Brown Spots: Grubs or Underwatering? Lawn Care Tips for College Station, Bryan, TX & the Brazo Valley Area

Is your lawn suffering from brown spots even though the majority of your grass looks healthy?

Late summer grass browning in Texas might be a sign of underwatering, or you could have an infestation of grubs. Either way, you'll need to address the resulting lawn damage—but you'll need to identify which issue is causing the problem first. That way, you can prevent the brown spots from reappearing.

Learn how to tell the difference between drought and grub damage in College Station, Bryan, and other nearby Brazos Valley areas.


What does drought damage look like?

Underwatered home lawn with dying grass near Bryan, TX.

Underwatering your lawn can lead to brown spots where the sun burns the dried grass blades. You may see more damage in areas with full-sun exposure. Grass will protect its root systems first, and limited water can leave everything above ground suffering.

The type of soil under your lawn will directly affect your drought damage risk and how blades on the surface look.

  • Sandy soil - A sand-rich substrate absorbs water quickly and requires less water to penetrate deep into the ground, but doesn't retain moisture well.
  • Loamy soil - Loam yards absorb water at a moderate rate and hold onto it longer than sand.
  • Clay soil - Clay-rich dirt drains very slowly, and water can get trapped around grass roots causing them to rot. Nutrients can't reach the grass blades, so the grass turns brown and dies.

What does grub damage look like?

Grub damage to a lawn near College Station, TX.

Grub damage can also cause brown spots on your lawn. The grubs chew through the roots, destroying the connection between the root system and grass blades. You'll see brown spots pop up unexpectedly and then spread across larger areas. Common white grubs typically hatch in the late summer, so the best time for grub prevention in Texas is in May or June.

If you miss the window for grub prevention, we can apply a post-emergent grub treatment to help address the infestation.

How can you tell the difference between damage from underwatering and grub damage?

Underwatering your lawn can causes everything to become brittle and dry in the area that turns brown. It will be hard to pull up. Early signs of underwatering include a blue hue and blades that show footprints when you walk across your yard.

Grub damage can be identified by feeling the grass in the brown spots. If it feels spongy, try to tug up and roll back a section. If the sod rolls up like a rug, you may have grubs and might even be able to see them squirming in the soil.


Do you need lawn care and grub prevention in College Station and Bryan, TX? Call us.

If you suspect you have grubs or your lawn needs some serious TLC after being under-watered, you can count on us for professional lawn care and lawn pest prevention. We serve all of College Station, Bryan, and surrounding areas of the Brazos Valley in Texas. Call us at (979) 705-9545 to get rid of the brown spots in your lawn today.