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Grubs are the C-shaped white larvae of various beetle species found in Michigan. Adult beetles lay eggs just below ground level in lawns from late June through September. Although grubs will feed on a wide variety of plant roots including ornamental trees, shrubs, and garden plants, their most significant damage is done to turf grass roots.
Grubs can cause serious damage to drought-stressed turf and can even harm irrigated turf. Drought-stressed turf may be killed when grub populations reach as little as 5 - 10 grubs per square foot. Regularly irrigated turf may be able to withstand up to 20 grubs per square foot before permanent damage occurs.
Turf grass that is being damaged by grubs first appears off-color, as if under water stress. Irrigating causes a short-lasting recovery or may provide no response at all due to the damage to the root system of the turf. The turf can usually be easily pulled back to reveal the grubs. Large populations of grubs kill the turf in irregular patches. Proper irrigation in the late summer and early fall can minimize or prevent turf damage if grub populations are not too high.
A secondary concern of grub activity is skunks, raccoons, and birds that feed on the grubs. These nuisance animals can tear up large patches of turf as they search and dig for grubs.
The best control of grubs is obtained by targeting the young larvae in late summer or early fall. Preventative treatments such as Merit (Imidacloprid), or Mach 2 or Grubex (halofenazide), are applied in June or July.
Curative treatments can applied after grub eggs hatch in mid-August and up until the end of October.
Lawns should be irrigated after a grub control treatment is applied to move the grub control product into the root zone of the turf.
Grubs burrow deep into the soil to overwinter when the weather begins to cool in late October or early November. Grubs move back up to the turf roots in the spring and will do some feeding in April and May. Attempting grub control in the spring isn’t usually recommended, however, because of a combination of the size of the grubs and the minimal amount of feeding they are doing.
 Lawn Grubs
How to help control Japanese Beetle
Lawn Grubs. Photo: Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Japanese Beetle adult feeding. Photo: Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
tree service in Lake Orion, MI
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Owen Lawn Care provides Lawn, Tree, and Landscape services to the following cities and towns:
Genesee County, Michigan:
● Burton
● Davison
● Flushing
● Goodrich
● Linden
● Otisville
● Clio
● Fenton
● Gaines
● Grand Blanc
● Montrose
● Otter Lake
● Flint
● Genesee
● Lennon
● Mt Morris
● Swartz Creek
Lapeer County, Michigan:
● Almont
● Brown City
● Columbiaville
● Imlay City
● Metamora
● Peck
● Attica
● Clifford
● Dryden
● Lapeer
● North Branch
● Sandusky
● Hadley
● Mayville
● Otter Lake
● Silverwood
Macomb County, Michigan:
● Armada
● Clinton Twp
● Grosse Pointe
● Macomb
● New Haven
● St Clair Shores
● Centerline
● Detroit
● Grosse Pointe Farms
● Ray
● Sterling Heights
● Chesterfield
● Eastpointe
● Grosse Pointe Shores
● Memphis
● Romeo
● Utica
● Clinton
● Fraser
● Grosse Pointe Woods
● Mt Clemens
● Roseville
● Warren
● Harrison Twp
● New Baltimore
● Shelby Twp
● Washington
Oakland County, Michigan:
● Auburn Hills
● Bloomfield Village
● Ferndale
● Leonard
● Orion
● South Lyon
● Berkley
● Clarkston
● Franklin
● Madison Heights
● Ortonville
● Southfield
● Beverly Hills
● Clawson
● Hazel Park
● Milford
● Oxford
● Troy
● Bingham Farms
● Commerce Twp
● Highland
● Novi
● Pleasant Ridge
● Walled Lake
● Birmingham
● Davisburg
● Holly
● Oak Park
● Pontiac
● Waterford
● Bloomfield
● Detroit
● Huntington Woods
● Oakland
● Rochester
● West Bloomfield
● Bloomfield Hills
● Farmington
● Lake Orion
● Oakland Twp
● Rochester Hills
● White Lake
● Farmington Hills
● Lathrup Village
● Orchard Lake
● Royal Oak
● Wixom
St. Clair County, Michigan:
● Algonac
● Casco
● East China
● Harbor Beach
● Lexington
● Peck
● Allenton
● Clay
● Emmett
● Harsens Island
● Marine City
● Port Huron
● Berlin
● Clyde
● Fair Haven
● Jeddo
● Marysville
● Richmond
● Brockway
● Columbus
● Fort Gratiot
● Kimball
● Memphis
● Sandusky
● Capac
● Cottrellville
● Goodells
● Lakeport
● North Street
● St Clair