Grubs are a common problem in perfectly good lawns and yards. They can create patches of thinning turf and cause death in plant seedlings if left untreated. This is why treatment and prevention using grub killers are important.
If you want to know more about their specifications, application rates, product dimensions, and other interesting information related to controlling grubs in your lawn, simply read further this article!
What Are Grubs?
Grubs are the larvae of scarab beetles, otherwise known as May beetles or June bugs. They belong to the genus Phyllophaga, which contains over 900 species of scarab beetles.
They are 6 to 25 millimeters long and have white C-shaped bodies, brown heads, and six legs. Their abdomens are slightly enlarged and are darker than the rest of their body.
How Do Grubs Damage Lawns?
Grubs damage lawns by feeding on the roots and mesocotyl (found in the stem) of plants. While healthier grass can survive grub attacks, infestations can, nonetheless, cause wilted, stunted, discolored, or dead seedlings, as well as create gaps in places where plants fail to emerge. As a result, your lawn will have patches of thinning turf.
When Is the Best Time to Use Grub Killers?
For treatments of current grub infestations, apply sometime between September to October to effectively reduce their population. Avoid applying in the spring, particularly after May 15, since grubs will stop feeding around late May as they prepare to enter their pupal stage.
For preventive measures, apply sometime between June to July to provide your lawn with protection against the next batch of grubs. This is done when you have confirmed that grubs damaged your lawn in the previous fall or spring season.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Grub Killer?
Grub killers should contain carbaryl and trichlorfon, which are compounds used to kill grubs at any life stage. Preventive products should contain one or more of the following chemicals: thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, chlorantraniliprole, or clothianidin.
How Should You Use Grub Killers for Controlling Lawn Grubs?
- Mow your lawn before the application of grub killers so that no flowering weeds are present in the lawn when they are applied. This is to make sure bees, and other pollinators are not killed after application. The best time to apply is early morning or late evening.
- Use a drop, rotary, or broadcast fertilizer spreader to evenly apply the product onto the area you wish to treat. There are products that you can attach to a garden hose directly so that it is mixed with water before application.
- Depending on the product, you must thoroughly water the product so that the soil absorbs it. Avoid any drift to flower beds and make sure there is no product run-off.
- Keep pets and humans away from the lawn while it is still wet, as it might cause skin problems such as irritation.
- Store the insecticide in a locked cabinet where it is out of reach from children.
Best Grub Killers
Grub Killer Plus Granules Size
If you want a fast-acting grub killer that not only targets grubs but can also kill other pesky insects such as ants, crickets, grasshoppers, mole crickets, and scorpions, this is the best product for you. Results can be seen as fast as within 24 hours!
- 24-HOUR GRUB KILLER: Delivers overnight results by killing grubs...
- PLUS INSECT KILLER: Also kills Ants, Ticks, Billbugs, Chinch...
- PREVENTS LAWN DAMAGE: Use at the first sign of grubs to stop...
- COVERAGE AREA: Treats up to 10,000 square feet
- RESTRICTIONS: Not for sale in CA & ME
Key Ingredient: 9.3% Trichlorfon
One 20-pound bag can treat 10,000 square feet of lawn area.
- Apply when you see the first signs of grub damage, which usually shows 6 weeks after the adult insects appear.
- Use a drop, broadcast, or rotary spreader for convenience when applying the granules over your lawn. The rate depends on your spreader model, but the rule is 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
- Make sure the borders are filled first before the center of the lawn for full coverage. Afterwards, water the lawn and let the granules set in.
Product Dimensions: 22” (length) x 17” (width) x 2” (height), with a weight of 20 pounds.
Bayer – Merit 0.5 Granular Systemic Insect Control
For effective systemic grub control in turfgrass, landscape ornamentals, foliage plants, and ground covers, this product is an ideal choice. This product is a preventive control for grubs, which means it must be applied if your lawn has been infested in the past season and you wish to kill the next batch of grubs.
- Imidacloprid 0.5%
- Merit is for use in and around Turfgrasses, Trees, Shrubs,...
- Applications of MERIT 0.5 G Insecticide cannot exceed a total of...
Key Ingredients: 0.5% Imidacloprid, 1-[(6-Chloro-3-pyridinyl)methyl]-N-nitro-2-imidazolidinimine
Apply before or during the egg-laying or hatching period of the grubs.
- Using a drop or rotary spreader, apply the insecticide uniformly over the area you want to be treated. The rate depends on the equipment type, speed, and condition. Usually, 60 to 80 pounds per acre is applied. Do not apply beyond 80 pounds per acre a year.
