7 Steps to Get Rid of Lawn Grubs

Grubs under the grass

Grubs live in the soil underneath your lawn and feed on the roots of your grass. They’re mostly active in the summer and fall, killing the roots of your grass and turning your lawn brown in those areas. We’ll show you how to determine if you have grubs and give you several easy steps on how to get rid of grubs to make your lawn healthy and green again.    

Skill Level: Beginner
Time:
  1. Step 1 Check your Lawn for Grubs

    Person checking lawn for grubs

    If you’ve noticed that your lawn has irregularly shaped brown patches or simply doesn’t look as healthy as it used to, you may have a grub infestation. Another tell-tale sign is small holes in your lawn where animals have been digging. There are, however, other reasons your lawn could be unhealthy, so in order to confirm you’ve got grubs, you’ll need to do a simple check. In your brown patch or patches, dig three sides of a square about 12-inches long into your lawn and peel back the sod. If you see grubs in the soil, you may need to apply grub control to your lawn to ensure that you get rid of them.    

  2. Step 2 Determine the Infestation Level

    person holding soil with grubs in it

    When you peel back your sod, count the grubs you see. Do this in a few areas to calculate your grubs per square foot. If there are less than five grubs per square foot, you should be ok if your lawn is otherwise healthy. Any more than that, and you’ll likely need to apply a grub control to get rid of them before they do more damage to your lawn.

  3. Step 3 Use Grub Killer or Nematodes

    person pouring grub killer into spreader

    There are a couple of options when it comes to controlling grubs in your lawn. If you’re looking for a natural option, you can try using Nematodes. Nematodes are small, parasitic worms that will invade grubs and kill them. You simply shake them up in water and apply them to your lawn. This is a long-term solution though and can take up to 3 years to fully control your infestation.

    If you want a faster solution, you can use a grub killer. Products with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are effective at killing a wide variety of grubs and will protect your lawn from grubs year-round.

  4. Step 4 Keep Kids and Pets off the Lawn Until the Grass Dries

    person keeping pet away from grub killer

    Regardless of which route you choose, make sure to keep kids and pets off your lawn until the treated area dries completely. This is not only to keep them safe, but also to let the grub control solution really sink in for maximum effectiveness.    

  5. Step 5 Keep Grass Longer

    grass

    Beetles don’t like laying eggs in long grass, so keep your lawn at least 2-inches long. Keeping your grass longer can help stop the spread of larvae and make controlling your grubs easier.    

  6. Step 6 Don’t Overwater Grass

    person watering grass

    Grubs thrive in moist conditions, so don’t overwater your lawn while treating your infestation. You can even let your lawn dry completely, which will likely have an adverse effect on your lawn but may kill grubs naturally by depriving them of moisture. Keep your lawn at its driest throughout July and August, when the grub eggs are most likely to hatch.    

  7. Step 7 Fertilize in the Fall

    person fertilizing the grass

    Since beetles don’t like laying eggs in long grass, seed and fertilize your lawn in the fall to help repair any damage the grubs have already done and stop the beetles from laying new eggs.    

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