Lawn Grubs: How to Identify and Treat Them

Posted on October 15, 2021 by Ashlee Hall

With the weather warming up more and more as the days go on, it is incredibly important to keep a keen eye out for lawn grubs in your yard. The hot weather is the perfect time for the grubs to invade and ruin your beautiful lawn, so look out for these early signs so you can fix the problem before it arrives.

Lawn Grub Activity

If you have the greenest, healthiest lawn around, it must be safe from creepy crawlies like lawn grubs… right? Wrong. 

When looking for lawn pests, it is important to keep an eye out for a few things. Firstly, 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 and, after just two days, the eggs become larvae that begin to eat your turf. They will continue to eat for up to 24 days before laying their own eggs and… and the cycle starts all over again!

Lawn grubs have proven to be one of the tastiest options on the menu for birdlife, so, if you notice more birds than usual flocking to your lawn during the evening or early morning, it could mean that they are targeting nocturnal grubs. You may also start to notice that although most of your lawn looks healthy and green, there are still some brown patches that just won’t seem to go away. This is a sign that lawn grubs could be feeding on the grass roots, despite the rest of the yard looking healthy.

Finally, take note of any sponginess on your lawn. If this reaches extreme levels, 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, which is certainly not what you want in your turf.

Types of Lawn Grubs

Certain types of grass are more prone to grub damage than others, with the most at risk being couch grass, kikuyu grass and fescue grass. Buffalo species of grass are able to tolerate the damage of lawn grubs more than any other species of grass, which may be something to consider when looking at which turf variety to choose.

One type of larvae to look out for is the larvae of moths, which includes species such as cutworm and armyworm. These grubs have the same appearance as caterpillars and like to eat the leaves of the lawn, mostly attacking during the night. They can be held responsible for the brown patches that appear on your lawn as they mostly cause damage to the surface.

Grubs that favour root-feeding have a likeness to witchetty grubs and are often mistaken as such, however these larvae are instead a different species of scarab beetles (including cockchafers and Japanese beetles). They reside under the soil surface and target the roots of the grass, with damage at the roots ultimately attacking lawn structure and causing itto die. The larvae are most likely to attack in the summer months before they grow into adults in the winter and have a soft, white, curly body. 

Treating Lawn Grub Infestations

Although lawn grubs do not live for very long, they can cause a lot of damage within a small period of time. That is why it is so important to treat the problem as soon as signs appear, or even before where possible.

Amgrow Lawn Grub & Beetle Killer is extremely effective in eradicating the problem of lawn grubs in your lawn. The best time to apply Amgrow is between September and January or March, by sprinkling over the infected area and water in well. This will ensure the treatment sinks deeply into the roots where the lawn grubs are feasting and, to be sure that all grubs and eggs are completely eradicated, reapply the treatment a fortnight after your first application. 

We always recommend keeping Amgrow on hand, as you may find that lawn grubs 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.

Additionally, Acelepryn is another great choice. This is a product that we readily stock at Rosemount Turf and is a very sought after option, as it gives lawns six months protection from grubs. Acelepryn provides a safe and effective control on targeted insects and bugs, while minimising the impact on the environment and non-target organisms, such as bees and earthworms. It also:

  • Season long control.
  • Exemption from poison scheduling.
  • High turf safety and low environmental impact.
  • A flexible option for tight or difficult to access turf areas and around trees and other obstacles.
  • Ease of use with no spray equipment, no re-entry periods and no PPE requirements.
  • Ease of activation with a minimum of 3mm irrigation.

A 10kg bag will cover up to 1000m² of lawn - learn more about Acelepryn from Lawn Solutions Australia here: Prevention for turf weeds and pests | Oxafert & Acelepryn GR - YouTube

If you would like further assistance when it comes to lawn grubs, their treatment or any other lawn questions and queries, give Rosemount Turf a call today!

Resources:

How to Identify Lawn Grubs | Lawn Solutions Australia

Resources:

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