Grub in the lawn

Contents

How to Get Rid of Grubs in the Lawn and Garden

If your lawn is dying, dried, and brown, the problem could be grubs. Beetle grubs – especially the larvae of Japanese beetles and their relatives in the Scarab family – feed on the roots of grasses and other plants.


A few grubs won’t create any problems, but past a certain population threshold, they can wreak havoc on even a healthy lawn. If you have a grub problem, you’ll probably need to treat it.

In the past, the most common ways to kill beetle grubs have been insecticides, especially trichlorfon, dibenzoylhydrazine, and imidacloprid. However, these chemical poisons have other detrimental effects to the environment.

Trichlorfon is banned in the US in agricultural areas producing either food for humans, or feed for animals. It inhibits acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that breaks down a neurotransmitter that’s important in all kinds of animals – humans included. Imidacloprid, which acts as an insect neurotoxin, is known to be very harmful to honeybees.

A safer approach is to use biopesticides. These products introduce other organisms that prey on or parasitize the grubs, but are not harmful to beneficial insects, beneficial soil bacteria, and other local organisms. Here are some of the products you can use to safely and effectively eliminate beetle grubs from your lawn.

Best Lawn Grub Killer

Beneficial Nematodes

One of the best ways to eliminate grubs specifically – without harming beneficial insects – is to introduce certain nematodes into the soil. Nematodes are microscopic roundworms, one of the most abundant animals on Earth.

This preparation contains three different species, one of which is a nematode called Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. This species has an endosymbiotic relationship with genus of bacteria called Phothorabdus. They live in the nematode’s digestive tract. The nematode pierces the outer skin of a beetle grub, and releases the bacteria into its body. These bacteria release toxins that cause fatal problems like apoptosis (cell death) of blood cells.

Within forty eight hours, the grub will die. The Photorhabdus bacteria then feed on the body of the dead grub, the process of which enables the nematode to also obtain nutrients from it. Along with grubs, the nematode and its endosymbionts will also attack some other pest species, notably the larvae of cabbage white butterflies and tobacco hornworms.

Along with H. bacteriophora, this product contains two other beneficial nematode species, Steinernema feltiae and Steinerma carpocapsae. Together, they help eliminate a range of common backyard insect pests.

Milky Spore Control

This product contains a bacteria called Paenobacillus popilliae (formerly known as Bacillus popilliae), which targets grubs — especially those of the Japanese beetle. The bacteria spores can be introduced to your soil with a simple one-time application, at a time of year when the grubs are most vulnerable to them. (Usually August.)

The grubs ingest the spores, which cause the “milky spore” disease, which kills them by interfering with normal blood circulation. The bacterial spores act as an effective population suppressant, becoming concentrated in the areas with the highest numbers of grubs. They’ll also persist in the soil for an average of two to ten years, helping to prevent a resurgence in the grub population. As a bonus, birds and other insect predators will often relocate the grubs to eat them, helping to further spread the spores to nearby areas.

How do you know if you have grubs in your lawn?

Beetle grubs damage lawns by feeding on grass roots, causing the plants to wilt and die. You can check for grubs by gently pulling up a small section of turf, using a trowel and wearing gloves. Grubs are visible as white c-shaped larvae. While a few can be beneficial, lawn damage can occur at a threshold of around ten grubs per square foot of sod.

What is the best time to treat for grubs?

Grubs that can kill your lawn are the larvae of various species of scarab beetles, especially Japanese beetles. These insects generally have a one year life cycle.

The adult beetles lay their eggs in the soil during the fall. In the spring, the grubs come out of dormancy, as the winter ends and the ground thaws out. At this point, they begin feeding on grass roots. In the summer, the grubs pupate and mature into adult beetles.

The eggs begin hatching in the late summer and fall, at which point the newborn larvae begin to feed on grass roots. In climates where the ground freezes and winter temperatures are low, they lie dormant until the spring.

As such, the best time to treat for grubs is in the early fall, at the peak of the egg hatching season. During winter, they will have burrowed deep, and are less susceptible to biopesticides like nematodes and bacteria, so you’ll want to treat your lawn well before the first hard freeze.

If you’re using milky spore bacteria to target beetle grubs, temperature is an important factor. The bacterial spores are sensitive to cold, and flourish the most in temperatures from around sixty to seventy degrees Fahrenheit. It may take longer to spread in cooler climates, like the Northeast and Upper Midwest, than in warmer southern climates.

How long does it take to kill grubs?

The amount of time it takes for the grubs to die can depend on what method you’re using to kill them. H. bacteriophora nematodes will kill a grub within 48 hours of piercing it and injecting it with bacteria. Milky spores can take a bit longer to kill the grub, which dies relatively slowly over the course of days as its circulatory system fails.

Does grub control kill other insects?

The answer to this question depends, at least in part, on which product you’re using, and what active ingredients it contains. Some formulations of beneficial nematodes contain both H. bacteriophora, which goes primarily after beetle grubs, and other nematodes that target different insect pests like moth larvae and fleas.

Milky spore disease bacteria specifically target the larvae of beetles in the scarab family, which includes Japanese beetles, the most common species that acts as a lawn pest in the United States. It does affect other beetle larvae, but not other types of insect pests.

Other Pest Control Guides

  • How To Get Rid Of Fleas
  • How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites
  • How To Get Rid Of Mealybugs

Sam Choan is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.

How & When to Treat Japanese Beetles & Grubs

Learn how and when to treat Japanese beetles and grubs with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

The immature stage of the Japanese beetle – the white grub – typically has a three year life cycle. However, most of the damage to ornamentals and turf grass happens during the spring and fall the second year. This is when grubs are present in the top inch of the root zone, heavily feeding on grass roots and thatch. In the third year of the cycle, the grubs rise out of the soil as Japanese beetles. These beetles feed on surrounding plants and lay eggs in the soil throughout the summer. These eggs eventually hatch into grubs and the cycle begins again. Blain’s Farm & Fleet is here to help you get rid of Japanese beetles and grubs.

How to Treat Japanese Beetles & Grubs:

Stage 1 Dormant Grub: October – March. Grubs burrow deep into the soil and rest through the winter. Some move as much as 12 inches below the surface. Come March, lawns already under attack by grubs are best treated in early spring or fall. Apply Bayer Advanced 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus for fast results. Grubs will usually stop feeding and start to die within 24 hours.

Stage 2 Feeding Grub: March – April. Grubs rise from their winter rest and begin feeding on roots, causing extensive damage to turf grasses. Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Insect Control or All-in-One Rose & Flower Care are best. The best way to control adult beetles is to make a preemptive strike, in the spring, well in advance of the adults emerging.

