How to Remove Grubs From Your Lawn


Grubs are the larval stage of insects. Lawn grubs cause damage when they eat grass roots, killing the plants and leaving dead patches in the lawn. Chemical lawn treatments are poisonous for humans and pets as well as grubs. Apply beneficial nematodes to your lawn or use milky spore powder as effective organic alternatives to lawn chemicals.

Beneficial Nematodes

Step 1

Know when the grubs are active in your area. Your county extension office can advise you. Nematodes must be applied when grubs are active.

Step 2

Purchase beneficial nematodes from a reputable dealer. If your garden center does not carry nematodes, order them from a source online. As living organisms, they must be handled properly to remain effective. The species of nematodes used for lawn infestations are microscopic. You will see the carrier when you open the package, not the tiny nematodes. Beneficial nematodes are non-toxic to humans and pets.

Step 3

Apply the nematodes as soon as possible after you receive them. Store them in the refrigerator if you cannot apply them immediately.

Step 4

Apply nematodes in the evening for best results. Nematodes can die from exposure to sunlight or from drying out in the heat. Mix them with water in your sprayer and apply them by simply spraying your lawn. Follow specific instructions that came with the nematodes.

Step 5

Water the lawn at least 1/4 inch to ensure that the nematodes can work their way into the soil overnight.

Milky Spore

Step 1

Purchase milky spore powder at a garden center or online. Milky spore bacteria come packaged in a chalk carrier. The bacteria are non-toxic to humans and pets.

Step 2

Apply milky spore powder at 4-foot intervals over the lawn. Place one teaspoonful of the powder in a grid pattern over the lawn. Don't spread the powder; the bacteria spread throughout the lawn naturally. Only one application is necessary.

Step 3

Water in the milky spore by using a lawn sprinkler for 15 to 20 minutes or allow rain to water it in. You can wait as long as 36 to 48 hours after applying the dry powder before watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Beneficial nematodes
  • Garden sprayer
  • Milky spore powder, optional


  • Yardlover: Milky Spore Frequently Asked Questions
  • University of Rhode Island: White Grub Control
  • MasterGarderners: Beneficial Nematodes

Who Can Help

  • Ohio State University: Using Insect Parasitic Nematodes
Keywords: lawn grub control, killing lawn grubs, beneficial nematodes, milky spore

About this Author

Fern Fischer writes about quilting and sewing, and she professionally restores antique quilts to preserve these historical pieces of women's art. She also covers topics of organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family. For over 35 years, her work has been published in print and online.