White Grubs Facts


White grubs are also commonly known as grubs and grubworms. They are a type of larvae from a variety of beetles known as scarabs. Many types of white grubs appear in the United States, where they often attack turfgrasses. Some well-known white grub species include Japanese beetles, May beetles, June beetles and Popillia japonica Newman.


It is crucial to be able to recognize the symptoms of infestation by white grubs. The grubs feed on the roots of grass, which results in the grass slowly thinning out, becoming yellow and eventually dying. The grass also starts to feel spongy and soft. Brown patches appear scattered over the grass, gradually getting bigger and bigger. The grass then starts to pull up very easily.


White grubs are a creamy white color, and are a beetle larvae that is shaped similarly to the letter "C." Their heads range from tan colored to rusty brown, and they have six legs. If they have no legs, they are most likely billbugs as opposed to white grubs. They can be anywhere from a 1/4 to 2 inches in length.

Host Plants

There are several host plants that white grubs prefer. The grubs feed on the roots of corn, sorghum, Kentucky bluegrass, timothy, soybean, strawberry, potato, turnip, rye, wheat, oat and barley.


There are various different ways to control and eliminate white grubs. These methods include managing water properly (white grubs need moist soil in order for their eggs to hatch), use of parasites (parasitic, scoliid wasps can destroy white grubs) and use of preventative pesticides.

Other Problems

Apart from infesting and damaging grass, white grubs can also attract a bevy of other creatures, including armadillos, raccoons, moles and birds. In some cases, however, these animals may interested in finding earthworms or other varieties of insects, so they are not always a sign of white grub infestation.

Keywords: white grubs, Japanese beetles, scarab beetles

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.