Stage 3 Pupa: April – June. After this spring feeding period during the third summer of its life cycle, the grub pupates and turns into an adult Japanese beetle. Remember that Bayer Advanced Season Long Grub Control is great to use all season. Grubs are easiest to control when they are young, so take preventative action in late spring through early summer.

Stage 4 Adult: June – August. Adult Japanese beetles emerge from the soil and begin feeding on many types of plants and ornamentals, leaving skeletonized leaves. Starting in June try Bayer Advanced Dual Action Rose & Flower Insect Killer. If you haven’t made such a preemptive strike and the beetles are feeding, products that kill on contact and provide systemic protection are most effective.

Stage 5 Egg: July – September. The adult beetle continues to feed, mate and lay eggs in the soil and turf until up to 60 eggs are laid. It is best starting in August to bring back out the Bayer Advanced 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus. Lawns already under attack by grubs are best treated in early fall. Apply Bayer Advanced 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus for fast results.

Step 6 Feeding Larva: August – October. The eggs hatch into grubs, which feed heavily on grass roots throughout the late summer and early fall, causing extensive damage. Remember that the Bayer Advanced Season Long Grub Control is good for all season use. Grubs are easiest to control when they are young, so take preventative action.

Is it too late to treat for white grubs?

Damage from white grubs in lawns can show up anytime after mid-August. However, our experience in the recent past has been that grub damage does not become obvious until September or even into October. Damage from white grubs is usually localized. It is typical to have severe damage in irregular and isolated spots where there were enough soil-dwelling larvae to eat the grass plant roots.

White grub damage may first appear as drought stress (gray-green discoloration and wilting in the hot sun). More severe damage causes the turf to die in large irregular patches that can be rolled back like a loose carpet. High populations of grubs may go unnoticed until discovery by raccoons or skunks. Raccoons, skunks and crows will turn over large patches of loose turf, eat the grubs and leave behind a torn-up mess.

Rainfall and soil moisture are critical factors affecting the extent of grub damage. Adequate moisture in mid-summer will favor beetle activity and grub development. If plentiful rainfall or irrigation continues through August and September (when grubs are actively feeding) damage may not be noticeable because the grass continues to grow and masks the root injury symptoms. Healthy turf can sometimes tolerate 20 or more grubs per square foot before showing signs of injury. The onset of dry weather can lead to “sudden” appearance of grub damage symptoms.

Treatment for white grubs in late summer is problematic. It is not an automatic decision to choose to use an insecticide for white grubs. By September white grubs are fully-grown and thus harder to kill. The best treatment may kill only 60% of the grubs. Severe damage to turf may have already occurred. If raccoons have found the grubs they will continue to return and cause additional destruction. In many cases it may be preferable to repair the damage through seeding or sodding without treating. If the old loose sod is still green it may reattach with adequate watering.

Insecticide treatments after early October are not effective and are not recommended. If you do treat it may not be necessary to treat the entire lawn. Treat grub “hot spots” determined by observation or sampling. Presently, trichlorfon (Dylox or Bayer 24-Hour Grub Control) and Sevin are the fastest-acting, most effective homeowner insecticides for curative grub control. By the time damage is apparent it is much too late for preventive white grub products such as Merit and Grub-X. These must be applied before mid-August. Insecticides must be watered in to be effective. Use at least one-half inch of irrigation immediately following treatment and continue to water damaged turf to promote recovery.


White grub damage. Notice isolated nature of the symptoms.

Annual white grubs. Photos by Larry Ginger

With grub control…Timing is everything

Most veteran homeowners are somewhat familiar with the dreaded white grub. Whether bumping into one of the nasty little fellows while digging in the garden during spring or having large portions of their lawn decimated by a herd (a pack? a swarm?) of them late in the summer, the grub is pretty high on the lawn care enemies list. While there is little disagreement on what to do with them (even the most docile pacifist when faced with a grubby little grub wants it dead) there is a right time and a wrong time to deal with them.

First, it’s important to realize that the common white grub are the larva of various species of beetles. This is important when it comes to the grubs you may find in the spring. Too many times to count, I’ve spent time trying to persuade folks not to hire me to kill their grubs in April and May. In the spring, grubs are coming to the end of their 1 year life cycle and they are basically laying around waiting to become beetles. I know they are ugly and fat and horrible looking but they don’t do any damage at this time and putting down a broad spectrum insecticide to kill them will probably do more harm then good because that will could also kill a number of beneficial insects. And no, killing them now won’t keep the adult beetles from munching on your roses. Once the metamorphosis of the grub into a beetle is complete, the adult beetles can fly up to a mile and if you have plants they are attracted to (roses, ornamental cherries, crepe myrtle, etc), you will still get beetles and they will give birth to an entire new generation of grubs you need to deal with that summer.

A good strategy for controlling the grubs in your lawn is to get em when they’re young. The young grubs feed voraciously on the roots of your lawn in late July, August and September. This is when you want to gain the upper hand. There are two ways to do this. Wait for the signs of active grubs. Since they are below ground, you have to watch for them. The most obvious sign is when the grass looks drought stressed (remember, they are root feeders). Give the grass a tug and if it flops over like a welcome mat, you’ll see them in all their glory. Laying there. The classic ‘C’ shape of their bodies. Their little pincer mouth parts. They look downright evil! Other signs include birds and/or small animals feeding in your lawn. Once you know they are active, you need to hit them with a broad spectrum insecticide and goodbye grubs.

The problem with this plan is two fold. One, you have to wait until they have already done some damage to your lawn (broad spectrum insecticides do not last very long so you need to time it just right) and two, your back to also inflicting collateral damage to the many beneficial insects that get in the way. I do not recommend this method.

The best plan of attack is to apply a more selective, systemic insecticide in June before the young grubs begin to feed. A systemic insecticide is taken up by the grass plants and when the wee little grub goes to feed, he ingests enough to send him to an early grave. While the material cost is a little more, it will prevent damage from occurring and be more environmentally friendly.

Learn more about Bio Green’s environmentally friendly lawn care programs for Northern Virginia. Let us take care of the grubs for you.

