WHITE GRUB/JUNE BEETLE


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MEET THE PEST

White Grub White grubs, the larval stage of June beetles, are common lawn pests. This pest is off-white in colour with a light brown head. Three pairs of legs are found close to the head of the 1 2 inch (3 3/4 cm) grub. At rest, the white grub is curled and can be found close to the soil surface. The adult (June beetle) is shiny brown in colour and approximately one inch (2 2 cm) in length with long, spiny legs.

White grubs will feed on grass, grass roots, and farm and garden crops. They feed on potato tubers, but prefer fibrous roots of turf grass. The adult stage also feeds on flowers. Feeding by the white grub results in dead patches of turf that may allow annoying weeds to invade.

LIFE CYCLE

Most June beetles have a three year life-cycle causing most damage in the second year. In June, the adult lays eggs in the soil. Within two weeks, white grubs emerge. They feed during the warm summer months and then overwinter deep in the soil. Early the following summer, the grubs move close to the soil surface and begin feeding again. They can cause extensive damage in small numbers due to their voracious appetite. After a short feeding period during the third summer, the white grub pupates and turns into an adult. The adult (June beetle) overwinters in soil and lays eggs the following summer, thus completing its life cycle. The June beetle can be seen or heard flying against windows or lights on warm summer nights.

When June beetles are numerous, the potential exists for white grubs to cause extensive damage throughout the following two summers.

CONTROL

Physical

A healthy lawn is the best protection against white grubs. A well-watered, fertilized, aerated lawn will provide resistance against white grub attack. Good root growth is helpful as the adults prefer to lay their eggs in thin grass. If the lawn is not established or if it is being reseeded, choose a resistant grass variety. An example of a resistant variety is an endophytic grass which contains a fungus that repels white grubs. Planting geraniums in your garden will also repel white grubs.

Another method of control is to cut potatoes in large pieces, bury them in damaged areas for three to four days and then dig them up. White grubs will be found feeding on the potato. Drop them into a bucket of soapy water.

Biological

Skunks, moles, crows and blackbirds are all natural enemies of white grubs. Raking the lawn exposes them to natural predators. There are also parasitic nematodes which control white grubs. Products containing these nematodes may be purchased from garden centers.

Chemical

If physical and biological control measures are not effective, use a pesticide which will have a minimal impact on both you and the environment.

If the above measures are not effective, consult with an expert at a garden center for pesticides available. Before using pesticides, consult the Backyard Bug Brigade Brochure which contains information on safe pest control.

Always use a registered domestic class pest control product labelled for white grub control and carefully follow the label directions.


[ First Page | Aphids | Biting Flies (Mosquito & Black Fly) | Carpenter Ants | Chinch Bugs | Cockroaches | Cutworms | Earwigs | Eastern Tent Caterpillars | European Marsh Crane Flies | Fleas | Mice & Rats | Silverfish | Wasps (Yellow Jacket) | Turf Weeds | White Grubs | Pesticide Regulations ]