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Green Life Turf | Residential Lawns Blog

Circular Patches & Spongy, Loose Turf: Signs of Autumn Lawn Grubs

Posted by Patrick Muscat on 3 May 2017
Patrick Muscat

Beautiful autumn grass - free of autumn lawn grubs.jpg
Beautiful autumn lawns don't 'just happen'!

Lawn grubs can produce big problems for many lawns around this time of year as they near the end of their primary active seasons. By the time you see signs of a lawn grub infestation, your lawn will already be feeling very sorry for itself. Here's how to recognise the signs, test for evidence, and treat the pests! 

What to Look For:

Keeping a close eye out for signs of lawn grubs will be your best defence against them: identifying that there’s a problem, and treating it immediately. Here what to look out for:

  • Discolouration – browning or yellowing circular patches in your lawn (not to be confused with a browning dormant lawn in winter).

  • Sponginess a springy or spongy feel in your lawn when you step on it.

  • Loosened lawn – where you find your grass is no longer connected to its roots.

  • Hungry predators grub-eating insects and wildlife picking at (dining on!) your lawn.

  • The adults – the cockchafer beetle (aka 'doodlebug'), African black beetle, or small, grey moths (aka Noctuidae) (the mature stages of lawn grubs).

 Signs of Lawn Grubs - Circular Discolouration.pngSigns of Lawn Grubs - Loosened Turf.pngSigns of Lawn Grubs - African black beetle.pngSigns of Lawn Grubs - Cockchafer beetle.pngSigns of Lawn Grubs - Armyworm moth.png


Confirm Your Suspicions of Lawn Grubs:

Is the discolouration just your lawn going dormant for winter? Is the spongy feeling a waterlogged lawn? Is that loosened lawn just wild lawn parties? Sometimes you just want to be sure, so here’s a way to confirm if your lawn’s suffering from an infestation of lawn grubs:

You will need:
  1. A bucket.
  2. A soap liquid to form a soapy solution.
  3. Water.
  4. A hessian bag or old towel.
  5. A torch.
Method: No guts no glory! Let's do this:
  1. In your bucket, use the soap liquid to mix up a bucket of soapy water.

  2. At dusk (just before nightfall), pour the soapy water solution over the area you think is affected by lawn grubs, as well as any areas close by.

  3. Cover that section of your lawn with your hessian bag or old towel.

  4. Leave for several hours.

  5. While it's still dark, inspect the area with your torch. If there are any lawn grubs, they will have come to the surface.

  6. Feel free to shudder.


How to Treat Lawn Grubs:

Okay so don’t panic, but the time to act is now! And our online store is open now!

You’ll need an insecticide that can be watered through your lawn and into your soil where it can reach them. You’ll need an insecticide that can treat existing adult grubs, their eggs, and newly hatched eggs.

We recommend Lawn Lovers Grub Guard for most lawn grubs. It’s long-lasting, deep penetrating, and treats both the grub and their eggs. Buy it online now, receive it in a few days, treat immediately:

  1. Get your Lawn Lovers Grub Guard here:

  2. Apply to your entire lawn using the easy-to-follow instructions provided.

  3. Two to three days later, fertilise your lawn and water in (try our organic natural blend health booster fertiliser also available for purchase online: https://shop.greenlifeturf.com.au/collections/frontpage/products/green-life-turfs-special-blend-organic-health-booster-fertiliser-10lt?variant=25236683139).

  4. Five days later, check to see if your lawn grubs have all died (see instructions above).

  5. If there are still signs of living lawn grubs, give your lawn a second application of Lawn Lovers Grub Guard, then fertilise and water in two to three days later. Check again after five more days.


How to Prevent Lawn Grubs:

Of course, the best defence is a good offence… Treat your lawn every month in Spring, Summer and Autumn.

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