How to Prevent Grubs, Worms, and Other Pests All Year
Posted on: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Knowing how to combat grass and garden pests like grub worms is a vital skill for any gardener’s tool belt. However, proper prevention is just as important! Without knowing how to prevent grubs and pests, you may be unknowingly making your yard a safe haven for these troublesome bugs. In taking these basic steps of prevention, you’ll save yourself so much effort in the long run, and you’ll have a healthier, greener landscape overall!
Beat Pests and Grub Worms with these Prevention Tips
Grub worms and other pests tend to wreak havoc from May until June in Arizona. A little bit of preventative grass grub control in spring, ideally between April and May, will help you down the road!
Keep Your Grass Longer
Beetles like to lay their eggs in short grass, which then hatch and emerge as grubs. If you keep your grass at least 2 inches high at all times, the chances of infestation are dramatically reduced! Simply change your lawnmower setting to cut at a longer length and resist the urge to mow every week. Long grass is better than no grass!
Don’t Overwater Your Grass
Moist, soggy soil is the most comfortable environment for grub worms and larvae, so you don’t want to overdo it with the watering! However, a drought-stressed lawn isn’t going to have great defenses against infestation either. The way to get around this is by maintaining a consistent watering schedule. Water your grass evenly once a week, and hold off if there’s a lot of rain. Resist the temptation to water more during hot, dry spells in summer, as this can attract grubs when they’re most likely to appear.
Dethatch and Aerate Every Spring and Fall
A healthy, lush lawn (in winter and summer) is better able to resist major infestation, and dethatching and aeration are a major part of lawn maintenance! Not only will it help to keep your grass from getting matted and tangled, but it also helps improve moisture drainage. If moisture isn’t draining properly from your soil, it will stagnate and make your turf soggy. That’s pretty much a recipe for grub infestation!
Dethatch your grass by pulling a rake across matted turf to tear up the tangles. Use a spike aerator or a plug aerator to improve soil drainage. Spike aerators are cheaper and simple to use but slightly less effective, as they only punch skinny holes into the soil. Plug aerators pull out larger cylinders of soil, allowing for more air circulation and drainage.
Use Beneficial Nematodes
Some nematodes are damaging to your garden, but others can help maintain good soil health! You can pick up some of our Tip Top Bio-Control beneficial nematodes to introduce into your soil. They’ll attack grub worms and larvae safely and naturally, so you don’t need to resort to chemical pesticides.
For Severe Grub Cases, Use Chemical Controls
It’s important not to overuse chemical controls, and save them for when they’re absolutely necessary. If you’ve got a serious grub situation on your hands, we have a few different formulas you can use:
- BioAdvanced Season-Long Grub Control plus Turf Reviatalizer is super effective if applied between April and May—it helps to kill the grubs early on before damage gets out of hand.
- BioAdvanced Complete Insect Killer is another formula that kills a variety of other garden pests.
Routinely Check for Infestation
Know the signs of grubs in grass and constantly keep an eye out for changes in your grass health. Grubs hang out close to the soil surface and eat up the roots of your grass, and the consequences are quite apparent if you know what to look for. Are there sudden, unexplained brown patches in the yard? Will your grass easily pull up like a piece of carpet? Are raccoons, crows, and other scavengers ripping up your turf and enjoying a bug buffet? These are all signs that grub worms are taking over!
Clean Up Pet Waste
Pet waste is full of nasty bacteria because pets eat meat, so their waste contains more harmful pathogens. It isn’t beneficial to your plants, like herbivore waste such as cow or chicken manure. As a pet owner, pet waste on the lawn is kind of unavoidable, but if you clean it up frequently enough, your grass will suffer much less!
Repair Damage ASAP
Reseed any bare or sparse patches in the grass that remain after a grub worm infestation. The worms will be much less likely to pop up in the same spot if you fill it up with new, healthy grass! Fertilizing your lawn regularly will also help to keep it lush and long, which, as you know, is not ideal for beetles to lay their eggs.
To help keep your lawn as lush and healthy as possible, we recommend Fertilome F-STOP™ for Picture-Perfect, Disease-Free Turfgrass. This granule product contains Eagle® fungicide that provides a systemic protector and curative fungicide. It prevents over 15 major lawn diseases and can be used on all types of home lawns.
Need any help tackling other pest problems in your lawn or garden? We know a thing or two about pest control and grub worm prevention in Arizona! The team at SummerWinds has plenty of know-how we’re happy to share, so visit us soon for recommendations on safe weed and pest control methods to use at home.