- Provide sufficient irrigation or allow rainfall to set the product in.
Product Dimensions: 11.9” (length) x 6” (width) x 13” (height), with a weight of 29.5 pounds.
Scotts GrubEx1 – Grub Killer for Lawns
This product can keep grubs off of your lawns for 4 months and even help prevent any root or turf damage caused by these insects. Since this is a preventive insecticide, it must be applied during its developmental stage, right before they begin causing damage to your lawn.
- One application in the spring or early summer kills and prevents...
- Helps prevent root damage caused by insects for a stronger lawn
- Prevents turf damage by killing grubs when they are young
- Kills 25 percent more grub types vs original GrubEx
- Scotts products are designed to work with Scotts spreaders
Key Ingredient: 0.08% Chlorantraniliprole
Applying during the spring or early summer seasons for the best results.
- Using a rotary or drop spreader, apply 2.87 pounds of the product per 1,000 square feet of a dry lawn, then let it set in with water. Avoid applying near a body of water, such as ponds, lakes, and rivers.
- Sweep any stray product on hard surfaces toward your lawn. Keep pets and children away from your lawn while it is still wet.
Product Dimensions: 20” (length) x 13.25” (width) x 5” (height), with a weight of 28.7 pounds.
Sevin Lawn Insect Granules
Working both as a control for existing infestations and as a preventive measure, this insecticide can keep killing grubs for up to 3 months after application. Additionally, it also works against ants, fleas, worms, ticks, and other pests present in your lawn.
- Large-Scale Pest Protection. Large-Scale Results
- Kills Over 30 Listed Pests
- Use on Lawns, Ornamentals and Around Homes
- For use on Vegetables
- Kills Ticks, Fleas, Worms, Ants, and Several Other Pests
Key Ingredients: 0.029% Zeta-Cypermethrin, 0.115% Bifenthrin
For best results, lawns should be treated during the late summer to early fall seasons.
- Apply 1, 2, or 4 pounds of insecticide directly per 1,000 square feet of lawn, depending on the type of spreader you have. Water thoroughly but not to the point of run-off.
- Repeat application may be necessary if there is still insect activity. However, do not exceed 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet per application.
- For ornamentals and flower gardens, utilize this product as a spot treatment.
Product Dimensions: 28” (length) x 10” (width) x 10” (height), with a weight of 20 pounds.
Gabriel Organics 80010-9 Milky Spore Powder
A unique option in this list as it comes in a powder consistency and is specially formulated with naturally occurring bacteria, making it an organic product for those who don’t want to use chemicals. When applied correctly, treatment can last up to 20 years and won’t harm any beneficial insects in your lawn.
No products found.
Key Ingredient: 0.02% spores of Bacillus popilliae
This can be applied at any season of the year, regardless of what growth stage the grubs are in.
- Apply 1 teaspoon of the powder on the ground between plants or on top of the grass in spots every 4 feet along rows that are 4 feet apart. 10 ounces can treat 2,500 square feet of area or 1 pound for 4,000 square feet.
- After application, water lightly, just enough for the spores to soak into the soil.
- Areas between the spots will be immunized against grub growth naturally, making this a long-lasting product.
Product Dimensions: 11” (length) x 9” (width) x 7” (height), with a weight of 13.3 ounces.
BioAdvanced Complete Insect Killer for Soil and Turf
Key Ingredient: 0.75% Cyfluthrin
- INSECT KILLER: Army worm killer. Also kills listed surface...
- 3 MONTH PROTECTION: Kills listed soil insects for up to 3 months
- USE ON: Soil and turf lawns and around the home
- PLUS MOSQUITO KILLER: Kills mosquitos in addition to 30 other...
- COVERAGE AREA: Treats up to 5,334 square feet
Apply at the first signs of grub damage. Do so in the early morning or late evening when bees are not present in the area.
- Connect the sprayer product to a garden house and make sure the switch is in the OFF position. Afterwards, turn on the water at the faucet.
- Extend the hose to the farthest part of the lawn to be treated, point the sprayer nozzle in that direction, then begin spraying by switching to ON. When applying, walk at a steady pace and use a sweeping motion. Apply slightly overlapping the treated areas.
- Turn the sprayer OFF, as well as the water at the faucet, then disconnect the sprayer from the hose.
Product Dimensions: 5” (length) x 2.55” (width) x 11.25” (height), with a weight of 2 pounds.
