UPDATE April 2008– if you are finding grubs in your lawn this Spring, click here. But if you are reading this in summer or fall, then stay here and read the rest… free lawn care advice follows!… (and yes, I’ll tell you if BEER works on grubs too)
UPDATE JUNE 2009– see the video below for more info on a special grub worm killer that will work for many of you who have trouble watering your lawns in the hot summer months.
Here in the Midwest and Chicago area (and many other parts of the USA), the dreaded grub worm (larvae of the June bug) is preparing for it’s annual late Summer feast. And, since you have been a regular reader of this blog, you certainly are a prime candidate because you’ve followed all of my advice to the letter, and your lawn is perfectly healthy and green; ripe for an all-you-can-eat frenzy.
With White Grubs, timing is everything
If you are reading this article in September or October, and seeing brown spots in your well-irrigated lawn, chances are that grubs are the culprit. All you have to do is lift up the outer edges of the dead spots and look for the “little shrimp” feeding underneath. If you find them, go get some Sevin or other granular insecticide and spread it across the affected areas and water it in. This will kill the grubs and stop them in their tracks.
But if you are reading this article and it is around the timeframe of June or July, then you should put down a preventative insecticide in your lawn to STOP the grubs. I have noticed grub worm populations rising in the last couple of years. 2007 was the worst year I have seen in decades of green industry involvement, and 2008 is poised to be the same or worse.
When buying a grub worm preventative, you should look for one containing a long lasting grub worm preventative! The product Merit is the industry standard grub preventing product. It must be watered in to the soil to be effective. Scott’s Grub-X contains Merit and is a good product for the DIYer. But there is an inherint problem with Scott’s grub X and that is that it contains high nitrogen fertilizer mixed with it and this is the worst thing you can put on your lawn in the hot summer! Nitrogen PUSHES overgrowth… not a good thing in hotter months! (see vid below)
There are also organic grub preventative products, such as milky spore, that do have some effect on grubs, but they must be applied several times over the course of the season. Plan to spend a few bucks to go organic in this particular area of lawn care. I respect you if you do!
Beer and Grub Worms
Some idiot came out a few years ago and said that beer kills grub worms. The truth is that enough beer will kill anything, including you. So, yes, beer kills grubs, and here’s how.
You need to soak the lawn clear into the soil with full strenght beer (not watered in because that waters it down too much). The grass plants take in the beer thru their roots and when the grubs feed, they “feel full” and quit eating and die. (this is the same way that the chemical grub control works also, using a compound referred to as a “neonicatanoid.”.. comes from “nicotine” like in cigarettes)
Anyway, so beer will work; sort-of, but let’s logic together first.
Using beer is an expensive way to go. It would take a case of beer to cover a 10′ x 10′ spot completely, costing you about $15 for a 100 sq ft area. (assuming you drink Bud or Lite and not Old Mil-Water) You could get a real grub control that would cover your entire 5,000 sq foot lawn for that amount.
Beer stinks like feet when it rots in the sun. Don’t ask me how I know this, but trust me, it smells really bad when it rots.
How would you put it down? Are you going to just pour it out of the bottle? That won’t be even coverage.
It’s just plain alcohol abuse to waste good beer on your grass! Beer is for drinking by the pool with some chips and salsa!
Finally, who says that beer is a good alternative for the environment anyway? It rots your liver, so how good can it be for the earthworms’ livers? (well, gizzards anyway) Remember, earthworms are good for you lawn and soil and we don’t want to kill them in the process!
Whatever you do, be sure that you do something! I wouldn’t want your little patch of green love to be damaged by nasty grub worms this summer and fall.
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