A Guide To Understanding Grubs

A Guide To Understanding Grubs: Identify And Eradicate Infestation


Are you tired of your lawn’s lush grass turning brown? Sick of seeing patches appear out of nowhere in your landscape? If yes, you’re at the right place! As professional landscapers, we know there are several underlying problems that lead to these manifestations. However, one grave example is grubs. But what is it and how can you tackle it? In this blog compiled by MPR Landscapes, we will dive into the basic concept of grubs, how they destroy your lawn, and the foolproof ways to control them. Read on!


You may face a lot of problems with the maintenance of your landscape. Uninvited guests like grubs are a hazard to your outdoor space. They are the larvae of different beetle species, such as European chafers, June beetles, and Japanese beetles. 

Grubs are usually C-shaped in appearance as they are in the growing phase of becoming beetles. They have a white or off-white color with brown wheat heads. Grubs are hidden menaces that lurk underneath the soil, waiting to wreak havoc on your beautiful lawn and turn it disastrous. These underground invaders can potentially destroy your place, turning it all brown and dead. Usually, you can find them during the late summer months after the eggs have hatched. Unfortunately, female beetles lay approximately 60 eggs in two or three weeks, so the infestation does not take long to spread. The grubs that leave the egg immediately start feeding to fuel their growth.

Let us look at how grubs can negatively harm your landscape.


The small pests live beneath the soil. They feed on the organic matter of your landscape, including turf grass roots, mulch, or roots of plants. Once the pests start feasting on grass or plants, they weaken the roots. That is why the grass starts appearing brown and patchy. This destruction continues until proper measures of grub control are employed in the landscape. Grubs have the potential to detach grass from the soil entirely. This action results in large brown patches of dead turf.

They also leave your plants dead after feeding on the roots. Grubs make them weak and vulnerable to other pest attacks. Hence, your plants will likely die as they cannot fight infestations or withstand harsh weather conditions. Moreover, the presence of grubs is ideal for animals like skunks, raccoons, or birds to feast on your well-maintained lawn and destroy it. They can quickly turn up your soil to excavate the grubs hidden underneath.

Let us look at some major signs that can help you detect whether grubs are present in your landscape.


There can be multiple hints evident in your landscape that may point towards grub infestation. Carefully look for these if you want to grab the grubs!


Watch Out For Brown Color!

The first major sign of grubs is an unattractive brown color becoming evident in your space. The color entails that your grass is becoming dead. That is, it cannot take nutrients and water from the soil. A green grass is fully nourished and healthy, whereas a brown one? Not so much. If you properly irrigate your lawn and provide adequate nutrients and fertilizers, the grass becomes brown. In that case, it is likely to assume that grubs are the culprits.

However, the good news is that these worms can be controlled. Professionals like MPR Landscapes can restore your lawn to its healthy state.

Presence Of Other Wildlife

Apart from the hungry pests that grubs are, you may also witness the growing presence of other wildlife, such as birds, skunks, or raccoons. Having these animals frequently on your lawn is a likely indication of a grub problem. These animals feast on grubs by digging in your space and wreaking havoc on the grass. They can leave unwanted holes in the ground or turn up the soil to look for hiding grubs.

Grass Easily Rolled Up?

Is your brown, patchy grass section too easily rolled up if you try? Is it easier to pull up the soil by hand? If yes, then you have a considerable grub infestation. As they weaken the grassroots, the brown patch you suspect has fallen to grubs will easily roll up like a carpet. You can also pull up grass to check if the roots are intact. If not, then grubs are likely to blame for the ensuing problem. Dry grass can result from less irrigation or harsh weather. However, a brown section that can easily be pulled up indicates that grass is not thriving in the soil. This entails that some underlying problem is hindering the growth of grass and plants. 

Look For Adult Beetles

Since grubs are the larvae of adult beetles, we advise you to also keep an eye out for adult beetles. If you see a high frequency of beetles, particularly females, you will likely have a grub problem sooner or later. The fewer mature beetles you have, the less the chance of a grub infestation problem manifesting itself in your landscape.

Catch The Criminals Red Handed

Besides the indirect signs of a grub infestation, you can also try to find the culprits red-handed. To do so, go to the recently turned brown section of your grass and roll it up like a carpet. You can dig up to one square foot. Underneath the soil, you will find tiny, white pests that curl themselves into C shapes. Grubs are usually present in most spaces; however, the disastrous results depend on their numbers. Healthy lawns can withstand grubs. Having up to five grubs per square foot is quite alright in a healthy lawn. However, if you dig up and find way more than five, then that is problematic. It means you have a grub infestation and requires the assistance of professionals to apply pest control methods. You can test two or three areas of your lawn in this manner to ensure you do have a grub problem lurking at the edge of an outbreak.  

If you find only a few, you can handpick them and leave them elsewhere.