How to choose and when to apply grub control products for your lawn

The eggs of both species hatch about 10 days after they are laid. The grubs feed from the beginning of August until late October. By the end of October, they are fully grown. The larvae of both species look almost identical. They spend the winter as large grubs (0.75 inches long) some 2-6 inches below the soil surface. When the ground warms up in spring, they resume feeding and can cause damage from the time the grass turns green until they pupate in mid-May. Grub damage may appear in home lawns from mid-September to November or from March to early May. However, for low-maintenance lawns, even if the turf is not killed from grub feeding, the thinned and weakened turf may be prone to weeds and drought stress.
Healthy turf with a few grubs may not need an insecticide. It is important to realize that healthy turf, supported by frequent rain or irrigation, can support a grub population of five or more grubs per square foot with no visible turf damage. A lawn should be mowed at 3.5 to 4 inches in height and properly fertilized for maximum root growth. However, if the grub population is high or if there is a history of damage in an area, it may be necessary to consider using an insecticide for grub control. Finding one or two grubs does not indicate you need to apply a grub control product.
Check for the active ingredient in a grub product. I went to several of the local lawn and garden centers in the Lansing, Michigan, area to see what kinds of products are available that specifically claim they will work to control grubs. I found five to nine different products at each store. The profusion of different products can be rather mystifying. The critical issue with any grub control product is the active ingredient. There are many products available, some with the same active ingredients. The active ingredients are usually shown on the bottom right or left of the front of the bag and listed as a percent of composition.

Water the lawn immediately after applying the insecticide. The second major concern is to make sure the insecticide is thoroughly watered into the ground with at least a half-inch of irrigation or rain immediately after the chemical is applied. Research tests over the last 25 years have clearly shown that watering immediately after application helps to obtain good results. This also moves the chemical off the grass and will make the yard safe for children, pets and wildlife after the yard is dry.

Use the right rate/amount of product. A third concern is the rate at which the insecticide is applied. The label lists the legal rate at which the product can be used. There is little benefit to exceeding this rate, and doing so is also illegal. There are also products for sale that list grubs on the label that do NOT work for grubs. Insecticides used for grubs can be separated into two groups based on how they work: preventive chemicals and curative chemicals.

1) PREVENTIVE insecticides that will prevent grub damage next fall (2018) and following spring (2019)

These products are used to prevent future grub problems, not to control the grubs present in the lawn in the spring. They will not work on grubs found in the lawn from the middle of October through the middle of May. However, when applied in June or July they provide excellent protection against the next generation of grubs. So, if you need to apply the preventive insecticide BEFORE the grubs are there, how do you know if you need to use an insecticide or not? If you confirmed grub damage the previous fall or spring, meaning you found lots of grubs, then you may want to use a preventive insecticide for one or two years to build a more dense turf that will be tolerant of grubs. If you have treated for several years and you do not see evidence of grubs in your lawn or in the neighbor’s lawn, it may be time to stop treating. There is an erroneous philosophy being perpetuated that because we have European chafers and Japanese beetles in the area, it is necessary to treat every year or your lawn will be damaged by grubs. This is not true.

Preventive products are the most effective. Products containing imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin or chlorantraniloprole will not control grubs in the spring. They are preventive products that work very well on newly hatched grubs present in July, but do not work well for large grubs found from September to May. There are different recommended timings for application depending on the active ingredient. Although the bag often says apply anytime from May to Aug. 15, it is highly recommended that products containing imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin be applied and irrigated into the soil in June or July. If applied in early spring, the pesticide may move through the soil or partially degrade by the time the grubs hatch in late July. If applied too late, preventative products may not be effective as they work best on small grubs.

Preventive products containing imidacloprid, thiamethoxam or clothianidin will consistently reduce 75-100 percent of the grubs if they are applied in June or July and if they are watered-in with 0.5-1 inch of irrigation immediately after application. Lawn sprinklers can be used if you do not have an irrigation system. Measure how much water you have applied by placing several coffee cups on the lawn and running the sprinklers until they fill a half to 1 inch deep with water.
There is another active ingredient in some insecticides called chlorantraniliprole that will also work in preventing grub problems, but it is less water soluble than the other preventive compounds mentioned above, so it can be applied any time after the grass turns green in the spring. Chlorantraniliprole can be applied as early as April and up to mid-July. This chemical consistently reduced grub numbers by about 65 percent and research has shown that applications made before June are more efficacious than June or July application.
Some of these products come in a granular formulation that is applied with a fertilizer spreader or some products are designed to be mixed with water and sprayed. Also, in the last two years several products have become available in an attach-to-hose bottle and are automatically mixed with water when applied.

Protecting bees and other pollinators. If you are applying a product containing clothianidin, thiamethoxam or imidacloprid, the lawn should be mowed prior to the application so that no weeds are flowering in the lawn when the insecticide is applied. These active ingredients can be toxic to bees if the bees visit flowers that were recently sprayed. Mowing prior to making the application will avoid this problem by removing the flowers. Weeds that flower again after mowing will not have the chemical directly on the flowers and are much safer for the bees. If there is nothing flowering in the lawn, there is nothing in it that would attract bees. In addition, grub control products that contain the active ingredient chlorantraniliprole are safe for bees, even when weed flowers are sprayed. Finally, avoid spray drift or granular spreader drift to flower beds when applying thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, clothianidin or any insecticide for grubs other than chlorantraniliprole

2) CURATIVE insecticides

There are two chemicals, carbaryl and trichlorfon, that are considered curative treatments. They are short-lived compounds that kill all life stages of grubs. These two insecticides are the only options if high numbers of grubs are found in the fall and in spring before early May. Our research indicates they will kill 20-80 percent of grubs when applied in September or 20-55 percent when applied in late October. They are not as effective as the preventive compounds in reducing grub numbers.

Consider carefully whether it would be best to wait and apply a preventive later. If the need should arise to use a curative compound, make sure to keep the infested lawn watered and fertilized and treat the area again with a preventive application the next summer or the problem will likely reoccur in the fall or the following spring. Current research also shows that watering with 0.5 inches of irrigation immediately after the application is essential to get effective results from these insecticides.

Our research has indicated that carbaryl has been a little more effective on European chafer grubs than trichlorfon. Both compounds work equally well on Japanese beetle grubs. It will take 10-14 days for the grubs to begin dying after the insecticide is applied. One trichlorfon product has “24 Hour Grub Control” in its name and would seem to indicate that it will kill grubs in 24 hours. However, even trichlorfon should not be evaluated for at least five days after application (assuming it rains or irrigation was applied), and carbaryl may need three to four weeks to be effective. Do not apply any curative compounds in the spring after May 15 as grubs stop feeding in late May as they prepare to pupate. As with the preventive products, lawns should be mowed immediately before applying carbaryl or trichlorfon to protect bees.

