If there are patches of dead lawn or areas of turf that will pull up easily, it is likely that grubs have jeopardized the root system. Grub damage is one of the top causes of lawn damage and will typically go unnoticed until the damage is done.
Life Cycle of Grubs
White grubs are the larva of beetles and emerge from the ground in early June and go back into the ground in August. When they return to the ground they begin eating on the root system of the turf. Unfortunately, the better kept the lawn the more enticing it is to grubs.
The Damage Caused
When the root system has been eaten by grubs, the turf dies because it is not getting the nutrients from the soil like it needs. Patches of discolored grass is the first sign that damage has been done. A lawn that will easily pull out of the ground is another sign that there is a problem. Unfortunately, these two signs also mean that the damage has already been done and curative actions are needed to kill the grubs as well as seeding or installing sod to replace the dead turf.
In addition to the damage caused by grubs, damage from birds, raccoons, mice, and moles may be present. These animals feed on grubs as well as earthworms and other insects. If a grub control application has not been applied to the lawn and an increase in animal activity is noticed, it might be a sign that grubs are present within the lawn. Unfortunately, a grub control application will not keep these animals out of your lawn because the grubs are only a small portion of their food source. As long as these animals are finding food within the lawn, they will stay within that lawn.
Prevention and Curative Action
Prevention is a lot easier and a lot more cost effective than curative actions. Preventing grubs is an annual treatment with a pellet that is applied during early June and throughout July. This grub control application becomes effective once it has been watered in and breaks down into the soil.
Curative insecticides can be applied once grubs have done their damage. Unfortunately, the curative is more costly than the preventative. In addition to the cost of the curative, seeding or applying sod to the affected areas is necessary to replace the dead turf.
Sum it up
A larger animal presence in conjunction with dead or dying patches in the lawn is a good sign that grubs are present. It is important to have an annual grub control application to prevent damage from the grubs before it happens to avoid costly curative and repairing actions.
If you are ever unsure of what to do, how to handle a job, or just too short on time it is best to call a professional to be sure the job is being done correctly. Look around, ask friends or family, and research companies on the Better Business Bureau to find a company that you can trust.