This lovely little fellow is a “white grub”, the larva of the June Beetle of the genus Phyllophaga, of which there are over 100 different species. Phyllophaga larvae and other larvae of the family Scarabaeidae are often referred to as “white grubs”.
Larvae of the Phyllophaga are fat grubs which lie in C-shaped positions. They are whitish in color with dark areas at the rear and a brownish head. The adults are beetles.
The adults lay eggs in the soil. Grubs live in the soil and feed on roots of many different plants. White grubs may be active in the soil throughout the year, but different species take varying times to complete their life cycle of 1 to 4 years. The adults do not feed on grass.
Symptoms of Grub Damage
Plants affected by grub feeding may suddenly wilt. Grubs can kill small plants and gnaw cavities in root vegetables. Species of white grubs that feed on grass roots cause yellow patches in lawns. In many cases you may be able to lift back dead patches of your lawn like a carpet where grubs have been feeding. Heavy infestations of grubs attract raccoons, skunks, armadillos, opossums, crows, ibis, and other birds, which make holes in the lawn and garden to feed on the grubs.
Control of Grubs
Unfortunately, while control of grubs is essential to the health of many plants in your yard and garden, it is difficult to locate and target an underground pest with a pesticide, but early application (early April through early May) of Bayer Advanced Lawn™ Season-Long Grub Control Ready-To-Spread Granules is said to be effective (this is not an endorsement by FG). In addition to the natural predators mentioned above beneficial nematodes are available to help control grub populations. While milky spore disease is also suggested for grub control it is often labeled only for use on grubs of Japanese beetles.