Published: June 2, 2020

How to choose and when to apply grub control products for your lawn

Contact(s): Joy Landis Integrated Pest Management office: (517) 353-4951, David Smitley Department of Entomology, Terry Davis Department of Entomology, Erica Hotchkiss Department of Entomology

Not all the grub control products on store shelves will be effective this spring. Here’s how to choose and use the right one for your lawn.

Before doing anything, it is important to make sure the problem is grubs. In the last 10 years, the amount of European chafer damage to home lawns in southern Michigan has steadily decreased to the point where it is unusual now to find populations high enough to damage turf. However, as European chafers and Japanese beetles have spread northward, lawns and other low maintenance turf areas in much of the Lower Peninsula north of Lansing and in the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula are seeing more damage. The outbreak phase where turf damage is common may last five to 10 years.

If you see a dead patch, use a shovel to dig up a few Frisbee-size samples of turf around the bare spot to a depth of 2 inches and look for 0.75-inch long, C-shaped white grubs. These are most likely the larvae of European chafers if they are found in lawns without an irrigation system.

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