Bonide Insect and Grub Control
A fast-acting, long-lasting product designed to control grub infestations on lawns and around foundations of homes and buildings, this product offers protection for your soil and the surface of your lawn. Results are visible within 24 hours, and the protection lasts up to 3 months.
- INSECT KILLER - This pest control is great for use on species of...
- PROTECT YOUR LAWN AND HOME - Insect and Grub Control is designed...
- TOP TO BOTTOM PROTECTION - Product offers complete insect control...
- DUAL ACTION DEFENSE - Combines the systemic action of...
- EASY APPLICATION - Granules should either be distributed as a...
Key Ingredients: 0.5% Imidacloprid, 0.1% Lambda-Cyhalothrin
Treat sometime between late July to early October for best results.
- Apply 1.2 to 1.8 pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn area using a drop or rotary spreader. Immediately water the area to be treated after application. Make sure the product doesn’t run off from the treated site.
- Avoid applying more than three times a year in the same location.
Product Dimensions: 3.8” (length) x 14.7” (width) x 15” (height), with a weight of 6 pounds.
Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer For Lawns Granules
Specially formulated for broad-spectrum control of grubs found in any lawn, garden, and other landscapes, this product can kill upon contact with insects. Pets and children should be kept out of reach of the lawn until the product has fully settled in.
- KILLS LAWN INSECTS: Use outdoors on lawns and as a band treatment...
- KILLS MORE THAN 100 INSECT TYPES: Kills insects above and below...
- KILLS ON CONTACT: Treat when insects first appear or when you...
- GRANULAR FORMULA: Distribute granules uniformly around the...
- CONTROLS GRUBS: Apply when insects and grubs are active in the...
Key Ingredient: 0.05% Gamma-Cyhalothrin
Treat sometime between July to November. Dung beetle grubs should be treated sometime between March to July.
- Using a rotary or drop spreader, apply 1.2 pounds of product per 1,000 square feet of lawn, then immediately water after application.
- Avoid applying more than 3 times a year in the same location. Don’t let the product runoff from the treated site.
Product Dimensions: 11” (length) x 2.75” (width) x 18.75” (height), with a weight of 10 pounds.
BioAdvanced Season Long Grub Control
Able to treat up to 5,000 square feet of lawn space, this insecticide can kill grubs found above and below the soil surface. It is fast-acting and can protect your lawns from infestations all season long. Aside from grubs, it can also be effective against 40 other lawn insects, including ants, crickets, and ticks.
- KILLS: Grubs and lawn damaging insects: kills insects above and...
- SEASON LONG CONTROL: Starts to work immediately and protects lawn...
- KILLS: 40+ destructive lawn insects, including: ants, ticks, mole...
- USE: On Lawns and as Barrier Treatment: new, improved formula...
- COVERAGE: Treats up to 5,000 sq. ft.
Key Ingredient: 0.1% Lambda-cyhalothrin
Treat sometime between late July to early October.
- Apply 1.2 pounds of product per 1,000 square feet of lawn, then water thoroughly after application using a spreader. Make sure the spreader applies the product in evenly spread bands.
- The product shouldn’t be allowed to run off from the treated area. Avoid applying more than 3 applications per location a year.
Product Dimensions: 18” (length) x 12.5” (width) x 2.69” (height), with a weight of 10 pounds
Syngenta Acelepryn- Dupont Insecticide
For systemic and foliar control of grubs infesting recreational turfgrass, landscape, ornamentals, and sod farms, this is the best product for you. It also treats other insects, including moth borers and caterpillars.
Key Ingredients: 0.2% Chlorantraniliprole
Use treatment from early April to early September if you seek preventive control of grubs.
- Apply 8 to 16 fluid ounces of product per acre of turf or 8 fluid ounces per acre of ground cover and flower bed, then irrigate immediately. You can also allow rainfall to let the soil naturally absorb the product.
- You can apply by soil injection, broadcast sprays, or soil drenches.
Product Dimensions: 18.6” (length) x 14” (width) x 2” (height), with a weight of 25 pounds.
List of Sources
White Grubs – https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/fieldcropsipm/insects/corn-whitegrubs.php
How Do I Treat for Grubs in My Lawn? – https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2019/09/how-do-i-treat-grubs-my-lawn
White Grubs – https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/field/white_grub.htm
How to Choose and When to Apply Grub Control Products for Your Lawn – https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/how_to_choose_and_when_to_apply_grub_control_products_for_your_lawn