Grub Worm Control
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Grub Worm Control

Description: Adult beetles, commonly referred to as May beetles or June bugs are 1/2 to 5/8 inches long and reddish brown. White grubs are "C"-shaped larvae, up to 1 inch long, with cream-colored bodies and brown head capsules. They have three pairs of legs, one on each of the first three body segments.

Life Cycle: Adults begin to emerge in spring. During adult flights large numbers of beetles can be attracted to lights. Peak flights occur in mid to late June in central Texas. Females, less attracted to lights, tunnel 2 to 5 inches into the soil and deposit eggs. In 3 to 4 weeks, small grubs (larvae) hatch from eggs and develop through three stages (instars), with the first two stages lasting about 3 weeks. The last larval stage remains in the soil from the fall through spring. In spring and early summer, white grubs pupate 3 to 6 inches deep in the soil. Adults emerge from pupae in about 3 weeks. There is one generation per year, but in north Texas, development may take two years the first three segments behind the head.

Pest Status: Larval stages eat roots of grasses, vegetable and ornamental plants; Adults can be a nuisance around lights at night in early summer; medically harmless.

Knowing when you have a problem. White grub damage can be detected by the presence of irregular-shaped areas of weakened or dying grass in the lawn. Less severely damaged turf lacks vigor and is more vulnerable to invasion by weeds. Depending on location within the state, damage may appear any time between the months of June and October. Turf grass damaged by white grubs has a reduced root system and is easily pulled from the soil. Grubs should be readily found in the top few inches of soil, in the turf grass root zone. Turf grass usually recovers from white grub damage by fall or the following spring.

Control: Proper timing of granular chemical applications is critical to suppressing white grubs. Treatments must be applied early enough to kill the smaller (less than 1/2 inch long) larvae. Once white grubs reach the third-instar life stage, they are more difficult to control. Post-treatment irrigation is essential for all grub-control treatments to ensure that insecticides reach the root zone.

Grub Worm Control