Taking care of your lawn is something that everyone has to get done at some point, unless they live in an apartment or another housing that doesn’t have a lawn. If you do have a lawn, then you know that trying to make sure that your lawn looks good is something that can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you live in an area that is prone to bugs that are known for destroying the growing grass. In fact, there are thousands of types of bugs and other insects that can cause damage to your lawn and negatively affect its appearance.
No matter if you are actively trying to practice good lawn care or you are simply looking at your lawn because you notice that there might be some discoloration or something wrong with it, there’s a chance that you might come across some bugs. Naturally, there are some bugs that are completely safe for your lawn and even beneficial in a number of circumstances. Likewise, there are also bugs that can cause trouble for your lawn as well.
An important part of caring for your lawn is being able to make the distinction between the beneficial bugs and the ones that are the source of your lawn troubles. A good example of one such bug is the grub worm. Grub worms, which can sometimes fall under the names of “grubs,” “lawn grubs,” “white grubs,” and “turf grubs,” are insects that you may find in your lawn, especially if you have turf grass covering it.
Grub worms, to be more specific about them, are not actually a type of worm. They are larvae from a few types of beetles that would be local to your location. In this stage of life, these beetles can wreak havoc on your grass roots, causing considerable damage to your lawn that you cannot necessarily wait out for the beetle to grow.
The Grub Worm and its Origins
The grub worm typically presents as a C-shaped white or cream-colored worm-like creature. Their bodies are slick and somewhat shiny. They tend to have a burnt orange head and they have six legs at the front of their bodies. They can sometimes take on the color of your soil as you can see what they have eaten through their translucent exoskeleton.
Depending on what larva the worm is from, its shape will differ. There are four main beetle species that the grub worm will come from that are commonly found in North America, though the most common origin is from Japanese beetles. Grub worms coming from this beetle are most common in the Northeastern United States and can be found in parts of Canada and other isolated areas in the rest of the states.
May and June beetles are also where grub worms can originate from. There are hundreds of these species around the country, although only a handful of them are actually pests to the garden and lawn. These species are most common during the months of May and June, and because these bugs are larvae, the worms will be most common shortly before this period.
Grub worms can also come from Oriental beetles, which were introduced to the continental United States in the 1920s. This species of beetle is most common on the Eastern coastline of the United States, ranging from Maine to South Carolina, and they can be as far west as Wisconsin. These beetles are mostly active during July, so you can expect their larvae to appear about a month beforehand.
The final species that a grub worm can originate from is from the Northern and Southern Masked Chafers. The northern masked chafer can be found across the Northeastern states while the southern masked chafer can be found across the Southern states.
Why Are Grub Worms a Problem?
Grub worms are problems for people who have lawns and especially people who have turf lawns. Grub worms of all different origins will eat grass roots for their main source of nutrition. One can tell how this can completely devastate any lawn or turf that you might have on your property.
There is very little that is beneficial about grub worms. The only use that they might have is being able to be food for a reptile or as fish bait, if you are into either of those two hobbies. Aside from that, grub worms have no physical benefit to your yard and when you first notice that you have a grub worm problem, you should begin making calls to see who can help get rid of them.
Getting Rid of Your Grub Worms
Thankfully, despite how problematic grub worms can be for your lawn, they are pretty easy to get rid of. Of course, you can contact a pest control company and make use of the plethora of pesticides that are out there, but this comes with its own set of problems, such as releasing harmful chemicals into the atmosphere around your yard and ruining a garden, as pesticides are usually incredibly harsh chemicals.
This is the most straightforward way of dealing with them, but it is also the most problematic. There are several other natural methods that you can try first.
One thing you can consider is purchasing some nematodes. There are beneficial nematodes that will not only benefit your yard, but they will also hunt down the grubs and kill them so that they no longer pose a problem to your garden or lawn. They often come on a sponge that you soak in water and then spray that water onto the infested area to transport the nematodes. Nematodes will also get rid of other pests, such as flies, making them a multipurpose solution.
You can also make use of using a synthetic fertilizer. Grub worms will eat the grass roots and any other roots of anything you are growing in the area, and the plants will absorb whatever synthetic fertilizer you have, so the grubs will also consume the synthetic products of that fertilizer.
Synthetic fertilizer may not be as natural as organic fertilizer, but for this purpose it will both get rid of your grub problem and benefit the grass that you are growing.