Think back to spring…and think of the long list of chores you had to get done in the yard. For some of you, treating your lawn for white grubs was on that checklist. But did you know that spring is not the ideal time to treat for these turf menaces? Late summer into early fall is really the most effective time to get these lawn-munching pests.

Japanese Beetle Life Cycle

If you treat for grubs when they’re smaller – in late summer to early fall – they’re easier to eradicate.

Image Credit: ©2007 Buglady Consulting

White grub life cycles are rather simple. During summer, adult beetles fly around. Some species (like Japanese beetles) buzz about during the day, while others (like chafers) fly around at night. After these adult beetles mate, they head down into the soil to lay their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the tiny, little white grubs start to feed on your lawn. This is when they’re so small you often don’t see them or their damage. As fall creeps in and the temperatures start to dip, the grubs head down lower into the soil profile to “rest” for the winter.

Once spring comes around, the grubs work their way up to your fresh springtime grass to chomp on your turf’s tender roots. By this time the grubs have grown nice and fat, so they can really do some significant damage – and of course, it’s when people notice the damage that they typically head out to kill the grubs. But by this point, the pests are so large that they’re very difficult to kill. You don’t want to wind up wishing you could turn back the clock to fall so you can do something more effective about these grubby bugs, so do something now – this fall!

When it comes to fall grub treatment, you’ve got a few options to choose from. There are the conventional granular pesticides you can apply with a spreader, and there are organic options, like beneficial nematodes you can apply with a hose-end sprayer. Regardless of the control method you choose, always follow the directions closely to ensure optimal results.

If grubs are causing problems in your lawn, it may be that you’re not targeting your control treatment during the right time of the year. If you get the grubs the under control this fall, your turf problems won’t be much of an issue come springtime – at least when it comes to grubs!