Identifying and Controlling Grub Damage

Chances are you’ve got some – or a lot of – grub damage this year. We’ve addressed this issue in a number of communities throughout the Twin Cities the past few years. How do you know if you’ve got grubs or not?  Our friends at the University of Minnesota’s Turfgrass Science Department have excellent guidelines in their recent newsletter.

Identifying Grub Damage

There are several indications that white grubs are damaging your lawn. These include:

  • Irregular patches of dead or dying grass that resemble drought stress.
  • Early signs of a white grub infestation are apparent when an irrigation system has been running or we have had regular rainfall and the drought symptoms are still present.
  • Moderate grub damage involves observing dead or dying turf with little to no roots when pulling on the turf.
  • More severe white grub damage is sometimes not caused by the grubs themselves, but by animals like racoons and skunks turning over the turf to feed on the grubs.

Controlling Grubs

What can you do about grubs? The good news is there are very effective organic solutions to get them under control. The Turfgrass newsletter references a biological insecticide, GrubGone (Baccilus thuringiensis galleriae), as the only known biological insecticide to work effectively. It works as a preventative treatment and needs to be applied in advance of a white grub infestation. 

You can find additional information about controlling grubs from our friends at #universityofminnesotaextension  Or, contact LUNSETH for a quote on our grub control services. We’ve helped people all around the Twin Cities get their grub damage under control.

Winter Love for Untidy Lawns & Gardens

A yard without leaves and a garden without dead stalks sticking up all winter long brings a sense of satisfaction. But at Organic Bob we promote a love of untidy lawns and gardens. These organic materials serve to nurture the soil and also provide shelter for pollinators.

Our friends at the Pollinator Friendly Alliance explain that most pollinators stay over winter, looking for shelter in both plants and the ground. “During cold months, dead plant stems, old bark, cane, leaves, and undisturbed soil are the secret winter homes of pollinators. Leaving piles of leaves, compost or wood help all manner of creatures including salamanders, beneficial insects, and pollinators. Many solitary bees like mason bees burrow under tree bark or wood piles. Some have gorged like bears to make it through the winter; others wait in suspended animation as larvae, pupae, or eggs.

“Something you should be aware of as you begin to tidy up your garden for winter – especially burning or removing the plant stems, you may be destroying hibernating bees or bee nurseries. So, it’s important to leave plants standing until late spring when temperatures rise and nectar and pollen is available.”

If you have a question about keeping a pollinator friendly yard, contact the experts.