Grubs: Their Life Cycle Begins in July?
SCOTT: Mike, we need to spread the word about grubs and when they really start. The life cycle does not start in the springtime like everything else in the gardening world.
MIKE: Scott, I am so glad you asked. I am honestly going to inform you that the grubs you find in your lawn or garden in the spring, are not going to create any noticeable damage to your lawn or plants. These adult grubs are going to PUPATE into BEETLES. These beetles are going to cause major damage above ground by vigorously eating ornamental foliage. They are going to feast to their hearts content, mate, then the female lays her eggs. These eggs pupate around the middle of July, first of August.
SCOTT: Our readers and podcast listeners need to understand the timing of the grub life cycle in order to best save their lawn. Timing is how you win the battle and get the best bang for your buck!
MIKE: Hold off from doing anything too early. Purchase a granular, systemic grub control from your local garden center called “MERIT.” This needs to be applied to your lawn around mid-July. It’s important that you make sure to water it in. This systemic grub control is absorbed into the grass plant. As the grub begins to nibble on your lawns root system, Merit makes the grub think it is full and it will starve to death. Merit lasts12 weeks in a well-watered lawn.
SCOTT: That’s funny, well-watered, not really water from a well, but you mean on an efficiently watered lawn.
MIKE: Well done, Scott!
SCOTT: Like a tough steak…Moving on, another misconception is if you have moles, you have grubs. You helped prove this wrong, correct?
MIKE: For years the lawn industry was under the impression that the mole was after a delicious steak meal, aka the grub. The pros believed that, “If you eradicate the moles food source, you eliminate the mole.” That couldn’t have been farther from the truth! Ohio State University asked the boys at Black Diamond Lawn Service to catch as many moles as they could and ship them to OSU. Within a short period, the results were in. 200+ moles were dissected and the conclusion showed that 99.9% of the moles food source wasn’t the grub worm after all. They’re primary food source was the earthworm. Which is unfortunate as the earthworm is a beneficial for our soils.
SCOTT: I did recently learn that skunks and raccoons will dig up parts of a lawn looking to feast on grubs. Just a little FYI…
MIKE: Even deer can smell grub worms!
SCOTT: The bottom line is various grub killers only last for a few weeks to three months. So, if you laid that product down in the springtime, like some bags suggest, it won’t be effective when the new crop of damaging grubs start eating your grass’s root system. If you need a calendar event to remember the best time to apply grub killer, it’s just after the 4th of July.
Your Midwest Garden Podcast guys, Mike O’Rourke and Scott Sandstrom, will be sharing gardening advice and information with readers throughout the growing season. O’Rourke, retired from Black Diamond Garden Center and known as the Garden Guy for many years, discusses landscape issues with Sandstrom in a casual conversation designed to educate listeners, and now readers, on a wide variety of topics.