I recently received a call from a Spring-Green Franchise Owner about dealing with grubs in the spring. He had received a call from a customer who stated that they had grubs feeding on their lawn. This confused the Franchise Owner and the customer as they both thought that grubs were only active during late summer and fall of the year.
The typical annual white grub female lays her eggs in late spring through mid-summer. These eggs hatch in late summer/early fall as c-shaped grubs and begin feeding on turf roots, soil, and other organic material that they come into contact while foraging for food. They will feed throughout the fall and even into early winter depending on the soil temperatures.
As it becomes colder, grubs will burrow down into the soil to escape the frost line. During the Polar Vortex of 2014, these grubs were found to have dug as deep as 36 inches to stay below the frost line.
In the spring, when soil temperatures begin to warm, grubs will begin rising to the surface, feed a little bit, than burrow back into the soil where they make a small capsule in the soil to pupate and emerge as adults in late spring to early summer. Then the whole process begins again.
Unless the spring is very dry, most people don’t even notice spring grub activity. They don’t feed as voraciously in the spring as they do in the fall. They will still feed on turfgrass roots, but usually the grass is growing quickly and the roots are replaced before any damage is noticed.
Most people will discover grubs in their lawns in the spring when they may add or expand a landscape bed. When the turf is removed, the grubs are easily seen. If left alone, they will dig themselves back into the soil. If there are not too many of them, they can be collected, placed in a bag and disposed of in the garbage.
The other time that homeowners will find grubs is when a skunk, raccoon or opossum start digging up the lawn looking for food. These critters do more damage to a lawn than the actual grubs as they tear it up.
Applying an insect control in the spring is usually not recommended as the grubs are not feeding enough to ingest enough of the control material to kill them. The best thing to do is to make sure you apply a grub preventative in early summer. This material will prevent the eggs from hatching or growing, and then grubs will not be a problem in your lawn.
Contact your local Spring-Green office to inquire about our grub preventative service and how they might be a good fit for your lawn.