I wrote about the life-cycle of the grub and the result of an invasion. The next step is to get rid of the grubs.
The first thing that comes to mind are chemicals however this is not the best solution. Other animals/birds that prey on the grubs are now exposed to these chemicals thus harming them. These chemicals will eventually enter the water table hence entering the water supply which will affect water plants/fish.
Secondly application of chemicals only take care of the problem for the current season as new larvae will be present in the fall and your lawn could be “dirt” by spring again needing more applications of chemicals.
Planting new grass is not an option as the grubs will eat the roots again. The best option are the “go green” solutions.
The simplest is to get a pet to eat the grubs i.e. a skunk for example. You will get free aeration at the same time : ) Seriously though what are the options?
- hand pick the beetles
- it’s the best time to turn the patch of dirt into a flower bed or rock garden
- beneficial nematodes
- milky spore
Flower beds or rock gardens are very easy to maintain especially if they are mulched well. More on that later this summer.
Beneficial nematodes are naturally occurring organisms that are not harmful to humans, pets, wildlife, birds, soil, earthworms, water sources or the atmosphere. Nematodes migrate through the soil finding insect larvae by detecting either a slight increase in temperature or release of methane gas. The nematodes enter the larvae and release a symbiotic bacteria within days. This kills the host.
Milky spore are beneficial bacteria, more specifically “Bacillus popilliae”. It infects the Japanese Beetles with Milky Spore disease. The disease paralyzes and kills the host grub. When the dead grub breaks down, it releases billions of new spores into the soil. This in turn will infect and kill other grubs. An infected grub will die within one to three weeks of being infected by Milky Spores.
It requires only one application but it could take 2 to 4 years to have any significant effect. This one application could last up to 15 years due to the release of new spores into the soil. Milky spore are not affected by freezing or other adverse conditions.? They are generally not affected by most fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides or other lawn care products.
There you have it two green solutions to getting rid of them grubs.