How to Kill White Grubs


If you see large dead patches of lawn in your yard throughout the late summer or early fall, you may have a white grub problem. White grubs feed on the roots of your grass. Without roots, your grass quickly dies. One sign of a grub problem is if you can lift the dead patches of grass off your lawn easily like a carpet. Insecticides, when applied at the correct time, will get rid of the grubs in your lawn. These are best applied in the late summer when grubs are most active.

Step 1

Examine your lawn to ensure you have a white grub problem and not some other lawn disease. Use a flat spade and cut out a six-inch by six-inch square of lawn. Lift it up, and examine the soil around the grass roots. If you see more than two or three grubs in that square, you have a white grub problem. White grubs are cream-colored larvae that have three distinct pairs of legs. They have an amber-colored head and are fairly large. Examine multiple areas of the lawn to see which areas need treatment.

Step 2

Cut back on irrigation. Water your lawn deeply, but infrequently. Once a week is sufficient for most lawns. Grubs need moist soil to hatch and survive. If your soil dries out between waterings, your grub problem should be reduced.

Step 3

Apply an insecticide that is geared toward white grubs in late July or early August. Apply as directed in the areas that need to be treated.

Step 4

Apply a preventative insecticide the following year. Products containing imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, halofenozide, clothianidin or chlorantraniliprole target newly hatched grubs. Apply as directed about a month before grubs hatch (early July in most locations).

Things You'll Need

  • Flat spade
  • Insecticide
  • Broadcast spreader
  • Preventative insecticide
  • Nematodes


  • University of Rhode Island: White Grub Control
  • University of Florida: What Grub Management in Turf
  • University of Kentucky: Controlling White Grubs in Turfgrass
  • Living With Bugs: How to Identify White Grubs
Keywords: kill white grubs, white grub removal, insecticide, remove grubs naturally, preventative insecticide

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.