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By Teresa Bigham / The Hesperian-Beacon—
FLOYD COUNTY – Knowing how to detect grub worms is the key to treating them.
Lawn grubs live in the soil, living off grass roots, leaving lawns brown and unattractive. These pests can damage the lawn, plants and trees.
Visible lawn grub damage can be seen from summer to early fall. Look for irregular brown patches on the lawn. To determine the extent of the infestation, dig up a small section of lawn typically more than five grub worms per ¼ square foot warrants grub control.
The best time to apply grub treatment is in the late summer or early fall while the grubs are still smaller. They are also less susceptible to treatment in the spring.
When choosing insecticides for lawn grubs it is important to consider the various types. Consult a greenhouse for chemicals that are appropriate for your area, or there is a natural grub treatment.
For those choosing the natural way to treat these pests, there are several options available. All of which are considered safe and effective. These natural treatments include milky spore, neem oil and nematodes. All of these should be available in most garden centers.
Milky Spore is a disease that can effectively treat lawn grubs and is environmentally safe. Spores are applied to affected lawn areas. When using this treatment, it infects lawn grubs as they feed. Once the grubs die and decompose, additional spores are released to help prevent further infections.
Neem oil is a botanical pesticide containing properties. Neem oil works more as a repellant against Japanese beetles and lawn grubs. This treatment inhibits egg laying, growth and feeding. Neem oil is mixed with water and sprayed onto affected lawn areas.
The other natural treatment is beneficial nematodes. These are tiny, soil dwelling worms that release bacteria into the soil that infects and kills lawn grubs. Nematodes are available in liquid form or mixed with water and sprayed onto affected areas.
Once residents know how to detect grub worms and how to get rid of them, they’ll be better equipped to treat the problem more effectively.