Defend Your Yard: Prevent and Control Grubs and the New Devastating Invasive Species, the Boxwood Moth

Invasive species from microbes to animals can cause a devastating effect on the ecosystems they are introduced to. In the Rochester NY area, we have been standing against the spread of what is commonly known as Grubs for the last few years. However, this year our residents are facing a new opponent, the Box Tree Moth. With a spritz here and a sprinkle there both of these pests can be easily managed. 

How to Identify Infestations

 There are a number of clear signs you may have contracted a Grub infestation. For one, when you walk on your lawn it seems oddly spongey even without being saturated with water. Secondly, circular yellowing patches will develop in the areas where Grubs have congregated and damaged the grass’s root system. Due to the damage, you will be able to pull up chunks of grass like pulling on a carpet. Revealing the Grub’s milky white bodies that curl into the shape of a C when exposed to the light. 

Where Grubs prefer to burrow in the grass on your property they aren’t particularly picky and can also infest your landscape beds. On the other hand, this year’s guest of honor the Box Tree Moth is quite particular with their love of any and all boxwoods. Homeowners need to be on their toes from here on out keeping a close eye on their shrubbery. As soon as you see a slight webbing, chewed leaves, or green-black frass (excrement) on your boxwood shrubs you must work fast and treat each plant with liquid insect control. 

Preventing Grub and Boxwood Tree Moth Infestations

Preventing against Grubs is relatively easy. Most four and/or five-step fertilization programs like the one provided by Turfline include an optional Grub control product that can be added in the months of Mid June to late August. These granular products are quick and easy to apply to your yard with the help of a spreader. You can also regularly have your lawn dethatched to make it less hospitable to inhabit. 

Sadly, there has yet to be a reliable way to actually prevent the spread of the Box Tree Moth. New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets requests reports of any sightings of these wretched insects. 

Grub and Box Tree Moth Control Techniques

In many incidents, people do not think they need to prevent these infestations until it is too late and they are faced with combatting the little buggers before too much damage is done. If you believe that you now have a problem and need immediate assistance the best course of action is a twenty-four hour Grub killer either in granular or liquid form. These quick-acting products spread and circulate throughout the area faster than the slow-release options, mentioned previously. Follow this application up with a slow-release Grub control two to three weeks after along with a fertilizer and you will be good to go for the rest of the year. There are more natural forms of management for grubs as well, but they do take a bit more time, energy and money than the chemical routes. A few examples of these natural approaches are neem oil, nematodes, lawn-aerating sandals, and attracting birds. 

If you suspect that your boxwoods have attracted the dreaded Box Tree Moth, two to three applications of particular insect control products no more than two weeks apart will stop them in their tracts. These chemicals are called Eight Insect Control by Bonide and Monteroy BT ready-to-use spray. To enable quicker return of healthy foliage we suggest the use of a water-soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro or a granular product like Holly Tone.

Where to Go for More Information and Guidance

Thomas Garden Center and its staff are here for anything you may need to help handle almost any kind of affliction.  After an identification by the owner who is able to diagnose and prescribe the best product and ways to go about resolving almost any problem. All the products and knowledge you need all in one place. We are also able to provide complimentary estimates for lawn aeration or dethatching. If your boxwoods succumb to the new influx of insects look no further, in our garden center there are hundreds of choices to refill those holes in your landscaping.

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