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Is It Too Late To Apply GrubEx?

August 5, 2013

If you have not applied your GrubEx yet this year and you have had a serious grub problem in previous years, I say go for it ASAP.  A sign of upcoming grub problems is if you have been seeing lots of Japanese Beetles feeding on your roses and other plants or other kinds of beetles hanging around your porch light at night.  The best time to apply GrubEx is late spring to early summer.  You may see some reduced control with an application in late summer, however reducing your grub population this fall and next spring would be better than doing nothing.  It is best not to apply to waterlogged soils.  If there is no rain after spreading, don’t forget to turn on your sprinklers so your lawn will get about a quarter to a half inch of water.

Grubs are the white larva of common beetles, including those pesky Japanese Beetles. They feed on your lawn’s roots, eating away where you can’t see them – until one day your lawn turns brown and you can roll up sections of it like a carpet.

Grubs are the white larva of common beetles, including those pesky Japanese Beetles. They feed on your lawn’s roots, eating away where you can’t see them – until one day your lawn turns brown and you can roll up sections of it like a carpet.

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  1. If you check in five diferent areas,and find no grubs,should you still put Grubex on??

    • Hi Robert
      You would likely not find grubs in your lawn now. The various kinds of beetles lay their eggs in late summer, the grubs start to show up in late summer/early fall. GrubEx must be applied prior to the time that grubs start feeding on your grass roots.

  2. amit permalink

    So you would recommend applying GrubEx even if there is no sign of Japanese bettle.

    Also, i have a spring flower tree( Magnolia i think) that was planted last year but it hasn’t grown much.. Any recommendation to increase the growth so i can have more flowers in the spring 🙂

    • Hi amit… Newly planted trees sometimes do not show much growth until the second or third year after planting. The first year much of the growth is below ground as the tree is establishing itself in the new location. Feed your tree next spring and water this fall if the weather is dry in your area.

      • amit permalink

        Thx Ashton.. one other question.. i have a fungus like weed in my lawn.. I can pull it out with my hand in some areas but it is spread in the whole lawn.. It is some way to control it and what will be the best way to apply the pesticide / fungicide..

      • Hi amit… When you describe this as a “fungus like weed” is it more like mushrooms or more like an actual plant? You do not need to control mushrooms, they are the “flowers” of good fungi in your soil that are breaking down organic matter, like old tree roots. The mushrooms show up certain times of the year, especially after wet weather. If it is a weed, is more like a grass or more like a vining weed with broader leaves? Any description would be helpful.

      • amit permalink

        They are not mushrooms.. It almost feels like carpet with a velvet feel and comes out easily if i pull by hand. It does not grow much in height and just snugs the soil and have spread between where the grass is growing. I am located in upstate NY.

      • Hi amit… Sounds like moss. Moss is found in shady areas where the soil stays moist for longer periods of time. If the soil has a lower than optimum pH (acidic) or low fertility, grass struggles and moss thrives. Feeding your lawn 4 times a year helps. Putting down lime if a soil test show the soil is acidic helps. If the area does not receive 3 hours of sunlight a day, the grass will always be on the thin side. You can treat the moss this fall with Scotts Moss Control Control Granules or Turf Builder with Moss Control. You may also want to treat it in early spring if it is present in your lawn.

      • amit permalink

        You are right. It is mostly Moss as this lawn has 3-4 trees surrounding it. How do i get the soil tested..

      • Hi amit… Here is a link to the service provided in your state by Cornell: There is a link on the site for a pH test kit

      • amit permalink

        Great. Thx you..

  3. Kelly permalink

    Hi! I am desperate for help. I have large patches of dying grass with tufts of healthy grass scattered about in the dead spots. It is not due to lack of watering and I have tried to pull up the dying lawn to see if there are grubs there but I have seen no sign of any bugs. The dying lawn comes out in my hands without much effort to pull it out and the sections that have been affected the longest, now are becoming giant dirt patches. I have tried raking, fertilizing and reseeding, but am wondering if I’m just feeding some UNseen bug more food? Or throwing money into the wind (dead dirt) because I have some sort of fungus in the lawn or something. Please help. What do you recommend? I will try whatever.

    • Hi Kelly
      I wish I knew where you are located. I will give you some general info that covers many geographical areas: Sod webworms, cutworms and chinch bugs can thin your lawn in summer leaving patches of dead grass that have an irregular shape. Sometimes you will see some green grass in the center. One of the tell tale signs is half inch long tan moths flying up from the grass in the evening when you mow. These moths do not damage however as they fly zig zag across the lawn they lay eggs for worms that feed on the lawn at night. Ortho Bug B Gon MAX kills them as does Turf Builder with SummerGuard. Most folks that know about this problem treat their lawn in early Summer and that usually takes care of the problem. Fungus problems tend to be circular patches, sometimes with green grass in the middle, like a donut. These problems also tend to show up in early summer and continue with high temps and high humidity that does not drop much at night. Since cooler days and nights are around the corner for many areas, you may not need to treat either of these problems now. You can rake those spots and seed now with Scotts EZ Seed. If you tell me where you are located I will confirm all this or give you some more specific suggestions.

      • Kelly permalink

        We live in the Salt Lake City Area in Utah. We HAVE had (until just the past few days) very hot days that did not cool off at night for most of the past month. But we are definitely not a humid area. I’m hoping I can just ride out the yucky looking lawn through the rest of the season, but fear that if its a bug or a fungus that the problem will return with a vengeance next year! Aack! As far as the moths go, I haven’t really noticed “moths” per say when we mow, but I do notice a ton of little gnat-like bugs fly up from the ground. And yes, the neighborhood birds DO seem to love something in our lawn as they like to congregate at our house for some weird reason. Thanks again for your help!!

      • Hi Kelly… Thanks for giving me your location. You are not in an area that is prone to a lot of insect problems. The biggest one in your area is Billbugs which can damage the lawn in both the grub and Adult stage. This is especially a problem on Bluegrass. You can have lawn fungus problems, however with your low humidity this is not usually a problem unless there is watering in the evening causing the grass to be wet going into warm nights. Scotts GrubEx takes care of Billbugs. You would apply in Spring prior to the damage showing up. Good Luck with your lawn.

      • Kelly permalink

        Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I will definitely tackle the lawn the beginning of next season! Best of luck to you in the future, as well. 🙂

  4. rodney hanson permalink

    Hi It is feb 1 and the moles are tearing up my lawn. I have had scotts lawn service for a few years and never had moles. I dont know if they forget or what,but is it too late for grub-x? .snow has melted. how can i correct my mole problem

    • Hi rodney hanson
      Sorry to hear about your mole problem. They could be eating earthworms. Any grubs in your soil are likely very far down from the soil surface. The proper time to put down GrubEx is in late spring to control the next round of grubs that will hatch from eggs laid by beetles in late summer. Moles can be trapped or you could try a treatment that many folks have had good luck with: TomCat. You can find this at your local retailer. Set the bait or trap on active mole tunnels. You can find them by pressing down various tunnels in your lawn and then checking back in 24 hours to see which ones have been raised back up… these are the active tunnels. Good luck.

  5. A. Moore permalink

    If you apply grub ex and the next day it snows, is this okay.

    • Hi A. Moore
      The best time to apply GrubEX is late spring as it primarily protects from the next round of grubs that will show up in summer. I put mine down in mid May. Snow or rain after application is not a problem. In fact, GrubEX should be watered after spreading.

  6. Jeffrey permalink

    I live in northeast Kansas. Last summer we had a terrible problem with moles–or a problem with terrible moles. I was told they were probably hunting grubs, so I should lay down some sort of grub killer in the fall, similar to applying a pre-emergent. It is a mild mid-December now, and the ground isn’t frozen. Is it a good idea to lay down grub killer now, or do I need to wait until the spring?

    • Hi Jeffrey
      Moles feed primarily on grubs and earthworms. If you reduce your grub population that will help to remove some of their food source. Grubs are the larvae of various types of adult beetles. They typically have a life cycle: late spring mature grubs pupate and turn into beetles during late spring to early summer. These adult beetles lay eggs during late summer that hatch into grubs. These grubs primarily feed on grass roots during fall, they go deep into the soil during winter and travel back to the root zone during warm spring weather. They feed on roots to a lesser degree in spring as they get ready to shift to the pupae stage no feeding takes place. There are two types of grub controls. Scotts GrubEX is best applied in May June or July prior to the eggs being laid. Once it is in your grass plant It kills the young grubs as they begin to feed in late summer/early fall. One application protects for the season. There are “24-Hour” grub killers on the market that can be used in fall if a product like GrubEX was not applied, however this kind of control is not as effective as the controls that are put down prior to eggs being laid. It is hard to kill mature grubs in spring even with the 24-Hour products. In any case, the grub controls typically do not kill the earthworms. There are a range of mole baits, traps and controls from TomCat. Here is a link to info on the TomCat website:
      Hope this helps.

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