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Dangers of Lawn Grubs in the Carolinas

Here in the Carolinas we love our lawns, our flower beds, and our gardens. The spring and summer rituals of tilling, planting, watering, and growing are aspects of the seasons that many of us trace back to our childhoods. Sometimes when we are preparing the ground for our tomatoes, corn, daisies, or even our grass we can plow up all manor of crazy bugs. So what exactly are those fat, white, worm-looking things that are often dug up from just under the surface, or hiding under logs and rocks?

lawn grubs are not easy to find, but are quite easy to identify once spotted


“Grubs” are actually not worms at all but are a common sight for homeowners in the Carolinas. They are the larval stage of various varieties of beetles in the scarab family. They are a creamy-white color with a rusty orange head and six legs (often difficult to see depending on the larval stage) at the front of their body. Grubs lie in a mostly C-shaped position and their bodies appear slick and shiny. During the spring season grubs burrow upwards to grass roots, resume feeding until late May, and then transform into the pupae stage, the final stage before reaching their adult beetle stage. Beetles, of course, can be a mortal enemy of Carolina gardeners and farmers, doing significant damage to plants, vegetable plants, and large crop fields.


Grubs do not pose a direct danger of biting people, but they can secrete a slimy skin-covering substance that can cause significant skin irritation. Symptoms include serious irritation, rash, scratching, and redness. Though grubs are largely benign and harmless in their current form, their final beetle form can cause significant and costly damage to lawns, gardens, and farms.

the most commonly found grubs are the larval stage of the japanese beetle


Lawns in largely temperate regions can be host to hundreds or even thousands of grubs that cannot be easily seen as they lie just underneath the top of the soil. Many homeowners attribute lawn discoloration or dead / dying patches of grass to grubs, but this can also be due to other factors such as drought or disease. White grubs feed on roots; therefore, the grass patches will easily come up when pulled. Various plants may appear to be damaged as well. Small-scale pest control solutions like commercial sprays or pelletized spreads can subdue an infestation for a short amount of time. Over time, white grubs can feed on your root systems. If the white grubs taking over your lawn are rapidly reproducing, the only reliable remedy would be professional pest control treatment. The licensed pest control experts at Nelon-Cole have the tools, knowledge, and experience needed to stop a lawn grub infestation in its tracks. Further signs of white grub infestations in the Carolinas would be the presence of beetles throughout outdoor areas. Adult beetles are the product of budding white grub larvae. If you see more signs of birds, lizards, or frogs in your yard, they may be feasting on the grubs or beetles that are taking over.

grub infestation can do significant damage to lawns by destroying root systems


There are several steps that a homeowner can take to help mitigate the spread of lawn grubs, but a professional consultation is always recommended. The pest control professionals at Nelon-Cole know exactly what to look for and are happy to come inspect your lawn and advise on a course of action should an infestation be found. A Healthy lawn practice of cutting at 2" or higher will help your lawn tolerate a lot of insect feeding without showing injury in most cases. Should you wish to look for grubs yourself, grab a shovel, sift through the top 3" of soil, roots, and thatch. Look for creamy-white, C-shaped beetle larvae, with tan to rusty-brown heads and six legs. After examining the soil, replace the grass and water it.

It is normal to find an occasional grub and is not cause for alarm. Healthy turf can usually outgrow the root loss caused by a couple of grubs. Damage thresholds vary depending on the grub species and quality of the turf. If a significantly harmful infestation population is found, then professional chemical treatment with Nelon-Cole may be necessary. Chemical controls and the timing of application vary with the different species of grubs. As a general rule, apply preventive controls from April to mid-July and curative controls from late July through August.


Calling Nelon-Cole for regular home and lawn inspections is one of the best investments you can make. Our professional licensed technicians are trained to spot grub infestations and a litany of other infestations that can be harmful and unique to Carolina homeowners. We are the most trusted, most award-winning pest and moisture control company in the Charlotte pest control market and we look forward to working with you to prevent costly future repairs. Call today for a FREE consultation at 1-888-7-TheWeb and get your lawn grubs under control for good! Charlotte Pest Control - Pest Control in the Carolinas - Gastonia Pest Control - Asheville Pest Control - Hendersonville Pest Control - Spartanburg Pest Control


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