If you can play a good game of connect the dots with the dry patches in your yard, you may have a grub problem. The ugly little patches contain hundreds of grubs that are munching on the roots of your lush lawn grasses. Give the grubs a dousing of homemade grub remover at the right time, and your lawn will look thick and green again within weeks.
While it may not be possible to kill all the glutinous grubs, you can cut them back by up to 75 percent with natural remedies and a lot of patience.
Know Your Enemy
Grubs are baby beetles that begin to feast on your fescue when they hatch in late summer and early fall. This is the best time to get to grubs before they cause too much serious damage. They're small and easier to knock off and control when they're about two inches under the top layer of soil. Once winter approaches, they'll burrow farther down to stay warm and wait until next year to begin their banquet.
The average lawn is around 8,000 square feet. That's a lot of land for grubs to gain while you enjoy the dog days of summer and cool grass under your feet. More than 45,000 grubs will call your oasis home by the end of summer if they aren't addressed early. Aside from the dry spots, a grub invasion will also let itself be known by spongy spots in your yard where they're actively eating.
Recipe for Revenge
There are a few recipes using dish soap as a base that can deter grubs from gaining ground in your yard. The soap ingredient smothers the grubs. The water and other pantry items help to deter the pests and make the concoction easier to spread over a wider area.
The basic soap recipe calls for one tablespoon of Dawn liquid soap to one quart of water. Use it immediately and spray directly onto the grubs.
Beetles dislike garlic. For a one-two punch that can deter adult beetles and grubs, mix two cloves of chopped garlic with one tablespoon of mineral oil, and allow that to sit in the freezer overnight. Add one quart of warm water and one tablespoon of liquid soap. Mix well and spray it on the affected area immediately. Keep it in the refrigerator tightly sealed for up to three days.
Always test any spray on a small part of the area to ensure it doesn't damage your lawn or other vegetation.
Be ready to spend some quality time in your yard spraying the area to ensure the grubs are good and gone.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.