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how to control grubs in lawn

How to Control Grubs in Lawn


Grubs will cause severe damage to your lawn if left uncontrolled. These cream-colored C-shaped creatures are the larvae of various beetle species, including Japanese beetles, masked chafers, and June bugs. They feed on grass roots, causing the grass to die and leading to visible turf damage. Read on to learn how to control grubs in lawn.

Identify the Presence of Grubs

Identifying the presence of grubs is the first step in controlling them. Signs of grub infestations include yellow or brown patches of grass. Bare soil, spongy or loose turf, and flocks of birds feeding on the lawn. To confirm whether the damage is caused by grubs, dig up a small section of turf to check for grubs in the soil.

Merchant and Crocker (n.d.) Depending on location within the state, damage may appear anytime between the months of June and October. Turfgrass damaged by white grubs has a reduced root system and is easily pulled from the soil. Grubs should be readily found in the top few inches of soil, in the turfgrass root zone. Turfgrass usually recovers from white grub damage by fall or the following spring (para. 12).


Use Natural Predators

If you have a minor infestation, encouraging natural predators can be an effective method of control. Beneficial insects and animals such as ground beetles, nematodes, and birds feed on grubs and help reduce their numbers. Crows, mockingbirds, wrens, raccoons, and moles feed on grubs.

Planting attractive flowers and shrubs, such as marigolds or daisies, will attract beneficial insects to your lawn.

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Although, these natural grub predators may cause significant damage to your lawn by digging into the turfgrass, the damage caused by the grubworms will be worse.

Apply Nematodes

Nematodes are microscopic, parasitic worms that are known to attack and kill grubs. They can be applied to the lawn by diluting them in water and spraying over the affected area. Follow the instructions on the package for the right amount and frequency.

Buy nematodes from a trusted and reputable online dealer. Refrain from buying locally in a store because it is difficult to know how they were transported and if they are still viable.

Use Chemical Insecticides

For severe infestations, chemical insecticides is an effective control method. However, it is essential to choose a product that is specifically labeled for grub control. Chemical insecticides with active ingredients such as carbaryl, imidacloprid, and trichlorfon can be used to control grubs. Make sure to follow product instructions carefully, such as proper timing, dosages, and protective gear.

Reynolds, Merchant, & Reynolds (n.d.) most of today’s white grub insecticides have relatively long persistence in the soil; however applications made too early may break down before white grubs are present. Therefore it is usually best to wait until after June beetle mating flights end before putting out an insecticide. 

Preventive Measures

Grub Worms in Soil

Preventing grubs from infesting your lawn is the best way to avoid potential damage. Regular mowing, aerating, and lawn fertilization treatments will help minimize the risk of infestations.

Applying grub controls during late summer to early fall is also be an effective preventive measure.

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We treat for grubworms. Go to our Weed Control and Fertilization Service Page to find out how we can help.

Proper Lawn Maintenance

Keeping the lawn healthy through proper maintenance practices, such as adequate watering, fertilization, and soil aeration, can help prevent infestations. A healthy lawn is less susceptible to grubs and can recover quickly after treatment.

Remember, many pests and diseases cause similar reactions in lawns. Read one of our other articles, “Treatment for Chinch Bugs, Armyworms, and Grub Worms,” to learn how to tell which damage is which.

how to control grubs in lawn
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Grubs can cause serious damage to your lawn if not controlled. By regularly monitoring your lawn, identifying signs of infestation, and treating for grubs if necessary, grub damage will be minimized.

Additionally, preventive measures and proper lawn maintenance help preserve the health of your lawn.

At Ryno Lawn Care, we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn.

Our professional lawn care services, backed by our expertise and experience, will help control grubs and enhance the overall health of your lawn. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve a vibrant and healthy lawn.


Merchant, M.E. & Crocker, R.L. (n.d.). White grubs in texas turfgrass. Texas Agricultural Extension Service.

Reynolds, C., Merchant, M., & Reynolds, D.S. (n.d.). White grubs. Agrilife Extension.

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