3) Insecticides that DO NOT work on grubs

Do not use products containing ONLY lambda-cyhalothrin, gamma-cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, cyfluthrin or permethrin for grub control. Products containing only these ingredients will not work for grub control because the active ingredient binds with organic material and will not move down to where the grubs are feeding. These products work well for above-ground feeding insects that live on the grass leaves or soil surface, but not for insects that feed on the roots. At one garden center a clerk showed us two products, one containing only permethrin and one containing only bifenthrin, when we asked for products to control grubs. Neither of the products listed grubs on the label printed on the bag and neither of the products would have controlled grubs.

There are several products on the market that contain a combination of one of the preventive compounds and one of the above listed insecticides that “do not work on grubs.” The preventive ingredient will make it an effective choice for grub control.
There is a widely sold trade name called Triazicide from Spectrum that lists grubs on the label and states it will control insects above or below ground and has a picture of a grub on the front of the bag. It contains only lambda-cyhalothrin or gamma-cyhalothrin. Triazicide will not control grubs. Carefully check the label for ingredients. There was a product available in years past from Spectrum that contained imidacloprid, but I did not see any in my visits the last two years (2016 and 2017).

White grubs are a common turf and lawn pest, and beneficial nematodes can be a very effective (and safe!) control. However it is important to treat at the right time of year, based on the white grubs’ life cycle, to ensure good control.

Since almost all scarab beetles have a life cycle of one year, it is important to treat at the right time to ensure the nematodes can kill the larvae (also known as white grubs) and prevent new adults from emerging. Typically the adult beetles lay eggs in the summer which then hatch within a few weeks. The newly hatched larvae feed throughout the summer and fall before overwintering in the soil. The larvae will continue to feed in the early spring before pupating and eventually emerging as new adults. Treating in late summer or early fall is ideal, as that is when the smaller, young grubs are most susceptible to nematodes. There is also usually a short window for application in early spring before the grubs get too big and pupate, but that is a narrower window and can be difficult to time properly.

See the life cycle (in this example of a Japanese beetle) pictured below:

Below is an image that shows how beneficial nematodes kill white grubs:

Our recommended product for all types of white grubs in Heteromask, although Scanmask is also effective. For more information on how beneficial nematodes kill nematodes and other FAQs, see this blog post.

Best Grub Killers 2020: How to Get Rid Of Grubs | Effective Treatment Ways Approved by Scientists

You’ll learn whether the scientists recommend using chemical or natural treatments, which ways are more effective and can protect your lot for over 15 years, and which of the 8 best grub killers from $7 to $60 will solve your problem.

Farmers face the issue of grub worms on their lots from the end of the summer till the beginning of the fall. The worms feed on plant roots causing the lawn to wither and bronze, and the soil becomes loose. You will find out what the six most effective treatment ways approved by the scientists for short and long term. You will decide whether it is better to use chemical or natural killers. Finally, check out our list of the TOP-8 best grub killers from $7 to $60.

Table of Content:

Inspecting Grubs in Lawn

Finding a perpetrator is a piece of cake, just check the damaged area for these pests. You will hardly confuse them with anything else, as grub worms have a peculiar body C-shape, six short legs, brown head and a cream body. Their lower abdomen is darker due to the soil particles in it. Grub worms can reach two inches in length.

Remove some of the damaged soil carefully, (especially in places where green grass borders brown grass) and check for the grub worms matching the above description. If you find five or fewer, do not worry, but they can definitely do harm to your lawn if there are over ten of them. Still, consider other factors of grass withering. For instance, in shady places, grass roots weaken and tear easily and larvae do not hatch. Another signal of these pests infecting your garden will be skunks and raccoons digging the lawn at night in search of food. It is highly likely that they are looking specifically for these pests.

How to Avoid Lawn Grubs?

Although lawn grubs lay eggs randomly, they have certain preferences. As a rule, they tend to lay eggs on sunny, moist lawns, so if the weather is dry and you have well irrigated your lawn, your chances of attracting lawn grubs are very high. On the other hand, if the summer has been rainy and it is not only your lawn, but also your neighbors’ lawns have received enough moisture; there won’t be many grub worms. The thing is that they prefer to lay eggs as far as possible from each other, so if several lawns have equally attractive conditions, they won’t concentrate their offspring in one place.

Adult grubs lay eggs in the soil during the summer. Once the grubs hatch, they feed on plant roots and descend deep into the soil once it becomes colder, to spend the winter there. In the spring, grub worms return to the surface and keep feeding on the roots until they become ripe. The biggest damage is caused from mid-September to November or from March till the beginning of May.

The Main Ways to Get Rid Of Grub Worms Approved By the Scientists

Once you face this problem, decide which treatment approach is suitable for you: a curative or preventive one. In both cases, the chemicals make plants toxic for pests. The former is appropriate for getting rid of existing grubs while the latter one is aimed at removing them in prospect. If the upper soil layer seems to be uninfected, there is no need to use an insecticide, even if there are several grub worms.

How to Kill Grubs In Lawn: Curative Approach

A curative approach is suitable for solving the problem quickly, i.e. if you have discovered grub worms at your lot and would like to immediately get rid of them. It is suitable for the summer when the larvae are small and actively feed near the soil surface. This method won’t be equally effective in the spring when grub worms grown and become quite large. As soon as the insects reach their maximum size (usually by mid-September), a curative approach will hardly result in removing more than 50% of grub worms on the lot.

This approach implies using Sevin and Dylox that contain carbaryl, clothianidin and trichlorfon. The latter chemical has certain restrictions as trichlorfon is banned for use on school territories of certain states, mainly because this substance is extremely soluble in water. Carbaryl has been known in the USA since 1959 and acts by destroying the insects’ nervous systems, thus causing death. It is toxic for humans and causes such symptoms as headache, excessive sweating, muscle weakness as well as nausea, tears and other symptoms for animals. The substance is dangerous if swallowed, inhaled or, it can be dangerous if it touches your skin. According to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment experts, carbaryl is less effective than trichlorfon.

Another scientist, Dr. Pat Vitrum, UMass Extension Turf Program Faculty & Staff, gives the following description of his observations: “Ordinarily, trichlorfon will kill what it is going to within one to three days, and it will break down within seven to ten days. Carbaryl tends to be very inconsistent, and we sometimes see more grubs in the treated plots than the untreated plots. (We are guessing it is because carbaryl is highly toxic to several beneficial insects.) Carbaryl is also very toxic to honeybees and other bees.”

Dr. Pat Vitrum recommends using chlothianidin as a curative method when trichlorfon or carbaryl cannot be used for some reason. The thing is that the grubs begin dying only two weeks after using chlothianidin which definitely cannot be considered a radical solution. On the other hand, it is much faster than preventive treatment.

