The Urban Gardener’s nightmare Grubs!!!

A discussion with a neighbor over the weekend has inspired me to write a series of posts this summer on The Urban Gardener. My version of the Urban Gardener is

  • someone who lives in the city or the burbs and has a few square feet of lawn
  • loves the idea of a pretty garden but does not have a lot of time to make it happen
  • does not want to use chemicals to deal with critters or otherwise

So what is one to do when all the snow is gone and so is all the grass? All that is left is a huge patch of dirt. The neighbors down the street have the same problem. The culprit is a little four letter word, “grub”.

grub lawn.jpg

A grub is the larvae of a beetle that feeds on grass roots. If there are more than 5 grubs per square meter then you have a problem. So what does a grub look like? If you are not squeamish then take a peek.
How can such a little creature destroy a whole lawn? Well in order to understand this you need to know the life cycle of the grub.

Let’s start with spring, the larvae feed on the roots of grass from mid-March to mid-May. Then comes the pupae stage and finally the Beetle emerges in mid-June and mate over a period of two weeks. They then lay their eggs in the soil. The eggs hatch and the grubs start to feed on the roots of the grass in late July to August. The grubs will burrow below the frost line in the fall however if it’s a warm winter or there is a thaw they will start to feed again.


Sometimes you will see a little hole in the grass, like someone has been digging, this is just another animal e.g a skunk, digging for food, r.e. grubs.

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