Grubs are C-shaped larvae of beetles such as the masked chafer, the European chafer, or the Japanese beetle. They grow in the subsoil of lawns and feed on grassroots as well as organic matter present in the soil itself. Showing proliferous growth between late summer to early fall, these pests are a nuisance to grasses and herbs.
Our Top Recommendation for Grub Killer for Lawns!
The BioAdvanced version contains Dylox in a ready-to-use granule form, ideal for killing grubs, ants, ticks, and other pests. Spread the granule, water the area, and you are done! It is EPA approved and safe for the environment and humans.
*We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you
Detailed reviews of each of these products can be found below. Read on.
An indication of a grub infestation in your lawn is the presence of brown, dry patches interspersed with healthy green grass. If you dig up the top layer of the soil and find more than ten grubs per square foot, you most likely have an outbreak of the pestilential insects.
For restoring the health and vitality of your backyard, you need to employ ways to eradicate the population of grubs effectively. Here is a list of the 7 best grub killer pesticides to help you with the task.
Bonus Read: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Garden Plants
Table of Contents
Best Grub Killer for Lawns
|BioAdvanced 24-Hour Grub Killer Plus Granules||• Plus Insect Killer|
• 24-Hour grub killer
|Scotts GrubEx1 Season Long Grub Killer||• Easy-to-spread formula|
• Safe for the environment
|St. Gabriel Organics Milky Spore Granular Grub Control||• Kills Grubs For 15 To 20 Years|
• Does not harm earthworms
|Bonide Insect & Grub Control Granules||• Insect Killer|
• Protect your lawn and home
|Roundup for Lawns Bug Destroyer||• Insect Killer|
• Won't harm lawns
|Sevin GardenTech Lawn Insect Killer Granules||• Home Perimeter|
• No Assembly Required
|BioLogic’s Ecomask All Natural Pest Control||• Natural Pest Control|
• Pet and Plant-Safe
|Bayer Dylox 6.2 Granular White Grub Insecticide||• Works by contact and ingestion|
• High level of penetration
• Works within 24 hours
1. BioAdvanced 24-Hour Grub Killer Plus Granules
BioAdvanced 24-Hour Plus is a powerful pesticide designed to eliminate grubs quickly. It contains Dylox, formulated as ready-to-use granules. These granules provide effective extermination of grubs, ants, ticks, billbugs, crickets, grasshoppers, earwigs, as well as, European crane fly larvae.
The granules are easy to use and are applied using a spreader according to the instructions on the pack. Once you spread the granules over your lawn and water them in, you should leave them overnight. Their high potency and quick action kill grubs within 24 hours.
You can choose one out of the two available pack sizes based on your requirements. The smaller 10-pound pack is enough to treat 5000 square feet of your lawn and is recommended for use against grubs, mole crickets, and billbugs. When used against other insects, this grub killing product can be spread over a wider area, over 7500 square feet.
On the other hand, the 20-pound pack covers 10000 square feet of lawn against the former group of insects and 15000 square feet against the rest.
What’s wonderful is that the formula is EPA (Environment Protection Agency) approved, which makes it safe for the environment as well as for you. Thus, you don’t have to worry about any harm to pest-feeding birds.
What We Liked
- Easy-to-use granular formula
- Can be used against grubs, ticks, ants, crickets, and a wide variety of insects
- Reasonable pricing
- A single application will provide season-long protection
What We Didn’t Like
- Might kill earthworms too
- Not suitable for use near ponds or other water bodies
2. Scotts GrubEx1 Season Long Grub Killer
Scotts is a well-known name in the lawn care industry. Its grub killing solutions are tried and tested and are highly recommended by experts. One among such products is the GrubEx1 Granular Formula, which is available in 5000 square feet as well as 10000 square feet pack sizes.
Scotts GrubEx1 Season Long Grub Killer is a curative as well as preventive pesticide. When applied in spring or early summer, it kills young grubs and prevents more grubs from developing for at least 4 months. This is advantageous as it helps keep your lawn free of grubs for the rest of the season.
Designed to work with Scotts spreaders, GrubEx1 is straightforward to use. Just spread the granules over the turf and water them in. Keep in mind; it is safer to stay away from the lawn for some time. After the grubs are killed and the lawn is dry, you can re-enter the space and use it as normal.
Speaking of its applicability, it is effective against a wide variety of pests. Aside from white grubs, GrubEx1 can also be used against chinch bugs, armyworms, and crane fly larvae. What’s more, it will not harm beneficial insects living in the soil, including earthworms and other nematodes.
An added benefit is the environment-friendliness of the formula. For all these reasons, it is one of the best grub killer pesticides available in the market.
What We Liked
- Provides 4-month long protection against grubs
- Can be used to eliminate a wide variety of lawn-damaging pests
- Easy-to-spread formula
- Does not harm earthworms and other beneficial insects
- Safe for the environment
What We Didn’t Like
- Cannot be used in a vegetable garden
Gardening enthusiast in the house? You might want to look at this guide to buying John Deere tractors for use in your garden.
3. St. Gabriel Organics Milky Spore Granular Grub Control
If you are looking for a natural solution to your grub problem, this product is the one you should be looking at. Containing Bacillus popilliae, St. Gabriel Milky Spore is an organic formula designed in the form of easy-to-use granules.
