How to Repair Lawn After Grub Damage

Although they are not as visible as other pests, grubs can be equally, if not more, damaging. As sub-surface insects, grubs can silently wreak havoc on your lawn. Their damage often goes unnoticed until it's too late. They feed on grass roots, weakening your lawn and inviting further issues, such as attracting critters that feast on these larvae.

Understanding what grubs are, how to control them, and repair the damage they cause is crucial for maintaining a healthy lawn. NutriPod®, a trusted provider of lawn fertilizers, shares tips on restoring your lawn after grub damage.

What are Grubs?

Grubs are the larvae of various beetle species, such as Japanese beetles, June beetles, and European chafers. They have soft, white bodies with legs near their heads. Despite their adult forms looking completely different, these grubs share a common defensive behavior of curling into a C shape when disturbed.

They are mostly dormant in winter, staying deep in the soil until warmer weather sets in. They become active in spring through early summer, feeding on grass roots, foliage, and other organic matter, resulting in significant plant damage.

As grubs mature into adult beetles, they emerge from the soil to mate and lay eggs near their feeding sites. Adult beetles live for 1-3 years, producing new grubs that further damage your lawn, leading to persistent infestations.


Signs of Grub Damage in Your Lawn

Because grubs feed on the roots, they can cause the grass to lose its ability to hold onto the soil, leading to sections of your lawn pulling up like freshly laid sod. This can result in a squishy feel when walking on the lawn, suggesting a potential grub infestation. With a lack of access to water and nutrients, grubs may also cause the grass to wilt and turn a brown color, leaving unsightly dead patches in your lawn.

To check for grubs, pull up some grass—if it peels back easily, you may find white grubs underneath. Other signs of a grub infestation include:

  • Yellowing grass that feels spongy underfoot.
  • Brown, patchy grass that appears randomly across your lawn.
  • A lawn that looks drought-stricken despite regular maintenance and watering efforts.
  • Presence of critters like possums, skunks, and raccoons that enjoy eating grubs.
  • Significant presence of moths or beetles flying around at grass level, indicating they may be laying eggs.
  • Actual sightings of white grubs when you pull up a section of your turf about 2-4 inches deep.

Grub Control: How to Address and Prevent Grub Infestations

Grubs are naturally present on your lawn, but they become problematic when their numbers are too high for your lawn to recover fast enough from grub damage.

You can control grub populations naturally by attracting natural predators like birds by adding bird feeders, birdhouses, or birdbaths to your yard. They peck at them, which is less damaging to your lawn than other critters. Lawn maintenance practices such as aerating and dethatching can also help control grubs by disrupting their habitat and making it less hospitable for them.

Meanwhile, conventional grub control methods involve using broad-spectrum pesticides, available in granular or liquid form, to eliminate various insects, including grubs. Use protective gear and follow packaging instructions when applying these chemicals to prevent damage to your lawn.


How to Fix Grub Damage

Significant grub damage can leave your lawn with dead grass and roots, which, on the brighter side, provides an opportunity to start anew with healthier and more resilient grass. Rake your lawn to remove the dead material and loosen and aerate the soil simultaneously, improving soil structure and providing a clean slate for your new grass.

Grass plugs are an excellent solution for establishing a new lawn or repairing damaged grass. They are more cost-effective than sod and establish faster than seeds, being essentially mature grass with established root systems. Moreover, they require less water to establish, and under favorable conditions, they spread faster, reducing the risk of pests and weeds. We have previously published a step-by-step guide on how to start a lawn with SodPods® grass plugs.

After grass plugging, ensure regular watering to keep the soil consistently moist for the first 10-14 days to help with the establishment. Following this initial period, you can switch to your regular lawn care routine, watering at least once a week, depending on your grass type. For example, warm-season grass varieties like Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine need at least one inch of water per week, adjusting based on weather conditions.


Restore Soil Health with NutriPod® Lawn Fertilizer

NutriPod® is a great solution for restoring your lawn. We provide a slow-release granular fertilizer designed specifically for grass plugs, providing a gradual and steady supply of essential nutrients as they establish in their environment.

This slow-release feature reduces the risks of over-fertilizing and nutrient leaching, often associated with traditional granular or liquid lawn fertilizers. Place each pod into the planting hole before planting your grass plugs, and let NutriPod® grass plug fertilizer help your lawn thrive. Remember, it's important to only work on restoring your lawn once you're sure that you've dealt with the grub problem.

Visit the NutriPod® website for more lawn care tips.

The traditional methods of fertilizing plants can often be messy, inaccurate, and detrimental to the ecosystem.

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