5 Signs You Have Grub Damage in Your Lawn

Dave Petti

Grubs are pretty sneaky insects in Northeast Ohio lawns. 

Why? There’s no way you can really tell when they attack your lawn because they do their dirty work underground where you can’t see them. 

In fact, your lawn can look just fine on the surface, while grubs can be eating away at the lawn roots, cutting off the pathways of vital nutrients and water your grass needs. 

And before you know it, your grass is suffering. 


Let’s review some lawn grubs signs so you can better recognize if this Northeast Ohio lawn pest is lurking in your grass. 

5 Grub Damage Signs To Look For

First, let’s talk about what grubs are so you can begin to recognize grub signs. Grubs are actually the larvae of bugs like Japanese Beetles, European Chafers, Southern Masked Chafers, and June Beetles. 

By appearance, they are white and C-shaped with soft, squishy bodies and legs right beneath their heads. Throughout their life cycles, they can damage your landscape plants above and below ground. 

It begins in spring when they wake up from winter hibernation. They climb up from deep in the soil and rest beneath the grass surface, feeding on your lawn’s root system. But since the grass is vigorously growing in the spring, it’s unlikely that you’ll see damage.

In late spring, the larvae pupate in the ground and emerge in mid-summer as flying beetles. Some species like Japanese Beetles feed during the day, while others only feed at night. It’s entirely possible to have a large infestation and not see them feeding on the leaves of your roses and other valued plants. 

As the flying adults feed, they mate and deposit eggs in your lawn. In late summer and early fall, their newly hatched grubs begin to feed on lawn roots. This is where major damage can occur since your lawn is stressed from surviving the hot, dry summer. 


These lawn grub signs might clue you into the fact that grubs are present so you can being to fight them. 

1. An Underperforming Lawn

Your lawn may begin just fine in spring. 

But by May, June, and July, you might begin to notice some sluggish growth. That’s a grub damage sign. 

As the weather continues to heat up in Northeast Ohio, your lawn will become drier. This is when you might notice brown spots or dead patches of grass that no longer have roots to deliver water and nutrients to your grass. 


2. Animals Digging Up Your Lawn

Another grub damage sign is the presence of other critters in your lawn. 

What you’ll see is animals like raccoons, skunks, and birds digging into your yard. Since grubs are considered pretty tasty treats to these animals, they are searching for a snack in your lawn. 

3. A Loose Lawn

Does your lawn seem like it’s not connected to the ground?

If you grab a handful of your lawn and pull on it, you might notice it comes up easily, similar to loose carpet. 

This means that the lawn roots are no longer rooted in the ground – a definite grub sign. 


4. A Spongy Lawn

As you walk across your lawn, you might notice that it doesn’t feel solid underneath. 

This will create a spongy feeling as you walk across it. This is another lawn grub sign that your roots are not securely in place. 


5. Lack of Lawn Bounce Back In Fall

After surviving summer’s heat, your lawn should recover and look green again in fall.

This is the result of the weather and temperature conditions improving, and the lawn is recovering from any heat or drought stress. 

But if your lawn does not show signs of recovery in normal, cooler weather, that may be a lawn grub sign to watch for. 

Seeing Grub Damage Signs? Time to Get Rid of Grubs

Once grubs move into your Northeast Ohio lawn, they don’t leave. And mild winters can lead to heavier infestations, so you never want to ignore signs of grub damage. 

That means after seeing grub signs, it’s time to get rid of them – fast. 

The key to grub control is to kill them early or before they hatch so they don’t have a chance to cause serious damage to your lawn. As a result, prevention is your best bet. May and June is a great timeframe for early prevention of grubs in Northeast Ohio.

Turf Pride offers a grub solution that provides season-long control. This means it lasts all through summer and fall. We will also come back and inspect your lawn to ensure grubs haven’t returned if you see some signs that concern you.

Plus, we offer other lawn care services, such as fertilization and weed control, that can enhance your lawn’s health and bring it back from any grub damage. While we’re on your property giving your lawn the TLC it needs, we will continue to monitor for grubs to make sure they stay away. 


Want to Kick Grubs to the Curb? Trust Turf Pride

 Grubs gobbling your grassroots is not a problem you want at the top of your to-do list. You have enough things to think about when taking care of your Northeast Ohio home. 

Turf Pride would love to create a custom lawn care plan for you to ensure your yard thrives, while also killing any grub sign issues you have and reviving your lawn.


Ready to stop the grub madness in your lawn? Request a free quote today. We’ll review our options together so you can make the best choice for you. Then you can sit back and enjoy your lawn – worry-free!

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