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Impact of Environmental Variables on Grub Populations in New York State Turfgrass 1998

Project Leaders: Mike Villani, Jan Nyrop


Continue a sampling and environmental monitoring program on ten golf course fairways to determine the impact of site characteristics on scarab grub populations at those sites.


Japanese beetles were found mostly on fairways. They seem to prefer well-managed, irrigated turfgrass that is close to vegetation suitable for adult feeding. Very few grubs were found under trees, possibly because adult beetles prefer full sun to shade. No eggs were laid in completely dry soils. Japanese beetle grub populations were found in sites with loamy textured soils with moderate levels of organic matter.

European chafer grubs were found predominantly in the rough areas without irrigation and with sandy, well-drained soil textures. They were also commonly found surrounding small trees that serve as aggregation sites for mating pairs.

Although black turfgrass ataenius grub populations were only sampled for one year, making generalizations questionable, there was a trend for them to occur in areas of dense thatch and in soils with high organic matter.