When it comes right down to it, being able to first identify that there is a root-chewing insect problem, is one of the most frustratingly immanent issues of the summer lawn! The sad fact about two midwestern and northeastern U.S. species, Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) and European Chafer beetles (Rhizotrogus majalis), is that these buggers reside and destroy under the surface of your turf! By the time you have noticed the dead and dying grass blades, it is often too late to save that area of the lawn.
In Illinois, it is the European Chafer beetles that dine and wreck havoc on the many types of turfs in our fair state. These unwanted imports came in during the 1940’s and have caused millions of dollars of turf damage since their arrival.
The European Chafer beetle is a little longer than their counterparts the Japanese beetle and are reddish brown in color. European Chafer beetle grubs are white-bodied with brown heads and are positioned in a ‘c-shape’ in the soil. Newly-hatched grubs will be less than 1/4 inch long and fully mature grubs can measure up to one inch long.
The main issue with these types of beetle natural controls is that no predator makes a meal out of these lawn-destroying insects, at least not on a daily basis. As a result, they can invade Illinois lawns very quickly.
The best time to control grubs is when they are actively feeding on roots in the fall or spring. The earlier in their life cycle, the better as we know all too well here at this Briggs Parts location, that the longer these insects remain unnoticed, the harder they are to control.
Try this in June, over water the lawn for two days and then inspect the flooded area for grub escapees. If you notice that there are fattened white grubs emerging on the lawn, then it is time for a good insecticide and dead they will be!