Preventive Approach

A preventive approach is considered to be most effective and should be taken before larvae hatch, i.e. in the middle of the summer. However, it solves future problems and does not act against existing pests. Once you apply a preventive insecticide, you will provide your garden with great protection against future generations of grub worms. How do you know that your soil requires treatment? The golden rule is the following: if you discovered these pests last fall or spring, do not hesitate to use a preventive insecticide for a year or two.

Merit, MachII and GrubX that contain such chemicals as imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, halofenozide, clothianidin or chlorantraniloprole are considered preventive control products. They are effective against grub worms that hatched in July and not against ones that are found from September till May. As a result of using these products, the number of pests on your lot will drop by 75-100%.

The Michigan State University Extension experts additionally distinguish another active ingredient of insecticides, chlorantraniliprole. It is also considered to be preventive, but can be applied at any time as soon as green grass begins growing. However, research has shown that the effect is maximized if chlorantraniliprole is used from April till June. In this case, the chemical will consistently eliminate 65% of pests. Chlorantraniliprole is an ingredient of Acelepryn (for commercial use) and GrubEx (for homeowners). This is a relatively new low-toxic insecticide. The toxicity is so minor that there is no “Caution” label.

The Michigan State University Extension scientists estimate that products that contain only such active ingredients as lambda-cyhalothrin, gamma-cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, cyfluthrin or permethrin will not solve the problem of grub worms. These ingredients are only effective against the insects that feed on the surface and not against larvae consuming roots.

The products are available as granules that should be used along with a fertilizer spreader as a liquid concentrate or a ready-to-use sprayable mixture. Pick a product and mind your own, your family’s and your pets’ safety. Granules are the safest as the insecticide will be consumed. Ready-to-use liquids pose a moderate threat as liquids can be spread with the wind. Concentrates carry the biggest risk as it is crucial to mix them with water in a proper ratio. In all three cases, you can only walk on the treated territory after the grass dries.

How to Get Rid Of Grubs Naturally

If you are not attracted by synthetic treatments, use natural ones. We’ll share several popular methods with you.

1. Apply milky spore powder, i.e. natural bacteria that infect grubs when they feed on the infested lot. The powder is only effective against Japanese beetle. The product provides stable results regardless of weather conditions. However, the effect depends on the number of grubs on your lot, as the more there are, the faster the deadly grub disease spreads. Moderately irrigate the soil with water. In some cases, the grubs infected during late fall can survive until spring. They won’t develop any more, though, and will eventually die.

2. Use neem oil, a natural insecticide made of the evergreen Indian tree. This organic biodegradable substance does not have any substantial side effects, as the Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Mix neem oil with water and spray damaged grass. The insects consume this insecticide as if it were a natural hormone. Once ingested, neem blocks real hormones and the pests forget how to eat, lay eggs or even fly. Even if they manage to lay some eggs, they won’t hatch. At the same time, neem oil won’t harm useful insects. In addition, it has a repelling effect as its presence and smell scares off the insects that consume leaves. It does not yield quick results, but in the long run, you will end up with a balanced environment.

3. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora nematodes, also known as Hb nematodes in stores, show decent results. These small worms will start looking for grub worms underground, and once they find them, they will secrete bacteria that kill grubs. Apply nematodes on an irrigated soil, and water it once more after setting the nematodes free there. The best time for the procedure is early morning or early evening as at that time, you will avoid direct sunlight. The weather should either be sunny or rainy, but do not let the nematodes into the soil when it is when it is too hot or dry or when it is raining heavily as the rain can simply wash them off.

4. The birds will do you an invaluable favor, but getting them may cost you a fortune. The Garden Design magazine quotes one of the gardeners: “Because we love birds, we just happened to put up 5 houses for house wrens, one in the front yard, one in each side yard, and two in back — strategically placed so they would not see each other’s houses, being so territorial. Since we did this, house wrens have nested every summer in every house. We have no more grubs, squash bugs, or tomato hornworms. It is almost unbelievable…but true. We never use pesticides of any kind and haven’t for 18 years.”

The Comparative Table of 6 Ways to Get Rid Of Grubs

Method/Killer Advantages Disadvantages
Curative Chemicals FAST. Quickly solves the problem, is used in the summer.

Effectiveness: 8

Carbaryl is very toxic for some helpful insects, and bees. Removes 74-77% of grub worms.
Preventive Chemicals Causes minimum to zero damage, provides long-term results and complete removal of grub worms. The number of pests will drop by 75-100%.

Effectiveness: 10

You should decide whether to use this treatment when you still don’t know the extent of pest infestation. These chemicals are useless on the pests that have already infected your soil.
Milky Spore Powder Is natural and safe. Kills larvae without harming either the garden nor humans. Unlike nematodes does not depend on the weather (even if there are heavy downpours or frosts). Can be used if the soil has previously undergone pesticide treatment.

Effectiveness: 9

Is only effective against Japanese beetle larvae, best results are seen only after over a year.
Parasitic Nematodes Are safe and natural, act within 24 hours, kill grub worms but are useless against earthworms and other helpful insects.

Effectiveness: 10

Reacts to temperature and drought, incompatible with chemical pesticides.
Neem Oil Is safe and natural and will control insects at all development stages, stimulates earthworm activity (which is useful for the soil). Is a good choice for removing a new pest generation.

Effectiveness: 7

Has a sharp unpleasant odor, the first results are not fast and seen only within two weeks.
Birds A natural method for getting rid of grub worms that shows good results.

Effectiveness: 6

Bird care requires investment, birds can harm your lot.

TOP-8 Grub Worm Killers

We picked the 8 best grub killers that are effective and approved by the scientists:

  • 4 powerful and fast acting insecticides,
  • 4 natural products with neem oil, milky spore and nematodes.

Powerful Insecitides

1. Scotts GrubEx, 5,000-sq ft (Grub Killer & Preventer) Net Wt. 14.35lb

GrubEx with the active ingredient chlorantraniliprole is used for preventive soil treatment. The product’s effects lasts for up to four months. It is recommended for use in the spring or early summer as the preventer will avert the damage before the grubs hatch. A single pack will be sufficient to treat an area of 5000 square feet. Fill the sprayer with it and spray dry lawn. After this, moisten the soil in order to activate the chemical.

