What's bugging your lawn?
Determining if you need treatment
The most effective way to determine if you have enough grubs to warrant control is to check sample areas of the yard and count the grubs found. If you didn't have any damage last year or see very few beetles this year, you probably have no need to be concerned. If either or both of those signs appear, you'll want to count.
The entire turf area should be sampled in a consistent, uniform pattern. Enough samples should be taken to assure a reasonably accurate count representing the area. At each sample site, cut two 6-inch by 6-inch turf sections on three sides. Each of these areas is one-quarter square foot. Peel back the sod and examine the upper two inches of the root zone. Look for and count the grubs. Depending on the type of grub, if you find 3 to 10 per square foot, treatment is warranted. Products containing the active ingredient imidacloprid give excellent results when applied in May, June or July. Very good, but less reliable, results are obtained with August applications and poor control occurring when applied in September. May and June applications would be applied before you did the sampling and counts, but could be warranted if you had extensive damage last year and/or heavy beetle infestation in May and June. The key to best control is having the material in the soil when the first instar stage starts to feed. Imidacloprid is available in granular formulations to apply with a standard lawn spreader. Liquid formulations are available for application with hose-end sprayers. It is important to get the material down to the soil for grub control. At least a half-inch of water should be provided after application.
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