How long should we wait to completely sod a yard that has been infested with beetle grubs?
Hello! Last fall, I noticed that our backyard was being "attacked" by birds and squirrels. They were always present and digging/pecking at the grass. We've never had a good yard ("good grass") and it had been very weedy, etc. It looked like a bomb had gone off but I didn't know why / what was happening. This spring, I noticed a lot of dirt had ended up on the edge of our backyard sidewalk. In cleaning this up, I found a grub. As a large part of the yard was totally dead, I completely tore out all of the dead grass/weeds until it was only dirt. I found many grubs while doing this. I thought "no grass/ plants, nothing to eat for the grubs". I then added an application of BAYER ADVANCED 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus. There were still grubs after this. I loosened up all of the soil by hand and aerated. I then applied a liquid (BAYER ADVANCED Complete Ready-to-Use Lawn Insect Killer) on the recommendation of someone at Lowe's. Still, there were grubs. A note - walking through this large part of our yard feels like walking on a sponge. It's very lumpy and squishy. In looking up grubs and beetles online, it is pretty certain that we have June bugs or Japanese beetles (there is so much that I do not know. Perhaps they are the same?). While digging to very shallow depths, I have since found more grubs as well as beetles forming in different stages. It is my understanding that July and August are the months when all of the beetles fully form and emerge, and that finding grubs at such a late stage and trying to do anything to get rid of them was basically hopeless. I have not applied any other insecticides since the second try (in early/mid-June). I have never been adept at maintaining a healthy lawn (I need to learn and then apply those disciplines). As our yard has always been problematic as far as weeds (such as Creeping Charlie, Dandelions, Plantains, Thistles) and grasses (such as Quackgrass), we haven't had much success with grass. In light of the very poor condition of our lawn, my wife and I have decided to tear it all out and have our yard sodded by a professional. An employee of the Environmental Pest Management company told us that, due to the extreme grub situation in our yard, we should be waiting until fall to have the sodding done. After that long tale (and thank you for having stayed with me this far if you have), I want to make sure that waiting until fall is what needs to be done. I would much rather have the sodding done now but I want to do this correctly. Do you have any advice on how I should proceed? Many, many thanks for your time, attention, and expertise in this matter! Your help is very much appreciated. Sincerely, Chad Zenk-Tills 612-309-1256 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hennepin County Minnesota
I agree with what your pest management company advised you to do. Their advice is based upon the life cycle of the grub and the beetles into which they will develop. Right now there is active adult beetle activity, which means they are mating and laying eggs. If you laid new sod now, while egg laying is going on, these eggs would be deposited in your new sod and you’ll be right back to where you started. This egg laying will be done within the next few weeks and shortly thereafter these eggs will hatch into small grubs. Ideally you would be laying sod in the fall after most of these eggs have hatched. In some of the sites listed below, it is suggested that prior to putting down the sod, the area should be treated to kill the newly hatched grubs. This is a matter that you should discuss with your pest management company.
Many thanks for your response. I appreciate your insight and advise. It sounds like patience is key in this situation and we will be waiting until fall to do our sodding.
Thanks for the message. Please recognize that dealing with grubs is a marathon and not a sprint to the fall. Application of grub pesticide may be in order next spring during May/June.