Grubs are the larval form of several different species of scarab beetles. A grub infestation often produces dead brown or yellow patches in a lawn and affects gardens as well. Grubs damage plants by feeding on the roots, which causes the plant to wither and die.
Grubs are easy to identify. They are usually found in the top 3 inches of soil. A grub is a dirty-white C-shaped larva with a brown head. Animals such as moles or skunks feeding in the area may be another symptom of a grub infestation.
The beetles that lay their eggs in the soil prefer moist, well-irrigated locations. If possible, gardeners should water sparingly during July and August to make the soil less attractive to the beetles. The beetles also prefer open areas free of trees and shrubs as well as areas near outside lights.
Ten or more grubs per square foot are necessary to justify treatment. They can be handpicked out of the soil in a small garden. Lawn aerator sandals, which have spikes on the sole, can also kill the grubs. Chemical controls include the insecticides Diazinon, Trichlorfon and Imidacloprid. These chemicals may take up to three weeks to kill the grubs; however, treated grubs do very little damage.
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