Lawn grubs, also called white grubs, feed on the roots of grasses and cause many unsightly problems for lawn owners. There are several ways to rid your lawn of grubs, but they usually involve expensive chemicals and may cause problems for pets and children. However, a couple of more environmentally friendly ways exist that will control these pests without using unsafe chemicals.
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Use baby powder to deter grubs from entering the soil and breeding. Sprinkle the baby powder along all areas where you detect grubs as well as around the roots of bushes, trees and plants. While baby powder is a deterrent for grubs, it won't harm your plants, grass or any pets who may become curious. However, baby powder is only a quick fix for grub infestations and you may need a more permanent fix if they become a continual problem.
Neem oil, also called sallanin, comes from the leaves and seeds of the neem trees in India. When it is mixed with water, it can kill lawn grubs and keep them from coming back. It will also stop Japanese beetles from laying their eggs and bringing more grubs into your lawn. For best results, mix a gallon of water with 4 tsp of neem oil in a garden spray bottle. When spraying, make sure to reach all areas you suspect to have grubs. Neem oil is a naturally occurring insecticide that won't harm your grass, plants or pets.
Milky spores naturally occur in the environment and prevent grubs from getting into the lawn. They also prevent Japanese beetles, the adult form of lawn grubs, from laying their eggs in your lawn. Milky spores come in powder or granular forms and must be sprinkled liberally over the affected areas of the grass. Ten ounces of milky spores is recommended for every 2,500 square feet of lawn. Milky spores are safe to use on your lawn because it only affects lawn grubs.
If you have had grub problems before, begin inspecting your lawn in late summer for any signs of the pests. Signs include the grass turning an off-colour and the top layer of grass and soil being easily pulled back. If this occurs, begin looking for small, white grubs crawling around the soil. After the grubs are gone, renovate the lawn in the early fall. Rake the dead debris and water the lawn. It is possible for some of the damaged roots to recover. Areas that are bare may need reseeding the following spring.
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- "South Coast Today"; Natural Grub Remedies Safer Than Diazinon; Douglass Oster; March 11, 2001
- Reader's Digest Version: Brilliant Uses for Baby Powder
- Penn State Live; Take Control of Grubs in Your Lawn; Kristie Auman-Bauer; 2007
- University of Illinois Extension: White Grubs in Lawns