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During the summertime, a pest called the Japanese Beetle will lay its eggs. What happens is that their white grubs then begin to eat the roots of the grass, which causes the grass to die. Depending on where you live, you will find other beetles that are very similar such as the May Beetle, June Beetle, and European Chafers. They too will eat the grass´┐Ż roots, causing the grass to die and turn brown.

For most homeowners, having this problem is devastating. Although the Japanese Beetle will not harm people, they do a number on grass. They love gardens and lawns, hatching in the middle of August. Once hatched, the Japanese Beetle will start destroying the grass and not finish until late October. From that time, they hide deep in the ground where they remain until April at which time they come back up and start the process all over again. During a short period in June and July, the adults will mate and fly, finding flowers such as hollyhock and roses.

The best thing you can do for the Japanese Beetle and their grubs is to maintain a healthy lawn. If you find that you have brown spots, you should assume it is because of the grubs. To confirm this, you can take about one-square foot of grass, cutting and rolling it back. You will see white grubs on the underside. If there are no more than 10, you are fine and the use of an herbicide is not needed. However, if you have more, then you will need to take care of the problem.

Just remember that before you put a pesticide down on your lawn, make sure no animal or person will be walking on the lawn. The reason is that the chemicals are easily transported into the home where they can be breathed in by adults, children, and pets, causing them to become ill. There are many different options when it comes to pesticides but we would recommend the following:
  • Merit is a new pesticide on the market. All the test results have been favorable and it works to kill grubs. The only downfall is that it takes a little time for it to work. The good thing about Merit is that it is a safer product than many others you will find and it lasts a long time.

  • Milky Spore Disease is a chemical that is safer for humans than other chemicals as well. This particular bT chemical will only attack grubs, caterpillars, and works best in warmer climate.

  • Nematodes are actually small worms that love to kill grubs. Keep in mind that some of the nematodes require special bacteria for them to work. Shipping and receiving them live can be another challenge. However, if you can find a company near where you live, this is a great option.
If possible, always use chemicals as a last resort. Since chemicals change often, it would be to your advantage to speak with a qualified individual at your local nursery to ensure you are using something safe and something approved. To eliminate the Japanese Beetle and their grubs, you will have the best results by killing them during the late summer months.
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