White Grubs

White Grub Overview

White Grubs are a common pest in Florida. In fact, it is not surprising to see more than 10 grubs per square foot of grassroots. There are several white grub species exist; among the natives is May or June Beetle, Masked Chafer, Green June Beetle and Black Turfgrass Ataenius. Other species introduced also include Japanese Beetle, European Chafer, Asiatic garden Beetle and oriental beetle.

White Grubs feed on grass; they chew the chew off the grass below the soil surface resulting to root injury that decreases the ability of the turf to absorbed water and nutrients to survive hot and dry weather conditions. The mostly attacked turfs are bentgrass and bluegrass but nevertheless, all grasses are vulnerable to its infestation.

Identification

A grub has a soft body, creamy white in color with yellowish to brownish head and 6 legs (except with Green June Beetles that doesn’t grow legs). Adult grubs normally measure 1/4 to 1/2 inches depending on the type of species. Most species curled up into C-shape position when resting.

Life Cycle

The adult female beetle emerges, mated with the male beetle, and lay eggs during the mid-summer. Eggs are set 1-5 inches deep in the soil and will hatch after 2-3 weeks. These grub larvae grow rapidly and by fall most of them reached their maximum size. When soil temperature declines, these grubs move far down the soil to bury their bodies and spend the winter. In spring when the temperature becomes warmer, the grubs will become active again feeding on their host plants for a month until they pupate. Adults emerge in the late spring after several weeks in the pupal stage.

Photo Credit Wikipedia Commons

Damages

White grubs can cause irregularly shaped brown patches on the grass in the lawn giving it an unpleasant look. Early signs of grub infestation include the slowly thinning and yellowing of grass, weakening although it is well-watered, and appearance of dead patches. The infested part feels soft and easy to pull up and when removed, a group of c-shape grubs will be exposed. Additionally, the injuries can be more extensive due to the birds and moles looking for grub as their food.

Control

Detecting white grub in the early stage of infestation is the key. While the grubs are young, they are easier to control using pesticides. The ideal time to do it is when the newly hatched grubs are feeding during mid-summer or early fall.

After treating the infested turf, you can repair the dead grass by reseeding. Also, keep an eye on neighboring lawns. Emerging beetles are more likely to migrate to your lawn. If grub infestation is not solved, get some help from a pest control service provider.

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