larvae in the ground of an Omaha lawn

What are grubs, and are they bad for my Omaha lawn?

The definition of grub has two meanings. The first is “the larva of an insect, especially a beetle.” The second is a noun meaning “food.” This is interesting because grubs are an edible source of protein and fat. Described as tasting like chicken when roasted (really!), they are ranked #4 in backpacker.com’s list of edible insects! Whether you are adventurous and decide to add grubs to your diet or not, that is entirely up to you! Few in the Omaha metro area embrace grubs as a snack. They do, however, often come across grubs when planting gardens and working in their yards each summer. So today we will focus on the first definition, and talk about how these insects can wreak havoc on your lawn, and how to protect your lawn’s root system.

Scarab beetles have a one-year lifecycle. The grubs you see are scarab beetles during the larvae stage. They are creamy white, C-shaped and hungry. The roots of your turfgrass are on their menu and they eat until they reach maturity. Once adulthood is reached, they cause fewer problems to your grass but are still a nuisance, because after mating, the female tunnels into the soil to lay eggs. The eggs hatch three weeks later, and a new cycle begins. New grubs hatch mid to late June.

Grubs like warm weather, so sunny areas of your yard are most susceptible. Often mistaken for drought or sun damage, small brown, dead patches in your lawn may very well be the result of grubs. This can be confirmed if the patch pulls back easily like a carpet roll and there are white grubs just under the surface.

According to the Nebraska Extension Office, a few grubs in your yard are not worrisome. Too many though are capable of “destroying the entire root system of the plant.” Plus, left alone, those big, fat grubs are a delicacy for area wildlife. By August, brown patches turn into dug up areas where raccoons and other critters tear into your yard to literally “grub.”

Paradise Lawns can help you keep grub numbers to a reasonable level and keep your grass root system healthy all summer long. We do this by treating in June as the eggs are beginning to hatch and again in August if needed. We offer two options for grub control. The first is a product called “Acelepryn.” This product provides systemic, preventative control. It is non-toxic and won’t harm pollinators because it only kills insects that chew on roots. The second is an organic, biological control. It is also non-toxic to pollinators, people and pets.

Why go with non-toxic?

Even with the recent attention about the detrimental effects of chemicals contributing to the reduction in the population of bees, most of our competitors are slow to take notice and change their treatment plans. So, when gathering information, please ask our competitors what they use for grub control and how it impacts pollinators. We pride ourselves in knowing that we are doing all that we can to keep your lawn healthy under the surface while everything above stays safe.

If you find brown patches in your yard, call Paradise Lawns right away and we will assist you with grub control in a safe and effective way.