Japanese Beetles = Grubs!
Many gardeners and homeowners consider the Japanese Beetle to be one of the most serious pests they face. In their grub phase, these pests cause devastating root damage to lawns, and also attract various critters that will dig up your lawn searching for the grubs to eat. The adult beetles can skeletonize plants faster than you can say Popilla japonica. Knowing and understanding the life cycle of grubs is the key when it comes to control and determining whether you have a problem and what to do about it.
Around late June and early July, Japanese Beetle adults emerge from the ground and start their feeding frenzy. Their favorites include Roses, Hibiscus, Grapes, Boston Ivy, Rose of Sharon and Linden trees. When you first see Japanese Beetles appear, do two things. First, control the Japanese Beetle by setting traps, spraying a contact insecticide or handpicking them from the plants, discarding them in soapy water to keep the devastation to a minimum. Second, apply a season long grub control to help protect your lawn in advance.
If you see Japanese Beetles, you've probably got grubs! The resulting damage (which may not show until the summer) appears as brown patches of dead turf that enlarge as the grubs continue to feed.
To check for grubs, pull at a section of dead turf. It will roll back like a swatch of carpet. Dig down at the edge of a damaged area and you will find the grub worms themselves; grayish, white grubs with gray or brown heads, approximately 1/2" to 3/4" long. They will be curled into the shape of the letter "C'. Immature grubs are milky gray in color and resemble elongated eggs. They will be about 1/4" long.
The best way to prevent serious grub injury to your lawn is to grow a strong, healthy lawn. A vigorous, healthy lawn can recover from damage without a complete renovation. There are many variables when trying to achieve maximum grub control: timing and type of insecticide, the amount of thatch (heavy thatch will minimize the effectiveness and prevent the insecticide from penetrating through to the soil), and how well the insecticide is watered into the soil.
The best time to treat for grubs is mid-April to mid-May and July to mid-September. We prefer these insecticides for grub control: Dylox, Merit and DuoCide. All are relatively safe for humans and the environment. The active ingredients are very low and are broken down by soil organisms. They are effective grub controls when timely and properly applied. Come see us for the proper application of any of these products for maximum grub control!
Pest Control Options
Systemic Insecticides are absorbed into the plant tissues and translocated throughout the entire plant. Bonide Grub Beater Granules and Bayer Merit Season Long Grub Control are two options that are applied with a spreader.
Contact Insecticides must directly contact the insects to be effective. Bonide Beetle Killer, Bayer 24 hour Grub Control and DuoCide (professional application recommended) are common products.
Organic insecticides are natural carbon based insecticides. Most are derived from natural materials and are less toxic. Milky Spore, a natural bacteria, is a two year program of applications that builds up to control Japanese Beetle grubs. Another non-chemical option is to capture Japanese Beetles using beetle bags.
Read more on our Pest Control products web page.
As always we invite you to visit one of our four locations for more information on protecting your lawn and garden from pests.
Posted on July 22, 2014