How To Get Rid Of Grubs In Your Lawn

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Written By: Mark Marino

a Massachusetts Core Applicator License holder and owner/operator of Lawn Phix,

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I experienced grub damage several years ago, and let me tell you, it’s no fun peeling back carpets of once-lush turf. I have since implemented a bulletproof strategy into my professional plan for Lawn Phix customers and have seen zero breakthroughs on these lawns. It requires timely prevention applications and close inspection in the late summer months.

  • Apply Acelepryn (Chlorantraniliprole) in the early spring and water the product into the soil immediately (within 24 hours).
    • Liquid: 0.25 oz. per 1,000 sq. ft.
    • Granular: 1.5 – 2.0 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.
    • Combo: 5-6 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. (i.e., 22-0-5 w/ 0.067% Acelepryn)
  • Do not use Merit (Imidacloprid) as beetles have developed a resistance to this chemical over the years.
    • With the large amounts of rain New England experienced in July 2023, the most significant reports of grub breakthroughs were on lawns treated with Imidacloprid.
  • Keep a liquid insecticide such as Talak 7.9% (Bifenthrin) on-hand to treat surface insects if needed.
  • To kill active grubs and stop damage in the late summer, apply Dylox at 3 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.
    • Kills grubs within 24 hours by both contact and ingestion.
  • I have used Acelepryn exclusively for three years now, and only choose Dylox as my trusted grub killer when new customers come calling.

No matter where you live, getting rid of grubs and grub infestations is both frustrating and time-intensive.

Like many other lawn pests, grubs are best stopped with actionable prevention steps. However, you may want to incorporate some long-term grub preventer products that eliminate infestations before they begin.

What Are Grub Worms?

White grubs are c shaped, and the larvae of seasonal lawn bee

tles that feed on grasses, roots, and other plants. A long-term grub problem could lead to significant lawn damage and the destruction of the root system for struggling plants.

Brown patches of grass created by grub worms look similar to chinch bug activity. Grub infestations could affect the quality of your grass within a few short weeks. If you think grub worms are behind the damage to your lawn, you’ll need to start applying grub control treatments right away.

What Are White Grubs?

Although there are many different types of lawn grubs, white grubs in particular refer to the larvae of Japanese beetles. These pests lay eggs in moist soil during the spring and grow to maturity by late summer. Once they have reached adulthood, they will begin to feed on leaves, fruits, and vegetables around the lawn.

A few grubs are not likely to cause problems in your lawn, but a larger grub population will make short work of your garden, landscape, and grasses.

Types Of Grub Worms

There are several types of grub worm species you may find around your backyard:

  • June Bugs / June Beetles
  • Japanese Beetle Grubs
  • Scarab Beetles

In order to get rid of grubs completely, homeowners need to control both adult and larvae versions of the grub worm’s life cycle.

Lawn Grubs Lifecycle

Lawn grubs have a unique lifecycle that is difficult to treat without previous knowledge.

Adult beetles can be found laying eggs between the months of June and August. After two weeks, larval grubs hatch en mass, and burrow deeper into the soil to overwinter. When spring returns, the grubs in your lawn will return to the upper levels of soil to feed on grass roots. Grubs enter a pupation stage that lasts two to three weeks before hatching into fully grown adults.

June bugs have a lifecycle that lasts up to three years, while others may be much shorter. In general, expect grubs in your lawn to live at least one year on average.

How To Kill Grubs

The most efficient way to kill grubs is through a combination of DIY, prevention, and natural grub treatment. Using chemical methods, the best grub killer and grub control products include the following:

  1. Acelepryn is an all-encompassing insecticide that controls grubs in just a few applications. Apply in the spring.
  2. Dylox is one of the best forms of curative pesticide on the market today, making a massive difference against grub larvae during hatching seasons. Simply apply this grub killer and water your lawn during early fall or early summer, and watch the results roll in.
  3. For a rapid grub killer that protects your grass, consider utilizing the Bayer 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus. Using a powerful form of Trichlorfon, this product swiftly eliminates grubs at any stage of maturation.
  4. Meridian 0.33 G Insecticide is great as a broad-spectrum insecticide, eliminating Japanese beetles, sod webworms, June bugs, and more. Apply in the spring for prevention.

If you’re concerned about chemical use, most lawns can benefit from natural methods or organic curative pesticides. Treat your lawn naturally by correctly applying fertilizer, lime, and other health-supporting products during key times of the year.

Consider using a topical application such as neem oil to get rid of grubs and grub infestations. Neem oil kills grubs and grub worms by penetrating their thin, rubbery bodies and impeding their growth.

