Grub Worms and Junebugs

By: Bio-Tech Pest Control | Published 05/29/2018

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Grub worms-the larval form of the adult June beetle, or Junebug as we like to refer to them here in the south. Worried about them damaging your lawn?

One early indicator is to watch for birds, raccoons, skunks or other animal activity foraging on your yard. But since they probably won’t eat them all, and if you have fun-loving dogs like mine that will chase birds and other grub seekers away, the grub worms may still be present doing their worst. They will not be visible unless you’ve noticed damage and have pulled on some of the turf grass to reveal the grub worms below. One test is to gently tug on a patch of grass. Is the grass attached well or does it easily lift and separate from the underlying soil? If it does lift easily, pull up the grass and look for white, C-shaped insect with brown head and 6 distinct brown legs. The larvae live underground and will eat the roots of grass and other organic matter nearby. The grubs evolving now will be entering the adult stage known as the June beetle, or June bug. Once the beetles are out, they will be active at night, attracted to lights and will hide during the day. After mating, the adult beetle will usually lay her eggs a few inches into the soil during the summer. The eggs will hatch within a couple weeks of this time and begin actively feeding near the surface soil, usually from August to October. Most damage from white grubs will occur mid-summer to early fall, when larvae are actively feeding and can be detected by the presence of weakened or dying grass. We recommend treating early Spring when adult beetles are emerging and early Fall on southern lawns.

Timing and material application are critical to the control of both the larvae and the adult Junebugs. This semi-annual recommendation will allow a preventative application- before the eggs are laid or a curative application, when the grubs are actively feeding in the fall. Another important note is proper irrigation both before and after treatment to improve the effectiveness of the material used and encourage the grubs to move closer to the treated soil surface. Grubs tend to stay deep in the soil when conditions are dry so irrigation to bring them to the surface is crucial.

Be sure to contact Bio-Tech Pest Control if you have any yard insect questions or to schedule a service at 281-296-6022.

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