Among all preventive treatments, the ones containing chlorantraniliprole are the safest. Allegedly, it does not do harm to earthworms and soil bacteria. However, some users disagree with this. One of them commented: “It may damage some but not all of the earthworms. But it’s a whole lot better than your whole lawn getting eaten up.” Scotts GrubEx distribution is restricted as it cannot be used in the state of New York. Half of the users gave this product a five-star rating.

x Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission AdChoices Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission Scotts GrubEx1 Season Long Grub Killer 10,000 sq ft – 99610

By ScotchBlue

$42.99

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Price: Check the current price

2. Bayer Advanced 700740S 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus, Granules & Bayer Grub Control, Spray

Bayer offers two products against grub worms with different active ingredients: granules and a spray. Let us begin with granules. The manufacturer promises to eliminate grub worms within 24 hours on the same 5000 square feet area for almost the same price. These trichlorfon-containing granules are used during curative treatment. This substance is less safe and its use is partly restricted. Moreover, unlike the previous product that is made in the USA, Bayer Advanced is made in China.

Do not use it in the kitchen-yard and on edible plants. You can apply it on flower beds but avoid the actual leaves and petals. One of the users was satisfied by the use of this product and left the following comment: “The 24-hour Bayer kills grubs and is the best of the grub products that I’ve used. Best time to do this is end of August or early September.” 64% of this website’s users gave this product a five-star rating, although 11% believe it deserves zero stars. According to the description, the same treatment is effective against ants, scorpions, ticks and other insects.

x Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission AdChoices Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission BioAdvanced 700740M 700740S 24-Hr Grub Control, 10-Pounds

By BAYER CROP SCIENCE

$19.75 $19.77

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bayer Granules Check the current price

The second item is Bayer Grub Control Spray and its active ingredient is 1.47% imidacloprid (Merit). It promises to kill grub worms for the entire season after a single use. The spray will also cover an area of 5000 square feet but is less popular than granules. The feedback is contradictory, but those users who were able to restore their blossoming lawn without any brown bald spots, recommend using this preventive method twice: in the fall and in the beginning of spring.

x Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission AdChoices Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission Bayer Advanced 700280B Complete Insect Killer for Soil and Turf Ready-To-Spray, 32-Ounce

By SBM Life Science

$12.97 $13.99

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bayer Spray Check the current price

3. Sevin Ready-To-Use 5% Dust 3 Pack 1 lb each

This ready-to-use dust contains 5% carbaryl as an active ingredient. It is also used as curative treatment. The manufacturer claims that the product is suitable for fruit and veggie gardens and for the flower beds with decorative plants. Nevertheless, it is recommended to wear rubber gloves when applying it and to not let children and pets on the treated area until the dust settles down. The users are also cautious about applying Sevin on fruit and vegetables. If you treat lettuce with it, for instance, rinse it thoroughly and do not consume for three days.

The product can kill over 85 insect species and is simple to use. Apply a thin layer of it on the leaves without mixing it with anything. It is made in the USA. users gave this item a very high rating as 73% of them awarded it with five stars. However, some of them question the treatment’s safety. One of the customers shared their impressions: “I wouldn’t do it inside. I use it to kill bees in the ground – it is VERY toxic to bees but doesn’t say that on the label. That fact alone is enough for me not to use it inside.”

x Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission AdChoices Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission Sevin 100517556 Ready-to-Use 5% Dust 3 Pack 1 lb, White

By Gulfstream

$12.34 $15.56

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Price: Check the current price

4. Sevin Concentrate Pest Control, 1-Gallon

It contains 22.5% of the active ingredient carbaryl and is much more expensive. This concentrate is suitable for large gardens and can kill up to 100 species of insects targeting fruit, vegetables and flowers. It is not for indoor use. Once you dissolve the concentrate in water, you will end up with 86 gallons of ready-to-use treatment, which will be enough to cover over two acres of territory. That is why eventually Sevin Concentrate will be more cost-efficient than the previous goods, especially if you need to treat a large area. This product has also been approved by the users as 77% gave it the maximum rating. However, the users use it with caution as “you have to be very careful because it is a toxic item and you don’t want to get any on your hand,” as one of the users of this concentrate warned.

x Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission AdChoices Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission Sevin Concentrate Pest Control, 1-Gallon

By CENTRAL Garden & Pet

$57.77 $66.99

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Price: Check the current price

Organic and Natural products

5. ST GABRIEL ORGANICS 80080-2 Milky Spore Grub Control Mix Pest Controller

100% natural grub killers are more expensive, Milky Spore. This is also a harmless natural product that is recommended as an environmentally friendly grub control item along with the nematodes. Unlike the latter, milky spores can be applied in any weather and any time from spring to fall. Remember, though, that it only acts against Japanese beetles’ grubs.

The treatment covers a 7000 square feet territory and the manufacturers promise that the pests won’t enter your lot for the following 15 years after use! Given such prospects, the high price seems justified.

Scientific research attests to the duration of its effect: “In fact, studies have demonstrated that milky spore can last 15 to 20 years in the soil. It has been thought that milky spore may remain in the soil in a dormant but viable state until new infestations of grubs are present,” as claims Raymond A. Cloyd, University of Illinois Extension.

Several users share their positive experience of using this treatment. One of them commented: “I only did 1 application…& it worked!!! And it didn’t kill my wonderful earthworms! It has been about 5 months and still no grubs.”

x Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission AdChoices Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission ST GABRIEL ORGANICS 80080-P Milky Spore Grub Control Mix Pest Controller

By Arett Sales – LG

$39.98 $47.49

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Price: Check the current price

6. Dr. Pye’s Scanmask 10 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes

Environmentally friendly Steinernema Feltiae nematodes are compatible with useful soil bacteria and only kill the insects you don’t need. They will not immediately yield results, but within three-four months.

Studies have shown that treatments containing Heterorhabditis bacteriophora nematodes are more effective than the ones with Steinnernema glaseri or S. Carpocapsae, although no nematodes showed as steady results as chemical insecticides do. Steinnernema are known to inhabit the upper layers of soil closer to the surface and to follow their victims, while Heterorhabditis digs deeper into the ground and hunts actively, chasing its victim. That is why you might as well test another treatment containing Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. If we compare descriptions, we will indeed see substantial differences as Steinernema Feltiae nematodes cover only 200 square feet, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora are able to cover up to 3000 square feet for the lower price.

x Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission AdChoices Product from Amazon, Publisher may get a commission Bug Sales 10 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes Hb – Soil Pest Exterminator

By BugSales

$12.99

Last update on 2020-02-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Price: Beneficial Nematodes Hb: Check the current price

However, Dr. Pye’s Scanmask has a competitive edge as its nematodes kill up to 230 insect species, more than the nematodes of the second type do. The users’ ratings also favor the former (55% versus 49%). One satisfied user states: “This is the third year for our 3,000 SF organic garden and all of the crops are healthier than they have been in the past.”

