What causes brown spots in the lawn
What causes brown patches in your lovely green lawn? Well, lots of things, including the neighbor’s dog and your teenage kid doing burnouts with his new tires. But then it might be lawn grubs. The bad news is, lawn grubs can cause really serious and very unsightly damage to your lawn. They can also be persistent and reoccurring. The good news is they can be managed by various means. They might be easier to control than the dog next door or your hot-rod kid. It depends on the dog and the kid.
Lawn grubs are of several sorts. All do damage. You will need to find out which particular kind you have, and how badly you are infested. On way to check is to use a spade to make a sort of flap of turf that you can lift up, several inches thick if you can manage it. Look under there, especially around the edges of the brown patches. You ought be able to find some of the critters. You can then compare to pics online, or get a sample down to your local ag agent or other expert. You will need to be accurate in your identification, because they have different life cycles and are controlled in different ways.
There are several pesticides used for the control of lawn grubs. Once you have identified the creature, you can get the right kind, and apply at the correct time. You’ll need to do a little research, and read the labels. One called Merit is often quite effective, and can be found in well-known brands. Be sure you don’t just get something that says “controls lawn pests” and dump that on. Agents that will control bugs at the surface might not do a thing to the grubs, happily feeding several inches below ground. The reliable product you choose will have directions, which will most likely include watering in well, to get the stuff down to the grubs.
There are also several non-toxic ways to approach the problem. For Japanese Beetle grubs, you can get Milky Spore and apply that according to directions. That won’t hurt you but will hurt the grubs. There are also beneficial nematodes that will help control the critters. Whether you choose a reliable pesticide or one of the natural cures, you will need to do your research, identify the creatures, and get the timing right. You have to get at them while they are vulnerable, if you want to kill lawn grubs.
Now, there is one more way. I saved it for last because it is the most fun. You know those spike sandals that are sold to put on over your shoes and walk around over your lawn to aerate it? Research has shown that repeated passes over lawn turf with those spikes can be as effective as pesticide control for lawn grubs. You will need to go over the lawn several times, in order to get at least a couple of pokes per square inch. You could get healthful exercise, while providing an entertaining spectacle for the neighbors. You could buy several sets and get the neighbors involved, perhaps using a pitcher of lemonade or a well-stocked cooler of the refreshment of your choice as inducement. Or your could hold the sandals in one hand, and that teen-agers car keys in the other, rattle the keys, and see how fast they can do five times over the whole lawn. I’m just trying to help here. Sometimes you have to think outside the box, especially when trying to control those pesky lawn grubs.