From November to May each year, many South East Queensland lawns are plagued by lawn grubs. While Couch varieties are typically more affectable than Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo lawns, they can still be easily treated. As with a lot of lawn care issues, prevention and early detection are the best way to go.
In South East Queensland lawns, the two most prevalent lawn grubs are Armyworm and Sod Webworm. Armyworms are like brown or dull grey caterpillars with a black striped body and range in size from 10 -30mm long. They are active at night and will feed on the blades of your lawn. At the rate they eat, a lawn can be devastated in as little as two or three nights. Sod Webworm look similar to Cutworm and both types are treated in the same manner. Sod Webworm are transparent but you will appear green due to the green material they are feeding on. They too are active at night but are slightly smaller than Armyworm (10-25mm long).
Overall, this is the best way to manage all types of lawn grubs in South East Queensland. When you over-fertilise your lawn you make it prone to frequent attacks so fertilise your lawn correctly. Don’t fertilise during summer months of January and February. Fertilise for growth not a deep green colour. Ensure the eaves around your home are kept free from moth eggs, remove with a broom or mop. Insecticides can kill lawn grubs as well as all other natural predators and the lawn grub will recover first. If this information in mind, it may often be better to spray when the cooler weather takes over again and only spray if necessary. Outdoor lights & street lights with lush lawns within close proximity will attract the moths, hence lawn grubs, so reconsider the usage of and placement of outdoor lighting.
Select one or more of these methods of lawn grub detection.
- Look for patches of brown or thinning turf as may suggest grubs are present;
- Look at the leaf blades as you will actually see holes or part of the leaf missing like chew marks, in bad infestations there will be very little or no leaf at all to see;
- Use a hose to flood an area as this will cause lawn grubs to come crawling out to the leaf tips. Do this in a healthy part of the lawn near infected patches as they prefer the greenest areas of the lawn;
- Try pouring a bucket of soapy water over your lawn and look for lawn grubs;
- Check under the eaves of your house for furry brown patches since these are the moth eggs waiting to hatch;
- Try parting the leaf blades and look for an accumulation of fresh small green pellets of excrement or droppings;
- If there are orange/black wasps flying over your lawn, this will often indicate that there are grubs present. The wasps are looking for a host to lay its eggs.
Once you have determined that the grubs are present in your lawn, treatment will depend upon how much damage has occurred.
If you have a new lawn you must spray to control them since lawn grubs have the ability to severely damage new lawns. Spray, spread or hose your lawn with an insecticide. You must follow label instructions exactly. Now it is important to break the life cycle of the lawn grub by respraying in 7 – 10 days. If your lawn was damaged by lawn grubs you can fertilise the patches lightly to aid the recovery.
Tips on spraying insecticide
Always spray in the evenings since the chemical you are using will breakdown in sunlight within 2 hours of application. Since lawn grubs are active at night, spraying earlier in the day will not provide ample opportunity for the grubs to come into contact with the insecticide.
- Don’t spray if rain is likely within 2 hours
- Read the label on the bottle and always follow label rates
- Only spray if there is evidence of a lawn grub infestation
- Only spray when protecting a new lawn or when the lawn grubs are in large and damaging numbers
- Respray your lawn within 7 -10 days to help break the lifecycle of the lawn grubs
For more lawn care tips and tricks just contact the team at Daleys Turf – here to support you for the life of your lawn.