Grub Busters

My sons watched this movie so much they had it memorized. Okay, it was Ghostbusters, but pretend it’s Grub Busters. Grubs tend to make people weak in the knees and break out in rashes. So all together, sing Grub Busters with me. “Grubs are in your lawn, living in your thatch, messing up your lawn, living in the biomass. Who you going to call, Scott Clarkson.”
This isn’t about selling grub control, but in the 27 years I’ve been doing lawn care, this one thing is constant.

I use less insecticide every year. I’m not an organic zealot by any means but believe the fewer chemicals, the better. And why spend money you don’t need to? Insecticides are expensive. Back in the Stone Age (the ‘80s) we used Diazanon until the little critters built up a resistance. Then Oftanol was the choice. It was effective until the microbes in the soil decided to eat it as soon as it touched the soil. Today we use Grub-Ex, Merit, or its chemical name, Imachlorphylid. Merit is fairly safe, lasts several months, and works pretty well. There are rumors of a new really safe chemical in the pipeline for next year. I have learned to think like a grub. Yes, I’m not all here. Mother grub comes out of the ground, finds a boyfriend in late spring and looks for a place to lay her eggs. Like any mother, she wants her offspring to have a safe neighborhood, good school system, and plenty to eat.

She is mesmerized by outside lights and usually lays close to one. If she lands on concrete she is smart enough to go to the closest grass. So if your lawn is the greenest lawn on the street in June, and you have a couple of 1000 watt lights outside, there could be a nursery working overtime. One other thing to remember is there will always be some grubs in your lawn no matter what insecticide you use. It takes a lot of them to do damage. We figure the panic threshold is about 7 to 20 per square foot. And if you are watering the lawn in the fall regularly, you may never see any damage.

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