Treating a grub infestation is of utmost importance. You can easily replace the brown patches in your lawn, but the underlying problem will remain the same. Hence, it is vital to eradicate the challenge from scratch. Pest control comes in handy when it comes to fighting grubs. After the grub control is applied, your lawn will begin to heal and become healthy like before, on the condition that you take proper measures. 


Use Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural remedy to counter grub populations. This insecticide inhibits beetles or moths from laying eggs. Neem oil prevents the growth and feeding of grub populations. You can spray its diluted version on affected areas. You may have to apply neem oil frequently to achieve the best results.

Rely On Natural Predators

Predators like birds, moles, raccoons, and skunks are fond of eating grubs. They will do the job for you by digging out these worms. However, it is risky as it can also harm your landscape. It is worth noting that some animals harm your lawn less than others, and birds are the former. To attract birds to your lawn for this purpose, you can include birdbaths, feed, and wooden houses as nests for them. Birds also play significant roles in pollination. But beware, as birds may also excessively feed on vegetables planted in your landscape.

Focus On Limited Moisture

This method focuses on limiting the moisture of your landscape. Grubs depend on moisture to thrive. If you want to kill some, go for limited moisture. This method is non-toxic and easy. However, not having water can kill your plants and trees. It will stop their growth entirely. Not giving water in summer will kill the eggs and grubs, yet it can also negatively impact your landscape’s health and the endurance of your plants.

Milky Spore May Be The Answer You Need

Quite contrary to what its name might suggest, a milky spore is a bacterium that targets grubs before they become adult beetles. This method is eco-friendly and sustainable. Purchase it from a store or a local nursery and apply it to affected areas. You must pay special attention to the course duration as you may need to apply milky spore for about two or three years. For its proper development, you need to apply the treatment during summer. It is important to note that milky spore depends on certain factors, such as temperature, moisture, soil type, and soil PH. This method is effective yet time taking.

Use Borax Here

Borax is perhaps an item you would not have expected to see on this list. However, it is effective when it comes to killing grubs. Add some borax in warm water and spray the solution onto grub-affected areas. This method is beneficial for short-term uses. It is important to note that borax should be used sparingly. It has the potential to kill your plants if used in high concentrations. So avoid using it frequently or spraying it on flowers or vegetables.

Lawn Aeration Makes It Much Easy

Aerating and dethatching your lawn makes it less susceptible to grub attacks. Removing the built-up thatch and organic matter from the topsoil layer deters the grubs from feeding. Note that this method does not kill grubs but makes the environment much less welcoming for them. Moreover, it allows other grub control treatments to penetrate the soil well and work wonderfully. Combine aeration and dethatching with other grub control methods like a milky spore or neem oil for effective results.

Lastly, Timing Is Significant

It is essential to determine the right time to apply the control measures. It is best to start the treatment in late summer as this is the time the beetle eggs hatch. That means the grubs are still small and looking for food to fuel their growth. If you try grub control in other seasons, the grubs may have become too large, or rainfall will render all treatments useless.


Grub infestation can prove to be very destructive for your lawn. You cannot wait for it to end itself or keep replacing the turf. Dealing with the issue in a timely manner is the key. Keep an eye out for the signs of infestation. Once you have determined that there is indeed a grub outbreak, then wait for the right season to apply control measures. You can look for brown, dead patches in your yard or simply roll off the turf to see the underlying grubs. To counter these earthy intruders, you need to look for viable solutions that are non-toxic and easy. The only effective way is to kill them completely and stop them from reappearing in the future.

You can opt for neem oil, milky spores, aeration, and natural predators to fight with grubs. Remember, professionals like MPR Landscapes, with their expertise and experience, are always here to maintain your lawn. After successfully killing the grub population, take care of your lawn. Irrigate it more often to ensure the lawn stays healthy to deal with future pest attacks.


MPR Landscapes provide effective pest control treatments to eliminate worms and grubs from your lawn. We deal with a variety of destructive species like sod webworms, grubs, armyworms, and chinch bugs. Our experts consider soil conditions, PH, weather, and temperature factors. Then we determine the best course of action to fight off any pest attack. Our treatments are sustainable and eco-friendly. We employ non-toxic chemicals to deter pest attacks. Furthermore, we ensure that your landscape faces minimal disruption during the procedure and you are kept updated with all the controlling measures being applied. Our professionally trained team handles pest attacks efficiently to ensure they do not reappear in your place in the future. 

hire experts

MPR Landscapes offer complete services for residential and commercial areas. We provide:

➡️ landscape designing,
➡️ landscape development,
➡️ landscape setting-up,
➡️ landscape upkeep,
➡️ lawn support ideas,
➡️ sodding,
➡️ irrigation,
➡️ grading and drainage solutions,
➡️ lawn aeration,
➡️ mulching,
➡️ mowing,
➡️ edging,
➡️ dethatching,
➡️ weed control,
➡️ fungus and disease control,
➡️ fertilization,
➡️ maintenance,
➡️ fall and spring cleanup,
➡️ tree pruning,
➡️ shrub trimming,
➡️ snow removal,
and much more.

Contact us today for further details about our services! 

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