The treatment can be used by letting the nematodes directly into the ground or by spraying them. Once in the soil, the insects will chase and kill grub worms. You should store nematodes in the refrigerator.

Price: Dr. Pye’s: Check the current price

7. Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate (HG-83179) (16 fl oz)

Here is yet another natural treatment, available on with a good discount. It is suitable for protecting vegetables, fruit, flowers and shrubs but is not recommended for application on tender, withering or freshly transplanted plants. The concentrate combines three garden products: an insecticide, a fungicide and a miticide which is extremely cost-efficient for such a low price.

Its active ingredient is neem oil and thanks to it, the insects quit feeding, laying eggs and eventually they die. You won’t yield immediate results, so aim for long-term prospects. To guarantee best results, the manufacturer recommends using Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate once a week or a fortnight. Apply it early in the morning or late at night.

66% of users gave Garden Safe Neem Oil a five-star rating. Some of them worry that not all ingredients are listed on the label, but the general rule is not to mention harmless components.

Price: Check the current price

8. Safer Brand End All Insect Killer, 32 oz

Unlike the previous product, this is not a concentrate, but a spray. It protects vegetables, fruit, flowers and shrubs and kills 45 insect species. It is recommended for hydroponic gardening. Be careful when using it though as it contains not only neem oil and potassium salts of fatty acids, but also pyrethrin, which is a pesticide affecting the insects’ nervous system.

This is a cheaper neem oil-containing treatment, and it is less popular with users (its rating is 3.7 stars out of 5), some of them were frankly disappointed as one of the comments reads: “Honestly, it didn’t seem to work on anything. My mother ended up just throwing it away.” Overall, 60% of the customers were satisfied.

Price: Check the current price

Comparative Chart of the Best Grub Killers

Product Type and Action
Scotts GrubEx Chemical treatment with the active ingredient chlorantraniliprole, is a preventive method.
Bayer Advanced 700740S Chemical treatment with the active ingredient trichlorfon, is a curative method.
Sevin Ready-To-Use 5% Dust Chemical treatment with the active ingredient carbaryl, is a curative method.&nbsp
Sevin Concentrate Pest Control Chemical treatment with the active ingredient carbaryl, is a curative method.
Dr. Pye’s Natural killer, Steinernema Feltiae nematodes.
ST GABRIEL ORGANICS 80080 Natural killer, milky spore.
Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate Natural killer with the active ingredient neem oil.
Safer Brand End All Insect Killer Natural killer with the active ingredients neem oil and pyrethrin (a pesticide).

When and How to Apply Grub Worm Treatment

Timely treatment is crucial as otherwise even the most effective product won’t provide proper effect. Mid-August is the most favorable period for undertaking a curative method as the grub worms are still small. By the end of September, the grubs have grown and dig deeper into soil outside of the insecticide action area due to the drop in temperature. Spring is also not the best curative grub control time as after the winter, the grubs are quite large.

In general, it is quite troublesome to find the right time for using curative control. When applied too early, insecticides can decompose in the soil before grub eggs hatch, and if you use them too late, it will be harder to kill grubs that have already damaged the soil. This can be avoided by using a preventive approach that implies a more flexible treatment schedule. The best time for using preventive products is mid-June or mid-July, before the grubs hatch. Preferable season can also vary depending on the region.

Remember to irrigate the soil abundantly after treatment. To determine the necessary amount of water, place several coffee cups on the lawn. Once they are filled for an inch with water, the soil is sufficiently moistened.

Although if used properly, modern insecticides do not pose any serious risks and help prevent grub worm damage, make sure you follow these safety rules.

  • Read the entire product’s label and follow its instructions.
  • Buy the necessary amount of insecticide.
  • Never flush the remaining insecticide down the toilet, sink or in any other water source as you can do harm to the environment. The best way to dispose of the unused pesticides is to treat soil with them according to the manual on the label.
  • When using it, do not keep the granules or spraying liquid on the ground or any other solid surface to reduce the risk of it leaking to unwanted areas.
  • Do not use control products (especially sprays) when it is windy.
  • Do not let people and pets into the treated areas until the leaves are dry.

10 Best Grub Killers

– February 2020

  • Treat lawn only if shows grub damage: It’s recommended that you use a grub treatment only if you have reason to suspect grub damage. If you have experienced a drought during the summer, and you didn’t water the lawn over that period–it’s very unlikely that grubs would be present in such soil. But, if you irrigate your lawn and keep it well-watered the whole year round, you may have to apply an insecticide to keep the grub population down. Also, when the autumn comes, and the lawn, in general, starts to recover from the hot summer weather, you may see that some parts are nice and green, while other parts are more dingy colored. The areas that remain dingy may indicate a grub problem.

  • When to inspect your lawn: August and September are the best times to inspect your lawn, to see if it has a grub infestation. That’s when the grubs are expected to be the most active, and on their way to emerging. If you pull on the grass in a dingy section of your lawn, and you notice that the soil moves around and seems rather loose, that could indicate grub activity further down. If you can lift out a patch with just your hands, you might already be able to see grubs underneath. If not, then dig out a small patch of your lawn, 2-4 inches deep, to expose the soil underneath the grass roots. If you see more than 5 grubs in a soil sample, that means that you should treat the lawn. If you find an infestation, apply a grub killer and water it into the soil. (Don’t submit to the temptation to start unnecessarily ripping up the infested area!)

  • When to apply the treatment: Here is an infographic showing the life cycle of the Japanese beetle. The grubs are the ones that eat at the roots of the grass plants. The adults should be eliminated as well: they will feed on the leaves of plants. As you can see, the main feeding periods of grubs are in April-May and August-September. Thus, the best time to kill off Japanese beetle grubs is by applying an insecticide in mid-July-late September, when the grubs are small, or in the early spring (March-April).

Treatment chart of the Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer

  • Spraying tips: People who use the Spectracide grub treatment are advised to wet the leaves and branches of your plants until they drip. Also, spray both sides of leaves, in order to eliminate adult bugs that may hide on the underside of the leaves. Take note of the coverage of each product. Six ounces of the Spectracide spray will cover 1000 square feet of lawn.

  • The number of insects that the treatment kills: Different products will kill a wider spectrum of insects. The Ortho Lawns Bug B Gone can kill over 100 types of insects. But the Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer can eliminate over 260 types of insect pests: many types of ants, fleas, ticks, crane flies, and more.

