Get grubs gone

October 10, 2019 -  By
Taking a preventive approach to dealing with grubs is often the most effective control method. Photo: Bayer

Taking a preventive approach to dealing with grubs is often the most effective control method. Photo: Bayer

Grub types vary depending on region, and populations change over time. Although this turf foe can be damaging in its larval stage, it has a complete life cycle. There are a few approaches to managing grubs. Here are a few tips for controlling European chafers and Japanese beetles, two prevalent types of this pest:

European chafer

These invasive species are good survivors. They are damaging to turf, especially toward the beginning of their life cycle, but they’re not as much of an issue in a well-irrigated lawn.

Spring irrigation creates turf that is not as favorable for laying eggs. Fall irrigation can help the turf withstand any root damage caused by the grubs. These chafers typically feed later in fall and start again in the spring.

Japanese beetle

These grubs develop by feeding on the thatch layer of a lawn. The invasive species feeds on grass roots in the spring and fall. These pests reach adulthood in July and can cause damage to leaves on a variety of plants.

Although irrigation helps maintain a healthy turf to defend against grub damage, irrigation may make areas attractive for the pests to lay eggs in June and July.


Like with many turfgrass issues, a preventive approach is ideal. The target time to apply an insecticide is during the grub’s first instar life stage.

Product applications can be made in late summer and early fall with active ingredients that include imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, chlorantraniliprole and clothianidin. Curative applications can be made with products that contain trichlorfoxn or carbaryl.

Sources: Rick Fletcher, Nufarm; David Shetlar, Ph.D., Ohio State University; David Smitley, Ph.D., Michigan State University.

This article is tagged with , and posted in Featured, September 2019, Turf+Ornamental Care
Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the senior digital media manager at Landscape Management's parent company, North Coast Media. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at

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