control products available can be applied in the early fall. Check the label of whatever product you intend to use to make sure it’s the right time of year for your needs.
The best prevention for grubs is a healthy lawn! Well established healthy grass can sustain the damage caused by most grubs.