When dealing with grubs, you should first determine if they are really causing a problem. Pull up a 1 ft. square section of sod and turn over the soil below. If you see more than 4 or 5 grubs, then you may have a problem; any less than that is not enough to worry about.
If you’re in the trouble range you should do a few things:
- Try using beneficial nematodes. These are basically microscopic parasites that kill grubs very quickly. Nematode solutions these days are VERY targeted. In other words, they will NOT harm anything other than the grubs. Not you, not your children, not your pets and not other, potentially beneficial, insects/organisms. There are actually nematode solutions that are targeted to other insects as well, so if you’re having some other insect problem in your lawn, you might check into this.
Scanmask is said to deal with over 230 different “bugs”, so it’s great for gardens where you’re trying to control bug pests that will eat you plants and produce. You can get it from numerous suppliers, but I like Amazon.com.
- To stop grubs from popping up next year, get the beetles this year. You might try walking the yard in the early morning and collecting as many beetles as you can. If there is a large population, an early morning application of rotenone might be called for.
- Plant trees and shrubs to create a natural habitat for grub predators such as birds. This will help eliminate the need for steps one and two in the future.
- Try a product called Milky Spore. It is actually a disease that affects ONLY Japanese Beetle grubs. The more grubs there are, the faster it spreads. When all the grubs are dead, it lies dormant in the soil until a new crop pops up. Any new grub infestations that develop are dealt with quickly by this disease. This is a long-term solution that can last up to 20 years. However, it can also take a few years to reach full effectiveness, so it normally must be used in conjunction with the above methods in the beginning.
How About Moles?
Moles and grubs go somewhat hand in hand. Therefore, sometimes getting rid of the grubs will eventually end your mole problem. Keep in mind, however, that more recently it is being said that earthworms are also a major food source for moles. Thus, in lawns with very good soil (and, hence, many earthworms), getting rid of the grubs may not do the trick, and you certainly don’t want to try to rid yourself of those precious earthworms.
As a result, you may want to try a particular castor oil remedy if the little buggers are making a mess of your lawn. It is said that a mixture of three parts castor oil to one part dish detergent can push the moles out of your lawn. They get the mixture on their fur, an when they attempt to lick it off it gets into their digestive system and kills them. Mix about 4 tablespoons of the mixture with a gallon of water. Spray the solution into all of the entrances to mole tunnels. You might also want to put one of these other home remedies in all of the entrances you can find: used cat litter, dog manure, human hair or bubble gum.
Traps Still Work Best
For those that aren’t squeamish about using traps, these are still the most effective way to take care of a mole problem. Depending upon how many you’ve got and how diligent you are about checking the traps and resetting them, it could take a few weeks to get ’em all, but they work. I can attest to that myself.
The trap I’ve used, which seems to have been very effective is this Around the Home Metal Mole Trap (or a very similar model anyway). I didn’t purchase it on Amazon, but at a local hardware. I think the Amazon price is better than what I paid. The Amazon reviews are all very positive.
However, another trap that has more reviews, and virtually all positive, is the Cinch Mole Trap Kit. I don’t have any experience with this particular trap, but the description says they’ve been making them since 1909. Only two negative reviews with all the rest extremely positive. I’m guessing that this trap would likely work very well for you, but, if it doesn’t, at least Amazon is REALLY good about returns. I never hesitate to purchase an item from them because I know they will always take the return if I don’t like it.