By Dr. Robert Moon, Horticulturalist
I just sent out information about armyworms eating through your turf and now along comes another lawn-eating insect: grubworms. This insect is stealthier because it is working under your turf. Grubworms are the larvae stage of that late spring, early summer, pesky June beetle that swarms around your lights. When you see them spinning on the ground, they are actually working their way down into the soil through the grass so they can lay their eggs. These eggs hatch and turn into root-eating grubworms. As they eat their way through your lawn, the grass turns brown because the grubs have eaten the roots. If grubworms are present, you can walk across your lawn and feel it slipping under your feet, much like newly laid sod. In fact, you can reach down and pull up your sod just like it was new.
For control of grubworms, apply a granular lawn grub control product. There are several on the market and that can be purchased at your local garden supply store. Follow all label directions when applying. If you have not yet fertilized your turf, do so now to help with recovery from the damage. If the rain stops, water your lawn to help it regrow roots before it goes into dormancy.
For some of you this has been a double whammy with the armyworms and grubworms. The good news is that they can be controlled! Continue to monitor your turf and treat when you find these pests!