Most Minnesota homeowners wait patiently for the last frost of the year to plant flowers and spruce up their garden landscapes. And as many of us already know, with the warmer weather and fresh grass popping up everywhere, the chances of finding grubs in your yard is a normal part of the season.
What Are Grubs?
Lawn grubs, White grubs, Japanese Beetles—you’ve heard the names before and maybe you’ve spotted a few of these c-shape larvae in your yard from time to time.
Grubs are very common in the state of Minnesota, and they tend to prefer the flat, sunny parts of your yard.
There are three stages of a grub’s life:
- C-shape larvae
- Beetle (adult)
Grubs make their home in your soil and feed on the roots of turf grass. When they mature into adults, they move on to plants and foliage. Generally, if you find less than 8 grubs per 1 square foot in your garden or lawn, there’s no real cause for concern.
Too many grubs (more than 8 per 1 sq ft.) in your yard can develop into an issue. In fact, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture closely monitors the movement of Japanese Beetles, especially if they are found outside of the metropolitan area and southeast region of the state—where they are more likely to occur.
Common Signs of Grubs in Your Lawn
It’s harder to spot grubs at first, as they’re in their second stage of life, meaning they’re hidden beneath the grass’ surface. So, to give you a clearer picture, here are a few telltale signs that you may have a grub issue:
- Brown patches of lawn
- Increase in moles, skunks, or racoons (all feed on grubs)
- Grass lifts up like a loose piece of carpet (remember, they eat roots!)
- Dry, sponge-like grass
It’s important to remember that when grubs mature into their beetle form, the damage to your lawn is already done. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your lawn healthy and treat it using organic solutions vs. pesticides, as the latter can have a harmful impact on our environment, plantlife, and wildlife species.
Organic Grub Removal
If you’re already discovering damaged grass areas in your lawn, there are a few recommended methods to help safely remove grubs without the use of harmful pesticides.
Please note: the following techniques are considered “environmentally dependent,” so be sure to read all directions closely and pick your timing for application carefully.
- Nematodes – These microscopic worms are a popular option for soil pest control. Though nematodes may take some time to colonize, once they do, they work quickly to reduce your yard’s grub population.
- Milky Spore – This powder-form substance creates a bacteria (i.e., milky disease) in your soil that kills grubs. You might think: why would I put bacteria in my lawn? Don’t worry. Milky spores won’t hurt your yard or surrounding vegetation—as long as you follow directions carefully.
- Some gardeners achieve greater success when they combine milky spore with beneficial nematodes. Again, the results will depend on your environment and timing.
- Birds – If you already know the benefits of a pollinator-friendly garden then you might also know that pollinators, like birds, eat insects and grubs. Native plants to Minnesota, such as Echinaceas, Agastaches, and Asclepias, are perfect for attracting birds. Don’t forget to install a few bird houses and baths, too, as well as some shrubs for bird nests.
- grubGONE!® – A first-of-its-kind, natural, biological control product, grubGone!® allows you to safely treat your lawn for grubs without worrying about it having a negative effect on plant life or pollinators. Using a natural bacterial strain, known as bacillus thuringiensis galleriae (Btg), grubGone!® only targets adult beetles and grubs, making it a much safer, organic alternative to chemical grub control products.
Need Organic Grub Control?
Keeping your lawn healthy and green is a long-term commitment, but the result is always well worth the time and effort you put into it.
If you’re looking to improve your lawn naturally or need help removing grubs organically, contact Organic Lawns by LUNSETH today!
We can recommend the best treatment for organic grub control or help you find a year-long organic program to keep your lawn healthy, year after year.
To get started, contact us today!