How to Identify & Treat Lawn Grub Infestations

Posted on November 28, 2018 by Greg Pelka

How to Identify & Treat Lawn Grub Infestations

As we enter into the hot summer months, it’s crucial to keep a look out for lawn grubs. The hot weather is peak time for the grubs to invade and ruin your beautiful lawn. Look out for these early signs so you can treat your lawn before it’s too late!

lawn grub example

Lawn Grub Infestation

Looking for grub activity

It’s easy to fall into a false sense of security when you have the greenest, healthiest lawn, it must be safe right? Wrong. Its important to look out for moths (brown, white or grey) hovering closely to your lawn, particularly as evening approaches. These moths actually target the healthiest lawns to lay their many, many eggs in. After just two days, the eggs become larvae that begin to feast on the lawn. They will continue to eat the grass for up to 24 days before laying their own eggs and starting the cycle again!

Lawn grubs have proven to be one of the tastiest options on the menu for birdlife. If you start to notice unusual amounts of birds flocking to your lawn during the evening or early morning, it could mean that the birds are targeting nocturnal grubs.

You may start to notice that although most of your lawn looks healthy and green, there are still some patches of brown lingering, despite the rest of the lawn being in perfect condition. This is a sign that lawn grubs could be feeding on the grass roots.

Take note of any sponginess on your lawn. If this reaches extremes, you might even see the lawn begin to roll back like a rug. This is a sure sign that the grubs are attacking the roots of the grass and separating the grass from the soil. 

Grub Types

It is worth noting that certain types of grass are more prone to grub damage than others. Those mostly at risk are couch grass, kikuyu grass and fescue grass, whereas buffalo species of grass are able to tolerate the damage of lawn grubs more than any other species of grass.

One type of larvae to look out for is the larvae of moths (species such as cutworm and armyworm). They have the same appearance of caterpillars and like to eat the leaves of the lawn. They attack mostly nocturnally and can be held responsible for the brown patches that appear on your lawn as they mostly cause damage to the surface.

Root feeding grubs have a likeness to witchetty grubs and are often mistaken as such, however these larvae are actually that of different species’ of scarab beetles (including cockchafers and Japanese beetles). They live underneath the soil’s surface and target the roots of the grass. This damage at the roots ultimately attacks the structure and causes the lawn to die. The larvae are most likely to attack in the summer months before they grow into adults in the winter. In appearance, they have a soft, white, curly body. 

Treating Lawn Grub Infestations

Although lawn grubs have a short life span, they can cause a lot of damage within that time, so it’s important to treat the problem as soon as signs appear.

Amgrow Lawn Grub & Beetle Killer is extremely effective in eradicating the problem of lawn grubs in your lawn. The best time to apply Amgrow to your lawn is between September and January or March. Sprinkle over the infected area and water in well.

This will ensure the treatment sinks deeply into the roots where the lawn grubs are feasting. To be sure that all grubs and eggs are completely eradicated, reapply the treatment a fortnight after your first application. 

It is always handy to keep Amgrow on hand, you may find lawn grubs to reappear every season so be alert to the signs. Be sure to fertilise your lawn after using Lawn Solutions Premium Fertiliser  to assist it in recovering and avoid any severe long-term damage to your lawn. Some species of grass (such as Sir Walter Buffalo) are able to self repair.


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Greg Pelka

We are a local, Sunshine Coast turf grass company with a committed team to providing a quality lawn. Like any small business it's the people who make it great. Above are the friendly staff you'll meet and deal with when ordering turf from Rosemount Turf.

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