Grubs are a root eating larve that are found throughout the Kansas City area. They are a root eating insect, and since you can’t see underground, you won’t see the damage until it’s done.
Damage will not be seen until late August or early September. To avoid the damage these nasty guys cause, treatment needs to be applied by mid-to-late summer.
Grubs are one of the areas most common and destructive lawn pests. They cause the lawn to decline or die out in late summer and early fall. Grubs feed on the roots of healthy grass, limiting the plant’s ability to uptake water and nutrients. The most common turf species in our area, tall fescue and bluegrass, are both potentially affected.
Damage is most severe in the sunny parts of the lawn. Highly maintained lawns, those watered regularly during the summer, are more likely to suffer damage than low input turf. Controlling grubs before they cause the below ground damage is often a challenge and confusing. Success in controlling grubs is a combination of knowing the grub’s habit and proper chemical selection and application.
Identifying Grubs and Their Life Cycle
Grubs are the white C-shaped larvae of several types of beetles including June bugs and southern masked chafer. These ravenous feeders can be found almost year-round. In fact, finding a few grubs can be a sign of healthy soil.
The most common grub species is the southern masked chafer, which has a very predictable life cycle. Understanding that cycle aids in proper control strategies:
Adults lay eggs in the lawn during early to mid-summer
These eggs hatch in mid-August and start to feed. It is this feeding period that damages the lawn
Winter’s arrival forces the grubs deep into the soil
Come spring they move back to the soil surface and prepare to emerge, starting the cycle over