How to Get Rid of Grubs

Two Methods:Preventative TreatmentCurative Treatment

If the your lawn has big brown spots and can be pulled up like a patch, then you have grub worm damage. These grubs are the larvae of Japanese beetles. Japanese beetles are dormant in the winter, and lay their eggs in mid-July. In August, the grub worms start to move to the surface of your lawn. In doing so, they eat the roots of your grass. To prevent this from happening, you should treat the affected area right after the beetles lay the eggs.

Method 1
Preventative Treatment

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    Keep your lawn long. Beetles don't like laying eggs in long grass, so keeping your lawn at least two inches long will help prevent grubs.
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    Over-seed your lawn. If you do this in the spring and the fall, the grass with be too thick to be attractive to most beetles.
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    Fertilize your lawn. Do this in both the fall and the spring. If possible, layer dead leaves over your lawn for the winter.
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    Water sparingly. Grub eggs require moisture to hatch. If you must water your lawn, give it a lot of water once in a while rather than a little bit every couple of days.
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    Treat your lawn. This should be done during the first two weeks of July with products containing imidacloprid or halofenozide. These chemical will poison the grubs, and kill them as they hatch. Merrit is one such product.
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    Apply the product following the directions on the package.
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    If you want a more organic option, then try:
    • Milky Spore. This is an environmentally safe disease that will kill off the Japanese Beetles. You need to apply it in the Spring, Summer, and Fall for two years. This will insure that your lawn is "infected" and will remain so for at least ten years. Note that some grubs are not treatable by Milky Spore and require a Merit Grub Killer application.
    • Nematodes. These are tiny worms that release bacteria into the soil that is deadly to lawn grubs.

Method 2
Curative Treatment

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    Treat in the spring (from March to mid-May) or fall (Sept 1 to Nov 1)
    • For treatment in the fall, Dylox is most effective.
    • Carbaryl and trichlorfon will work in both seasons. However, the grubs stop feeding in late may, after which curative products are no longer effective[1].


  • Japanese Beetles only lay their eggs in sunny areas.
  • Not only do the grubs do damage to your lawn, but many animals feed on grubs. By allowing grubs to remain in your yard, you might find that it will increase the tendency of skunks and raccoons to come to your yard.
  • Merrit is only effective for three months. Resist the temptation to apply it too early.


  • Make sure to add water to the product.
  • Follow all the directions on the packages when you apply any product to your lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Spreaders

Sources and Citations

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Article Info

Categories: Garden Pests and Weeds