Eliminate and Prevent Armyworms, Grubs, and Billbugs in Your Lawn
Armyworm damage, white lawn grubs, and Billbugs in your lawn are the worst enemies of pristine residential or commercial turf. The destruction they cause is often difficult to diagnose, and it can take several months for your lawn to recover from insect damage. It can feel like a never-ending problem. Or at least, it did until you read this article. Here, you’ll learn how to effectively prevent and eliminate lawn-damaging insects in your grass without harming the environment.
Related: Pest Control for Your Lawn — A Complete Guide
Lawn Pests: How to Spot Them
Before you even begin lawn treatment with insecticides, it’s best to understand exactly what is “bugging” it. Sometimes, it could be harsh weather conditions, lawn diseases, or weeds plaguing your grass. A doctor wouldn’t prescribe you medicine without giving you a diagnosis first. The same applies to your lawn. Here is a list of signs which might indicate you have an infestation of Armyworms, grubs, or Billbugs.
Moths and beetles flying around your lawn — Armyworms and grubs are the larval stages of moths and beetles, respectively. If you spot a lot of beetles and moths flying around your lawn, they’re probably looking for a place to lay their eggs to provide their offspring with food. Unfortunately, a healthy lawn is an ideal nursery.
Increased animal activity — Creatures such as raccoons, skunks, and birds love a juicy grub for a snack. If you notice more and more animals on your lawn, it isn’t a sign you’re a Dr. Doolittle. These visiting animals aren’t just a sign of lawn pests, they’re also a problem in themselves. Animals searching for grubs underneath the grass will dig up and toss soil around — causing further damage to your lawn.
Bouncy turf — Grubs feed on grass roots, which causes damage underground. Because grubs eat away the roots, the connection between the surface turf and root base becomes weak. As a result, your lawn might feel spongy or bouncy underfoot.
Brown patches — These can be the result of drought or disease, so it’s important to look out for the other signs too. Oddly shaped dead, brown patches on your lawn indicate lawn-pest activity.
- Have you actually seen any lawn pests? — Aside from deducting your problem from “signs”, confirm your suspicions by identifying what these insects look like.
How to Identify Lawn-Pests
To the vast majority of us, many bugs look the same. We might be able to categorize them into species, but it can be hard to tell. For the main offenders: Armyworms, grubs, and Billbugs, we’ve put together some details on how to identify them.
The Armyworm, despite its name, is a caterpillar that eventually turns into a moth. Roughly 1.5-2 inches long, it’s usually either gray, dull green, or beige with stripes along the length of its body. A broad band of dark gray or gray runs along the top of the body. On the head, you’ll notice a brown net-like pattern. Eggs are laid underneath the grass, and you’re more likely to see these pests at night or on cooler days.
The occasional grub here and there won’t cause any problems, but a large population causes damage to your lawn. The lawn grub or white grub is the larva of beetles (such as June beetles). They’re about ½ an inch in length and off-white in color. They have brown heads with plumb bodies and three pairs of legs. When they’re exposed to the air, they usually lie in a c-shape. You can check for grubs by digging up brown spots in your grass. More than five grubs per sq. ft is a sign you might have an infestation.
Photo taken by Dean Mosdell
The larvae of the Billbug look very similar to lawn grubs. The main distinguishing feature is the fact that they’re legless. Creamy in color with brown heads, their bodies curve around slightly. They’re about a ¼ to ½ an inch long. You’ll find the larvae in and around grass roots, where adult Billbugs find a suitable place to deposit their eggs. One way to spot a Billbug infestation is the larvae feces. A dusting of light-brown sawdust-like material near the base of your grass is a clear indicator of a Billbug issue.
If you've been following our content for a while, you know we often mention a product called Caravan G. It’s a combination of insecticide and fungicide that's highly effective. But what about the situations where you need an insecticide that's specifically effective against Armyworms? Or you're concerned about eliminating helpful pollinators and insects such as bees and earthworms?
Enter Acelepryn. Acelepryn is a selective insecticide that targets common lawn pests like white grubs, annual Bluegrass Weevils, various turf caterpillars, Billbugs, and more. It is one of the best insecticides to eliminate and prevent pests in your lawn.
Why Should I Use Acelepryn?
A single application of Acelepryn provides season-long coverage on warm and cool-season lawns. The active ingredient in Acelepryn is called chlorantraniliprole. It effectively eliminates lawn-damaging insects while leaving bees and other pollinators unharmed.
Chlorantraniliprole isn’t toxic to people and animals. It also has a limited impact on the environment. If you’re interested in discovering more about how chlorantraniliprole works in Acelepryn, here’s a Q&A sheet produced by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, CalEPA.
Acelepryn is available in both liquid and granular forms. Both are equally effective, but the granular is easier to apply. For this reason, we’ll focus on the granular version, Acelepryn G. If you prefer liquid insecticides, we also have Acelepryn SC 4 oz. available.
Which Application Rate Should I Use for My Lawn?
So, you’ve recently bought a bag of Acelepryn, and you’re ready to apply it. But, how can you get the most out of your purchase? Golf Course Lawn has a tried and tested method. Read on to find out more.
You can apply Acelepryn G at rates ranging from 1.15 oz per 1,000 sq. ft to 2.3 oz per 1,000 sq. ft. This means a single 25 oz bag will cover lawns between 11,000 sq. ft to 21,000 sq. ft.
So, the question you’re probably asking yourself is, “which rate should I use?”
Well, the short answer is, that it depends on which lawn pest you want to get rid of. That said, if you’re looking for a single rate that's effective against a wide variety of pests, we recommend applying Acelepryn G at a rate of 1.8 oz per 1,000 sq. ft. This rate provides great lawn-pest control while covering lawns up to 14,000 sq. feet.
The best times of the year to apply Acelepryn G for the broadest insect control are in April and May. Though April and May are ideal, you can also apply the product successfully as late as September. For additional application options, consult the Acelepryn product label.
A great benefit of choosing the granular version of Acelepryn is that a broadcast spender is the only tool required for application.
Our spreader of choice is the EarthWay 2050p. When configured with a setting of 12, you’ll get coverage up to 12,000 sq. ft. If you're not using an EarthWay, check the Acelepryn G product description for common spreader settings.
TIP: As with any granular product, lightly overlap the passes to ensure even coverage.
How to Apply Acelepryn
Before you begin, ensure you have all the relevant equipment ready, like a broadcast spreader if you’re using the granular version.
Although Acelepryn isn’t acutely toxic, it’s advisable to reduce your skin’s exposure to the insecticide. For personal protective equipment (PPE), the Acelepryn G product label recommends wearing a long sleeve shirt, long pants, and shoes with socks.
Out of caution, we also recommend wearing protective gloves and eyewear whenever applying insecticides to your lawn.
Once you’ve finished applying Acelepryn, sweep or blow any excess product on driveways and sidewalks back onto the lawn. In addition, use this opportunity to thoroughly clean your spreader with water — to avoid chemical contamination with other granular fertilizers or herbicides.
For more specifics on how to apply Acelepryn G, check out our helpful YouTube video:
An Insect-Free Lawn
By now, you should be well prepared to spot Armyworms, grubs, and Billbugs in your lawn and the damage they create. Acelepryn G is a highly effective choice that targets a broad spectrum of pests without harming you, your pets, or useful insects.
We wish you an insect-free lawn 😎
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