Attracting predator pests such as house wrens or parasitic worms are great methods of managing a pre-established grub problem. Install birdhouses around the property to house hungry birds, and provide spaces in your lawn for other grub predators such as wasps.

Finally, milky spore disease is one of the best ways to prevent grubs from pupating in late summer. Bacterium capsules can be purchased in bulk and sowed throughout the lawn before July. Milky spore is an insect killer of impressive strength, and will quickly eliminate grubs before reaching adulthood.

How To Prevent Grub Worms

Prevention against grub worms begins with cultural and organic controls and knowing when to apply grub control products.

Start by locating the presence of adult beetles and other grub problems around the lawn. Keep an eye out for some tell-tale signs of a grub infestation, including:

  • Brown or damaged grass
  • Ongoing garden or lawn damage (plant damage)
  • Sections of dry lawn (dead patches)
  • Spotting grubs in the soil while planting or digging

Immediately begin incorporating best grub prevention practices, including the attraction of house wrens, applying milky spore, and natural treatments like neem oil or dish soap mixed with water.

Lawn Grubs FAQs

Are grubs resistant to some chemicals?

Sadly, grubs can and will develop a resistance to certain treatments. According to some golf courses, the popular chemical Imidacloprid is no longer effective against most grub infestations. However, proper follow-up treatment (including watering down your insecticide) could help to boost numbers.

How do you get rid of grubs naturally?

The grubs in your lawn can be eliminated with natural methods like applying milky spore, attracting house wrens and predatory birds, and over-the-counter grub killers including neem oil. These products are available in many garden stores, including large retail brokers like Home Depot or Lowes. If you’re up for the challenge, beneficial nematodes are another excellent option. Just be sure you are applying the right amount per square foot.

What is the safest way to get rid of grubs?

The best and most efficient method of grub elimination is ongoing prevention. Although certain chemicals will kill grubs guaranteed, regular applications of natural treatment may work wonders around the lawn. Focus on lawn care and health for the long term, and enjoy ongoing results over time.

How to Kill Grubs

If you missed the window to prevent white grubs and are seeing visible grub worm damage, you need a fast-acting curative. The best product to kill grubs quickly is Dylox. The active ingredient Trichlorfon needs to be watered in immediately to begin activating. Once it’s in the soil and taken into the roots, Dylox quickly kills grubs then degrades quickly.


Grub worms can do extensive, irreversible damage. If you plan on having a healthy, vigorous green lawn, be sure to stay ahead of these pests by applying a preventative application of Acelepryn in the spring. If you or your neighbors have had a history of grub problems in the past, this is a very important step.

If you missed the window or are noticing active grub damage, use a fast-active grub killer – we highly recommend Dylox. Once the grubs have been knocked down, you can begin repairing and reseeding the dead areas.

What are the best products to kill grubs in lawn?

The best products to kill grubs in your lawn contain the active ingredients Carbaryl (Sevin) or Trichlorfon (Dylox). Products like Jonathan Green Grub & Insect Control contain Imidacloprid & Lambda-Cyhalothrin which can be used to kill grubs, but only in the early larvae stages, but is best used as a preventitive.

What are the best products to prevent grubs in lawn?

The best products to prevent and control grubs in your lawn contain the active ingredients Imidacloprid (Merit, Jonathan Green), Chlorantraniliprole (GrubEx) or Thiamethoxam (Meridian). These products last 3-4 months and should be applied in the beginning of June to help prevent grub worms.

How do grubs damage your lawn?

Grubs are the larvae of the Japanese beetle (June bug). As the larvae hatch, they begin to eat the roots of your grass – not the grass blades themselves (those are chinch bugs). As the grubs finish eating the roots, they move outwards to more roots. This causes the irregular dead brown patches of grass.

What are grub worms?

Grubs are most commonly the larval stage of the European chafer, June beetle (June bug) and Japanese beetle. Adult beetles lay their eggs in the early summer in June and July; larvae hatch and begin to eat the grass roots throughout the summer and into early fall; grubs reemerge in the spring overwinter, pupate in late May and into June, and the lifecycle begins all over again.

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Author's Note: this piece has been updated for accuracy since its first publication on
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Author: Mark Marino
My name is Mark Marino, and I am the founder, owner, and operator of Lawn Phix. With a passion for lawn care and turf nutrition for over a decade, I've dedicated countless hours to correcting soil and perfecting lawns. Today, my expertise, backed by formal courses at UMass Extension Pesticide Education, allows me to offer top-tier lawn care services and advice. I am a fully licensed and insured lawn care applicator in Massachusetts, specializing in comprehensive turf nutrition, weed control, and lawn pest control. My license number is AL-0053865. Contact me at [email protected] or +1 (508) 500-8402.

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