How to Kill Grubs in a Vegetable Garden


They may not be visible on the soil surface, but dozens of white grubs could be burrowing in your garden soil. These insects feed on your vegetable plants' roots, according to Oklahoma State University, and may cause widespread wilting and death. Several physical and chemical controls can help deter grub infestations and kill any grubs that are already present in your soil.

Step 1

Remove all lawn grass and grassy weeds from in and around your vegetable. Grassy patches attract the adult beetles that lay the eggs which later turn into grubs.

Step 2

Till the garden soil every spring and fall. Use a spade for small garden areas or a mechanical tiller if you're managing a large garden plot. This exposes the hidden grubs and helps dry them out and kill them, according to the University of Wisconsin.

Step 3

Mix a diazinon-, chlorpyriphos- or permethrin-based granular pesticide into the soil before planting your vegetables, according to Oklahoma State University. Apply the pesticide as directed by its labeled guidelines, as toxicity varies widely by product.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade or tiller
  • Granular herbicide


  • "Burpee: The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener"; Karan Cutler, et al.; 1997
  • Oklahoma State University: Home Vegetable Garden Insect Pest Control
  • University of Wisconsin: Managing Insects in the Home Vegetable Garden
Keywords: kill soil grubs, vegetable garden grubs, remove vegetable grubs

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.