How to Get Rid of Grub Worms From Your Garden? A Detailed Guide

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No one likes the sight of tiny multi-legged, fat, white creatures in their garden. 

Not only do these grub worms give your garden a bad look, but they also damage it by feeding on the roots resulting in malnourished plants. 

Plants die due to damage and water shortage.

All this sounds terrible. But no worries, you have found the right article. 

We will tell you how to get rid of grub worms quickly and make your garden beautiful again. 

But the first rule of battle, know thy enemy! 

What are Grubs?

Commonly known as grub worms, they are the larvae of the beetles such as Japanese beetles and the June bugs. 

Japanese beetles are more abundant. 

They lay eggs on the sunny side of the lawn during midsummer.

These eggs hatch to form larvae, which feed on roots. 

Feeding on roots destroys the system through which plants get essential nutrients and water.

Are Grub Worms Bad?

A population of small grub worms is not that harmful, but if more than ten grub worms are present per square foot, they will destroy your garden. 

In addition, they damage organic soil and roots, leading to brown patches of grass on your lawn that are easy to pull. 

They also attract wildlife such as raccoons which try to catch the grub worms but may end up causing more harm by damaging your garden.

How to Identify the Grub Worms?

Knowing if you have grub worms is the key to treating them. 

For example, if you observe your plants dying and having brown patches across the lawn, which can be easily pulled, like a carpet, then it’s time to dig up some grass and see. 

Pull the brown patch off your lawn, and you can quickly locate them.

How to Get Rid of Grub Worms?

If you have identified the grub worms, it is now time to take action against them. 

The trick is to know which part of the grub cycle you are targeting. 

If it is a repeated problem in your garden, preventive measures are the best option, but if it has occurred rarely, there are some natural and chemical approaches to get rid of them. 

When to Apply Treatment?

A healthy lawn is a key to managing grub worms. 

Any damage to your garden will be visible, and you can get rid of them before they create havoc in your garden. 

Once you detect them, the best time to treat them is in late summer or early fall, as they are tiny in size at that time. 

Treating them in late summer is ineffective as they grow big by then.

Effective Natural Treatments & Solutions

It is helpful to look for natural solutions to the problem before moving to chemicals, as they may harm both the lawn and wildlife. 

Let’s look at home remedies and other ways to get rid of grub worms.

Natural Approach


Nematodes are environment-friendly, tiny beneficial worms that attack and kill grub worms. 

They do not harm the lawn and can be easily purchased. 

However, the downside is that they require 1-3 years to establish a strong population to eradicate the grub worms.

Milky Spore Disease

It is a highly effective bacterium that is a natural grub worm killer. 

It does not harm you or your lawn in any way, but like nematodes, it requires years to form a population against grub worms and is only effective against one type of beetle, i.e., Japanese beetle. 

Dish Soap and Water

An easy and classic way of treating grub worms is using dishwashing liquid, mixing it with water, and then applying it to your garden. 

It immediately kills off the worms. You will need three tablespoons of dish liquid for a gallon of water. 

Spray this on your lawn, and grub worms will die of suffocation. 

Using Birds and Chicken

You can feed your bird and chickens on the lawn, and they will go crazy after the grub worms. The only con is that they may destroy the grass.

Applying Neem Oil

It is one of our favorite methods to use. It is an effective and natural form of pest control.  

Take two tablespoons of neem oil and add two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in a gallon of water. 

Spray this solution on your lawn at night, preventing grubs from laying eggs.

Garlic Spray

Grub worms, like many pests, cannot handle the smell of garlic spray. 

Take four bulbs of garlic and let them stay overnight in water. 

Then, strain and apply it to your garden via a spray bottle to discourage grub worms. 

Dethatch the Lawn

A thick layer of thatch prevents the treatments from penetrating the soil and can make every process ineffective. 

The best way is to remove the thatch layer before starting treatment with nematodes and milky spore disease bacterium.

Aerate Your Lawn

When they enter the pupal stage, grubs live in the top layer of soil. 

Therefore, grub worms can be killed and injured by aerating your lawn during late fall.

Chemical Approach

If the grub worms have severely affected your lawn and the root system, then that is no time to wait with your fingers crossed, hoping something will work. 

Taking a fast and effective action would help as the grubs don’t go away quickly. 

You can choose many effective chemical pesticides according to the size and maturity of grubs. 

In addition, products are available according to different stages of the grub worms cycle. 

Treating them while they are hibernating in their pupal stage is ineffective. 

Proper timing with the chosen product is essential for eradicating them.

Keeping The Garden Non-Grub Friendly

Wet soil is the perfect place where beetles lay eggs. 

Since hydration is an essential factor, you need to find the balance between too damp and too dry lawn. 

Have a well-maintained irrigation system and prevent excessive wetness during early summer and late spring as it is the egg-laying season.


Following these tips will now hopefully keep your garden grub-free! 

Now you know how to get rid of grub worms from your garden, let us know which of the methods worked for you below in the comments. 

Or maybe you have some new tips we haven’t covered!