Have you ever seen fat white worms wiggling around in the soil? If you’re squeamish, these critters might be a phobia of yours. These creatures, known best as grubs, can be found in nearly every Rhode Island and Massachusetts lawn. In fact, they are not worms at all. Instead, they are the larvae of several beetle species that live for roughly a year underground until they mature into their final form.

Grubs love nutrient-dense soil and spend their days breaking down organic matter to produce more. Unfortunately, when grubs get out of hand, they can cause damage to your lawn.

How do I identify grubs?

Thankfully, grubs stick out like a sore thumb. First, they are relatively large, ranging from ¼ to an inch long. Second, their soft white bodies contrast the soil they live in, making it easy to spot them throughout your lawn. Third, most of the time, grubs are curled into a distinct C-shape and are found in groups.

If you’re unsure if what you’ve found is a grub, take a closer look. Grubs also have brown heads and six front legs, distinct from other white insects. However, the two parallel rows of spines along their abdomen make true white grubs stand out the most from other larvae species.

What does grub damage look like in my lawn?

A typical lawn can withstand damage from at least eight to ten grubs in a square foot of soil. However, larger grub populations weaken the turf and cause visible harm. Yard owners and professionals identify grub damage by the large, uneven patches of dry and thinning turf. Keep a look out for grub damage in late summer and early fall, as this is when grubs consume the most organic material to survive the winter.

Other lawn pests and diseases can cause patchy, brown spots in your lawn. If you’re unsure what’s causing your lawn problems, always reach out to a local lawn care professional. It’s better to be sure what’s causing harm to your turf before treating it than winging it.

How do they harm my grass?

Grubs have a taste for the thing you want them to avoid the most: Your grass roots. Specifically, grubs feed on the hairs of the roots that spread out within the soil and collect water. Without these root hairs, grass cannot effectively access water and will dehydrate. Water is essential to your grass’s daily functions, such as photosynthesis. If your grass cannot extract water from the earth, it will wither away, especially in the hotter months.

How can I prevent grubs?

Preventing a grub infestation is much easier than dealing with an existing infestation. The best thing that you can do to prevent grub damage is to maintain a healthy lawn. Routine watering, fertilizing, and thatching will keep your grass roots robust to withstand grub attacks. However, a grub infestation may sometimes be inevitable, so a more powerful preventative is needed.

Preventative measures help prevent chewing and sucking bugs like beetles from harming residential lawns. When applied in June or July, they protect your property from the next generation of grubs by controlling the newly hatched grubs in July. Preventative insecticides reduce grub populations by 75-100% when applied in early summer.

How can I treat a grub infestation?

If it’s too late to prevent grubs, Core Aeration and Overseeding your turf makes it less habitable for grubs because it reduces the layer of organic matter that shelters them. Applying a grub curative may be necessary to help protect new grass roots.

MissionGreen can safely recommend and apply the correct controls to your yard for more extreme infestations. Our lawn care team is professionally trained to find and rectify Grubs from your lawn.

See your lawn thrive with MissionGreen Services.

Grubs cause the most damage from August to October. Ensure your yard is protected by contacting your local lawn care professionals. We will work diligently to combat grub infestations and shield your yard from future pest generations.

Call us at (413) 998-7829 or RI (401) 475-9884 or email us at support@missiongreenservices.com to learn more about our year-round lawn care services. We can’t wait to serve your family and deliver results that exceed your expectations.