What's bugging your lawn? | Living the Country Life

What's bugging your lawn?

It looked great last spring, so what's going on?

Other signs of grub infestation

Other signs of grub infestations include flocks of birds, particularly starlings, feeding on the turf. Animals such as skunks, raccoons and moles foraging on the lawn are also signs of grub activity. An abundance of beetles flying around in May, June or early July are a precursor to grub damage. There are several different species of grubs that cause lawn damage.

When treating for grubs, it is important to know their life cycle to help determine if treating is necessary and when and how to apply the treatment.

The beetles are actually the adults. Most species have a one year life cycle. The grubs that caused damage last year will over-winter in the soil and do some feeding in the spring. Because of their size and maturity it is difficult and generally ineffective to try to control for them at this stage. Around the end of April or first part of May these grubs (or more technically larvae) turn into the pupal stage. Adults develop from the pupae in a month or so and those are the beetles you see flying around. The beetles usually cause little damage and there are no real controls available for them. Soon after you've observed them flying around for a while the female beetles lay their eggs in the soil. The eggs usually start hatching in August. It is at this stage, technically called the "first instar" stage, that grubs are most susceptible to control. As the grubs grow larger, the harder they are to control and the more damage they cause. We are now at the point where you noticed the damage last year.

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