Updated Oct 19, 2022
We recommend the best products through an independent review process, and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend. Read our advertiser disclosure for more info.
If you’ve noticed a patchy lawn and dug up a portion of your grass and found white larvae squirming around under the surface, you’re dealing with lawn grubs. These pesky insects feed on your grassroots. Lawn grubs are crucial to the ecosystem of your yard in small numbers, but they can quickly get out of hand and destroy your lawn. You’ll want to take action immediately to get rid of them, or your grass could die off entirely.
There are DIY grub solutions, which we’ll be discussing throughout this article. However, many homeowners opt to hire a grub prevention and control service for the best and fastest results. TruGreen is one of the best lawn care services on the market for handling your grub problem.
Lawn grubs also referred to as white grubs, are beetle larvae. In most cases, The life cycle of a lawn grub includes maturing from the larval stage to pupae, then into June bugs or Japanese beetles. June beetle and Japanese beetle grubs are pale white, about a half-inch to an inch long, and usually appear in a c-shape when you dig them up.
Lawn grubs feed on the root system of your grass. They’re beneficial insects in small numbers, but a more sizable population can rapidly destroy your lawn.
Short of digging up a portion of your lawn to check for grubs, there are three primary ways to detect if you have a booming grub population.
If you notice any of the signs of grubs above, you’ll want to check your soil for grub activity to confirm the underlying issue. The easiest way to do that is to test your soil.
To inspect your soil for grubs, you’ll have to dig up a small portion of your lawn — about one square foot of soil is sufficient. It’s best to do this on a brown patch, where grub activity is suspected. The patch should be about two or three inches deep, and the number of grubs you find will determine if you have a problem.
from House Method approved lawn care services
Thankfully, many natural grub control solutions won’t damage your lawn or put stress on the environment, and they’re also safe for use around pets and children. Below are three of the easiest and safest strategies to kill lawn grubs.
Nematodes are tiny roundworm parasites that naturally feed on grub worms. These parasitic worms contain beneficial bacteria in their stomachs, which they release into the host as they provide. The bacteria kills grubs within 48 hours in most cases. While this might seem like a quick solution, it can take two to three years for them to eradicate a grub infestation.
You can buy beneficial nematodes from your local garden store, Amazon, or other websites. Apply them with a garden spreader in the late afternoon and water your lawn immediately afterward for the best results.
Milky spore is a bacteria that grubs and adult beetles feed on. They quickly die and release even more milky spore into the soil when they do. The beauty of this method is that the concentration of the beneficial bacteria will increase as long as grubs are present.
Milky spore is safe to use, but it can also take a year or two for the best results. You can spread this fine powder over your lawn at any time of day, and you should continue applications two to three times a year until the issue is resolved.
The easiest way to control a grub infestation is to dry your lawn. The eggs from which the larvae hatch need moisture to thrive, so avoiding watering for about a month will likely help limit the population.
Most grass species will turn green again and thrive once you recommence watering, so you don’t have to worry too much about your lawn dying.
Most natural solutions to grub infestations take time, and some homeowners understandably want faster results. Some chemical insecticides can kill grub populations, and they have the added benefit of controlling other insects as well.
From our top recommended lawn care service, TruGreen
Of course, preventing lawn grubs is even easier than treating them. Beetles have an easier time laying eggs in short, sickly grass or in bare patches. Maintaining a thick, healthy lawn by fertilizing and amending the soil when needed will go a long way in naturally reducing the risk of lawn grubs taking over. Mowing your lawn to a minimum of three inches is another natural way to keep grubs at bay.
Grub control can be confusing and time-consuming for many homeowners, and some find the waiting period concerning because you won’t know if the treatment has worked for several years in some cases. Hiring a professional lawn care company to handle your treatments is often a better idea and yields faster, guaranteed results.
We strongly recommend TruGreen as a professional lawn maintenance company. It provides a huge array of services to help remove grubs and other insects and keep your lawn and property looking beautiful and lush. Its prices are reasonable, its results are based on a soil test and science, and it guarantees your satisfaction. Check out TruGreen’s plans and services to find one that works for you.
Read our TruGreen Review to learn more about its services.
Lawn grubs feed on your lawn’s root system, so they pose a severe threat to your yard if they appear in large numbers. You can often identify an issue by dead patches, increased animal activity, or loose grass that pulls out easily. You can choose from natural grub control products or more effective chemicals, but knowing how to get rid of grubs is paramount to your lawn’s health.
If you’re looking to hire a professional full-service lawn care company to handle your yard work, TruGreen is one of the best options. This company guarantees results and works quickly to restore your yard’s natural beauty. It also provides ongoing services like fertilization, tree and shrub care, aeration, lawn amendments, and more to customize your lawn care plan and get the best long-term results.
You can opt for natural solutions — like beneficial nematodes, milky spore, or avoiding watering for about a month — to limit the grub population on your property. Applying chemical treatment or hiring a company like TruGreen to apply curative and preventative chemicals yields faster results in most cases but can be unsafe for children and pets.
Lawn grubs are a natural part of the ecosystem on your property, and they’re beneficial in small numbers. The grub population can get out of hand naturally, or if you overwater your lawn or have bare patches that allow beetles to lay eggs.
Grub activity can be partially identified by signs above ground, including brown or dead patches, increased bird, skunk, and raccoon activity on your lawn, or dead grass that is easily pulled out along with the roots. In all cases, though, you’ll need to manually dig up a portion of your grass to check for grubs, as other issues could cause dead or weak grass. It may be smart to check your lawn annually to prevent grub populations from arising.
Natural solutions for a grub infestation include spreading beneficial nematodes or milky spore on your lawn. You can also dry out the yard for a month or so to reduce the number of eggs that hatch into these white larvae.
Yes, absolutely. Curative and preventative pesticides can both be efficient for killing off grub populations. Curative chemicals treat existing grub colonies, while preventive chemicals treat future populations.
At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each lawn company/service according to our methodology.
Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through over one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated each lawn care service’s costs, benefits, customer reviews, guarantees, plans, products, and a-la-carte options. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the lawn care companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.
We developed a formula to objectively determine the best lawn care companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria: