— Written July 2018
When it comes to caring for your lawn, can we please use science and not what you found on Google or happen to see on a store shelf?
Now please do not get me wrong — I really like and use Google a lot. But you must consider where the info is coming from. Ask yourself: “Are they trying to sell me something or get some type of info from me?”
When it comes to lawn grass there actually is a lot of great info out there on the web. The problem is there is more bad than good.
There are four science-based, regionally-relevant sources I would recommend sticking to:
- Purdue University Extension – www.turf.purdue.edu/homeowner.html
- Michigan State University Extension – https://www.canr.msu.edu/home_gardening/lawns/index
- Ohio State University Extension www.ohioline.osu.edu/findafactsheet … and of course
- Red Hen Turf Farm’s website www.redhenturf.com and blog www.redhenturf.com/blog
We get our info from the first three sources.
With that out of my system, let us talk about one of this year’s number one questions asked: What do I do about Grubs?
First, let’s talk about whether you NEED to apply any products in the first place. Almost every yard has grubs. Most grubs do very little harm. However, most expert entomologists believe that until you reach 5-10 grub larvae per square foot, there are not enough of them in one location to do damage to your lawn, and until you are seeing 5-10 grubs per square foot, there likely is no need to even consider using chemical insecticides to kill them. But, let’s assume you are concerned you have enough grubs to do some damage.
When it comes to choosing a product to apply, it may seem there is an endless number of choices that are for sale. I really believe many homeowners waste way too much money and time applying the wrong product. Basically, there are two main factors to look at when it comes to choosing a product to kill grubs: (1) the time of the year you are applying it, and (2) what type of grub you want killed.
(By the way — Yes! There are different beetles that include a grub / larvae stage of their life cycles, and No! grubs are not a main food source for moles … Read more HERE.)
Generally, timing on managing grubs is important to consider, and the type of chemical you’re using is more or less effective at different times of the year. Purdue’s 2017 article “TURFGRASS INSECTS MANAGING WHITE GRUBS IN TURFGRASS” by Douglas S. Richmond, Turfgrass Entomology Extension Specialist does into great detail about this – HERE’s THE LINK
Let’s focus on the time of year that it currently is — early July 2018.
If you put down a product that includes Merit or Dylox (Red Hen carries both), water it into the soil and follow other label directions for control of many types of grubs. You notice I said “many”.
There is a product on the market that is called Milky Spore. Now, Milky Spore is a great product, but only for Japanese’s beetle larvae. There are 7 types of annual and multi-annual white grubs that are common in the Midwest. If you believe the only beetle to lay eggs in your yard is going to be the Japanese’s beetle, then go and buy it. But not from Red Hen. My job is to save people time and money, and Milky Spore goes against both of those values.
There are more great products out there that can be applied this time of year. But we all need to read the label to save time and money. Let’s use science this year, and always consider whether the source of your information is reliable.
Until next time, Jeremy
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Want to Dive Deeper into the Subject of Grubs?
- Red Hen’s previous blog posts that include info on Grubs – CLICK HERE
- Purdue University Extension’s article, “Managing White Grubs in Turfgrass” – CLICK HERE
- Michigan State University Extension’s article, “What are the alternatives to grub control insecticides?” – CLICK HERE
- Michigan State University Extension’s article, “How to choose and when to apply grub control products for your lawn” — CLICK HERE
- Ohio State University Extensions article, “Identification of White Grubs in Turfgrass” — CLICK HERE