All You Never Wanted to Know About the Grub Worm

There is no reason to learn about grub worms, that is, except when they are causing havoc with your lawn. This Sod University blog discusses information about the grub worm so you know what you may be up against. However, if you are specifically looking to get rid of grub worms, be sure to take a look at our How to Get Rid of Grub Worms blog as well.

What is a grub worm? Where do grubs come from? A grub is actually not a worm at all, even though white grubs resemble little white worms. White grubs are actually the larval stage of beetles in the Scarabaeidae family, which includes the Japanese beetle, European chafer and June beetle.

Is there a predictable grub cycle? Adult beetles typically lay their eggs in June or July and, by August, those eggs hatch into larvae. The aftermath of their arrival is most felt in fall and spring. Grubs love to burrow all winter long.

What do grub worms look like? No matter the exact species, all white grubs are milky white in color with C-shaped bodies. They boast brownish heads and six spiny legs. They are small initially but can grow to 1 and 2 inches in length at maturity.

Why is a grub an enemy of sod or grass in general? Unlike earthworms that naturally aerate the soil, white grubs can quickly turn a healthy lawn into a patchy mix of dead and dying grass. The results of their devastation often resemble those created by severe drought.

What do grub worms eat? Grub worms love chomping on the roots of a previously healthy lawn. Even worse, those grubs attract moles, which then dig into a lawn looking for a grub buffet. The result: a lawn in deep trouble. Better still, grubs feed on the roots of trees in the spring and fall. Ugh!

Where do grubs live? Grubs love the roots of the grass!

Do grubs like lawns that are constantly irrigated? Lawns that are consistently watered can handle infestation better than drought-afflicted lawns.

Can grub worms ignored in hopes the problem can go away? No. It is best to treat your soil in advance of laying sod. Grub infestation needs to be dealt with immediately when recognized.

Lawn Grubs – How To Get Rid Of Grub Worms

Lawn grubs live in the soil eating grass roots and leaving your yard brown and unattractive. Not only can these pests damage the lawn, but their presence also invites unwelcome wildlife that feed on lawn grubs – digging up patches of grass in search for them. The majority of grub worms come from Japanese beetles, which lay their eggs in midsummer in sunny areas of the lawn. Taking care of this problem is simply a matter of how to detect grub worms and when to apply grub worm treatment.

How to Detect Grub Worms

Knowing how to detect grub worms is key to treating them. Visible lawn grub damage can be seen from late summer to early fall. Look for irregular brown patches of lawn that peel away easily from the soil, like carpet. To determine the extent of infestation or which areas require treatment, dig up small sections of lawn. Typically, more than five grub worms per ¼ square foot warrants treatment and lawn grub control.

When to Apply Grub Worm Treatment

Once lawn grubs have been detected and treatment

is necessary, you need to know when to apply grub worm treatment. The best time for treating grub worms is in late summer or early fall while the grub worms are still small and close to the surface.

Grub worms are less susceptible to treatment in the spring, as they are too large and no longer feeding. For this reason, insecticides are less effective. Spring rains can also make this difficult, as applications may be washed away.

When choosing insecticides for lawn grubs, it’s important to consider the various types. For fall treatment, Dylox is the most effective and fast acting available. However, two products worth consideration for use early in the season, Merit and Mach-2, can be helpful for prevention. These target the pests before they lay their eggs, killing them and any hatchlings before infestation occurs. Always read and follow instructions carefully when using these types of products.

Natural Grub Treatment

For those choosing a more natural grub treatment as how to get rid of lawn worms, there are several options available. All of which are considered safe and effective. These include milky spore, neem oil, and nematodes – available at most garden centers.

  • Milky spore is a disease that can effectively treat lawn grubs and is environmentally safe. Spores are applied to affected lawn areas, infecting lawn grubs as they feed. Once the grubs die and decompose, additional spores are released into the soil, which helps prevent further infestations.
  • Neem oil is a botanical pesticide containing insecticidal properties. Neem oil works more as a repellant against Japanese beetles and lawn grubs – inhibiting egg laying, growth and feeding. Neem oil is mixed with water (as directed) and sprayed onto affected lawn areas.
  • Beneficial nematodes are also used as natural grub treatment. These tiny, soil-dwelling worms release bacteria into the soil that infects and kills lawn grubs. Nematodes are available in liquid form or mixed with water and sprayed onto affected areas.

Once you know how to detect grub worms and how to get rid of grub worms, you’ll be better equipped to treat the problem more effectively.

White Grubworm

Last week we covered the dreaded topic of fire ants. This week we are covering another topic that may have your skin crawling… white grubs (also known as grub worms.) Think these little bugs are not a problem in your lawn because you haven’t seen them when you go outside? Think again!

Grub worms live underground, making their lawn-harming methods that much more devious. That’s pretty bad news for people that own a lawn and regularly do everything they can to keep it in tiptop shape. Don’t feel bad – grub worms can get the best of anyone. But before you grab some garage equipment and go Rambo on your front lawn in an ill-fated, do-it-yourself approach to stopping the worms, we ask that you take a deep breath, relax, and read on….

The good news is that we have some tips below on better understanding your enemy. Though we are simply offering information on the insect itself, always call a friendly and professional Austin lawn care company to take care of any pests in your lawn that you may be encountering!

Root Damage

White grubs can cause serious damage to lawn grass, ornamentals and trees by attacking the roots. You won’t even see them do it!

To understand why they cause root damage, you must first understand what grub worms are. Grub worms are larval versions of June Beetles. It’s already April so if hearing “June” and “beetle” in the same sentence doesn’t send chills down your spine, I don’t know what will!

As the name implies, you need to be on the lookout for white grubs in the early summertime. Always consider consulting a professional Austin lawn service when dealing with a matter as serious as a lawn infestation in these coming summer months.

Because they are in a larval stage, grub-worms need to feed of nutrients so they can hatch in your soil and turn into a (not really) beautiful beetle. But to reach that beetle stage, your roots are the victims. Some white grubs can be found in the soil of many lawns and be, overall, inconsequential. The problem starts when you have a large number infesting your lawn. You will first notice a small area of your lovely lawn grass be morphed into a wilting and brown patch. Then you will see the same thing happen to another patch. And repeat! Luckily, a professional can come out to save the day!

We Can Help

If you ever encounter or have a suspicion you might encounter white grubs, be sure to call the Austin professional lawn care experts at Emerald Lawns. You can reach us at 512.990.2199. We care about our customers and will leave you (and your lawn) satisfied with our work.

For further reading on white grubs check out this ehow guide and this guide from the Texas government.

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