White Grubs in Your Lawn?

by Broady Windsor Group on Wednesday, July 14, 2021
How to protect & repair damage without pesticides

White grubs are the most widespread and destructive lawn pests. Grass is damaged when the grubs chew off the roots just below the surface of the soil. This reduces the turf's ability to retain water and nutrients needed to withstand the stress of hot, dry weather.

White grub damage appears as dead patches, and is most severe in the fall and spring. Damaged areas will feel soft and spongy when you walk on them before the grass actually dies. The affected areas lift easily because the roots of the grasses have been eaten by the grubs.

You will often find the C-shaped white grubs under the areas that you lift. Five or more grubs per 0.1 m² (10 cm²) are enough to seriously damage lawns that are not well irrigated. Raccoons, skunks and other animals may also cause damage by digging up grass in search of an easy meal.

How do you manage white grubs without resorting to chemical pesticides?

        • Healthy lawns are able to tolerate grub feeding. They have a larger root system, meaning root tissue lost to grub feeding can be replaced. Adequate watering of areas (at least 2.5 cm per week) will minimize damage to grass even if grubs are present. Frequent, short watering is actually detrimental to your lawn, so try to stick to weekly deep watering to stimulate strong root growth. 

        • Aeration in the spring and a scheduled fertilization program throughout the summer will all contribute to a healthier lawn.

        • Adult beetles prefer to lay their eggs in grassy areas. One option is to replace damaged turf with other types of plants. A variety of beautiful ground covers are available at local nurseries and garden retailers.

        • Since chemical pesticides are banned in Beaconsfield & Baie-D’Urfe, you must rely on biological measures to cope with the grub problem.

        • Parasitic nematodes are widely available for use on lawns to manage white grub populations. These are microscopic worms, which kill both June Beetle and European Chafer larvae. The late August application of nematodes is the most crucial and effective time to keep grubs in check. Talk to experts at your local nursery and read directions and rates of application carefully before applying nematodes to your lawn.

If grub damage has occurred despite your best efforts, immediate repair is needed to prevent further problems later. Following these simple steps can help to repair grub-damaged lawns.

          1. Rake out any loose, dead grass.
          2. Have a local qualified lawn care company do a core aeration and overseeding of your lawn with the proper species of grass.
          3. If animals have flipped up the grass when digging, don’t despair. Wet the flipped turf to soften it and roll it back into place – if your grass is generally healthy there is a good chance that it will re-root, just like sod.
          4. Follow the preventative suggestions above to keep further grub damage from occurring on your newly repaired lawn.

You may also want to consider going green with your lawn. Many garden centres are now carrying hardier varieties and blends of ground cover that are much more pest resistant, such as fescue grass, clover of native plants. These types of grasses and plants do not require nearly as much watering or mowing and are beneficial to our local wildlife and pollinators. 

If you would like any advice or recommendations all you have to do is call 514-700-2604 or send an email to info@broadywindsor.com. Consider joining the Homeowners Advisory Club. It’s the first real estate concierge service designed to help you protect and maximize the value of your home over time.