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Got Grubs, what to do?

2968 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  BOSOX
I thought my lawn was just burned from the big time heat this summer. I didn't water it at all, firgured it would burn and come back in the fall, but it hasn't come back. I've been fussing with my front lawn for years and for a stretch of a couple years it was really nice, looked like a thick rug. Not anymore!! So last weekend I cut it really low and raked it out with a steel rake. Lifted the deck and ran over again to pick up all the thatch. The burned grass, when I raked just came out with no roots and left bare soil. After that I spike aerated it, re-seeded and spread Starter Fertilizer. Watering it once a day in the AM and hoping it will fill in pretty good. I use Kentucky Bluegrass as I like the way the yard looks with it. Now what do i do about the Grubs. Should I put Grub X down now, or wait until the new grass starts to grow, or wait until it's pretty much established (October or so)? What do you guys think, like I said earlier , been fussing for a long time on this front lawn (this year I slacked ,2 kids , not much time, my fault for sure) and I kind of want to keep it nice and not mess with it every season. How do you guys with the "Golf Coarse Lawns" keep them nice and the grubs out? Any help is appreciated, Thanks! :trink39:
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Grubs are a bit tough to solve. The cheap solutions is to use grub-ex or another insecticide. But it is a short lived solution because more grubs (from the neighbors yard) soon move in(after the poison breaks down or is washed away). The other concern with insecticides is having kids or pets in the yard. (Yes, I know the US govt tells us that they are safe, but I am a bit of a skeptic)

I also have children and finally decided to use "Milky Spore"

here is a link

Milky spore is a bacteria which attacks (infects) the grubs. IT will NOT infect humans or pets. The beauty is that it last several seasons. The worse the problem at first, the better it works because the bacteria (milky spore) reproduce by killing off the grubs. After the grubs are killed the bacteria revert to spores (like the ones you bought) to wait for more grubs.

The main draw back is that it wasn't quite as fast to apply and that is doesn't work quite as fast. But it does work.

I bought mine at Lowes in the garden section. (I am also a biology teacher by trade)

Good luck
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A couple of moles will take care of those grubs real well....:ROF.......:sorry1:.....I couldn't stop....
Another organic fix is to try beneficial nematodes. They are tiny worms that will kill off the grubs, fleas, etc.

You can find them online, i.e. Amazon, or at a garden store. Not sure about Lowes or Home Depot though.
milky spore, milky spore, milky spore. expensive initially, but totally friendly and lasts up to 20 years. natural deterrent.

i don't know so much about the nematode cure, but i'd be concerned about the potential cycle once their food source is depleted. do they die off (or back significantly) and then the grubs return, then you buy more worms, then they die back, then the grubs return, etc>

you don't say, but do you bag your waste (i'm vehemently opposed), and what is your normal trim height? both of those can work against a healthy lawn. how do you know you have grubs, and not chinch bugs (which have been making their rounds in the northeast, and produce large random dead spots) or some other lawn malady? how do you normally treat your lawn? etc.
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I do bag the clippings. I may try a mulch blade next year because the blade on my push mower is just about worn out. As for being sure it's grubs, well I had them before and when I raked out the dead areas the grass had no roots. Just assumed it was grubs again. Never heard of a chinch bug. As for treating my lawn I used the 4 step Scotts fertilizer. I try to keep it simple. Like I stated I did slack alot this year on my lawn,just trying to get it in shape for next summer. Most people I've talked with recomend overseeding in the fall so that's usually what I do. Thanks for all the responses so far guys, I appreciate it. I'll have to look into the Milky Spore stuff, never heard of that Either.
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ok bosox, just my $.02 -

by applying scott's or any of their competitor's products, you are adding nutrients and minerals (among other things, including short-life toxins) to your lawn. it costs money to do that. the grass utilizes these to grow greener, taller, faster, prettier, hardier, etc.

this is an oversimplification but - when you bag your clippings, you are removing grass with these nutrients, and cumulatively, making your grass more and more unhealthy. when you bag your clippings, you are also depriving your grass from a mulch layer which protects the root system from infestation and holds moisture. a proper mulch layer will decompose as quickly as it is added to from subsequent mowings.

to further stress grass, most people cut it too short, overexposing it to the elements and bugs. cutting more than 1/3 of its length can shock it further.

you can see where i'm going - people want green lawns, so they go to home depot and lowe's - they don't sell green lawns - they sell fertilizers - they want you to remove the clippings. when people bag, they need more fertilizer. costs more money - not good for lawn, kemo sabe.

cutting it close and manually removing thatch and aereating and seeding and fertilizing is VERY, VERY aggressive. i would suggest using a rye with your reseeding. it's an annual, but a strong one - it gives you a quick up, quick green - and helps protect the slower growing kentucky blue. it produces a good root system, so when it dies over the winter, it is easier for the blue to move into its root system and thereby get additional nutrient from the composting root.

also - kentucky blue is not native, though it has been planted for decades, to the northeast. mixing it with a fescue will make it hardier and easier (read less costly) to maintain and to look good - which is what people, though they may not know it, are really after.

a GOOD QUALITY mulching mower is an asset to a healty good looking lawn. by presenting the clippings over and over to the cutting edge of blades designed to keep them in the top of mower decks, that are designed to push them back down into the blades, produce a mulch that is deposited back down by the root system - protecting it from the bugs and elements, and leaving the just cleaved nutrients where they'll do the most good. healthier lawn, healthier pocketbook.

if you have grubs, i would think you'ld have moles. if you don't have moles, there's a good chance it's some other malady. i'm only guessing at chinch bugs, but i'll bet it's a good guess. sorry for being long-winded - it's a lot to say. hope it helps.
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Thanks for the long -winded version junkezer. I'll have to get some more seed (rye and /or fescue)to mix with what I've already spred already. I did do one thing right I guess, I cut my grass high during the summer. I like it to look like a thick shag rug. Last thing I'd like to ask you is, How do you get rid of the chinch bugs? I have kids and a dog , what I read about grubx is not too healthy, so if I don't need to use it, I won't. Thanks again, Mike :trink39:
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GRUBX WORKS EVERYTIME north or south,,,, wait that might just scare them next door .,
bosox, it's impossible to identify your grass problem from hundreds of miles away. i know much more about sound mechanical management of lawns than their botany. one phone call to your county extension office will give you much more meaningful info than a long thread here. county extension will be familiar with your specific area, its present problems, and recommended cures. i would go there FIRST. i have even had them and DEC people visit to confirm a diagnosis.

once you have a good diagnosis you can begin treatment. county extension will also give you good direction for that. most importantly - they will know the safest treatments, something that is hard for commonfolk to know. they also don't have any agenda other than being helpful (they don't have 3 truckloads of insecticide that arrived late in the season that they've gotta sell quick). and web information can be confusing.

once your problem is over, one tip i can give you is corn gluten meal. totally organic and lawn, pet and people friendly. if you can find a feed mill locally, they will usually bag it for you. you can use it as a substitute for 4-step programs at a fraction of the cost. might take 2-4 years for it to show its full benefit, but it's a good cumulative effect for a healthy lawn. stinks to high heaven - gotta be good.

let me know how this turns out.
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milky spore, milky spore, milky spore. expensive initially, but totally friendly and lasts up to 20 years. natural deterrent.

i don't know so much about the nematode cure, but i'd be concerned about the potential cycle once their food source is depleted. do they die off (or back significantly) and then the grubs return, then you buy more worms, then they die back, then the grubs return, etc>
Yes, the info I've read says they will die back and then you'd re-apply if the infestation of bad bugs returns.
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Thanks guys for all the input.
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