Chemical-based pesticides kill grubs when applied. For this reason, they need to be applied annually for persistent protection against pests. Contrarily, bacterial spores, once applied, offer protection for 10 to 20 years. However, you will need to apply them two years in a row for maximum effectiveness.
The spores work by multiplying inside the grubs’ bodies after they ingest them, eventually leading to their death. Once that happens, they are released back into the soil in enlarged numbers and the cycle continues. What this signifies is that the supply of spores in the soil is virtually inexhaustible, and so the grub-protection is also long-lasting.
Since this is an organic product, it is safe to be used near water bodies. Additionally, it will not affect the soil-friendly nematode population and any birds visiting your lawn will also remain unharmed.
What We Liked
- Long-lasting protection
- Provides up to 7000 square feet of turf coverage
- Can be used any time during the season
- Safe to be used around ponds and other water bodies
- Does not harm earthworms
What We Didn’t Like
- Only effective against the larvae of Japanese beetles
- Not suitable for the immediate extermination of grubs
4. Bonide Insect & Grub Control Granules
As the name suggests, this product by Bonide is useful against both, insects as well as grubs. It has imidacloprid and lambda-cyhalothrin as its active ingredients. While imidacloprid is a preventive pesticide, in that it kills grubs before they can grow into beetles, lambda-cyhalothrin kills the adult insects that damage the grass on your turf.
Because of the dual-acting chemicals present in the granules, not only the surface-acting insects such as ants, crickets, chinch bugs, and others die within 24 hours of application, but the grubs present beneath the soil are also killed. Thus, the grass stays healthy and pest-free for an entire season.
Like other granular formulas, this product also carries the advantage of being easy to spread besides carrying more potency as compared to pesticide powders. As a plus, the active ingredients are completely safe for your pets. Not only that, they can even help to contain fleas and ticks, parasites that bother pets the most.
Altogether, Bonide Insect & Grub Control’s multi-action formula justifies its inclusion in the best grub killer pesticides list.
What We Liked
- Acts both on the surface as well as below it
- Granules are easy to spread
- Kills around 40 insect species in addition to grubs
- Has a quick action
- Useful in killing parasites such as fleas and ticks residing in pet hair
What We Didn’t Like
- Kills earthworms as well
- Not safe for use in gardens and vegetable patches
5. Roundup for Lawns Bug Destroyer
While searching for a pesticide, it is natural to wonder whether or not it will harm your plants. If that is a cause for concern in your case as well, think of giving Roundup for Lawns a try. It is completely safe for use in lawns, landscapes, ornamental, and flower gardens.
Chlorantraniliprole as the dominating ingredient combined with bifenthrin, ensures that this grub killer will not only eliminate grubs but also surface-active insects. Significantly, it is useful against more than 100 insect species including spiders, ants, fleas, ticks, and cutworms.
Using the powder is simple enough. Add it to a spreader as recommended in the package instructions and ensure complete coverage of the lawn. Make sure to sprinkle an adequate amount of water over the spread. This aids better penetration of the formula. 10 pounds of Roundup Bug Destroyer is sufficient to treat 2500 square feet of the turf.
What We Liked
- Can be used in flower gardens and landscapes aside from lawns
- Kills over 100 species of insects
- Easy application
- Safe for pets
What We Didn’t Like
- Toxic to wildlife
6. Sevin GardenTech Lawn Insect Killer Granules
Sevin GardenTech Lawn Insect Killer Granules are helpful in the elimination of white grubs and around 100 more insects. Thus, it is a great option for those looking for all-around insect protection.
Again, the granular formulation of this product makes it easy to apply. Unlike compounds that require a few days to a few months to start showing effect, Sevin Lawn Insect Killer begins working almost immediately. This is of immense value when you need prompt removal of harmful pests.
Another benefit of these granules is that they can be used in and around vegetable gardens without the risk of damage or toxicity. For homes having lawns and kitchen gardens in close proximity, this is a highly favorable feature.
With all these benefits in one affordable package, it is no wonder that this is one of the best grub killer chemical formulas available in the market.
What We Liked
- Available in two pack sizes, 10 and 20 pounds
- Can be used in vegetable gardens
- Targets more than 100 insect species
- Granules are easy to spread
- Starts acting quickly
What We Didn’t Like
- Smell of the product might be too strong for some people
7. BioLogic’s Ecomask All Natural Pest Control
BioLogic’s Ecomask is packed with millions of Steinernema carpocapsae (nematodes), which are predators of the beetle larvae. Needless to say, it is the close-to-nature pest control solution environmentalists will love. The microscopic nematodes hunt down and kill pest insects, and yet are completely safe for pets, plants, and you – when speaking about toxicity levels.
As for package size, it comes in multiple variants, depending on the number of nematodes in each, thus ranging from 5 million to 100 million. You can choose one based on the area of your lawn. While the pack of 5 million is sufficient for 200 square feet, the 100 million pack can treat up to 4000 square feet.
Usage instructions are lucid and easy to follow. Further, it is advisable to keep the pack refrigerated until use. When it is time to apply, watering the lawn before spreading the product is necessary. Once you do that, all you have to do is mix in the package contents and water in a pump sprayer, a Nema Jet spray, or watering can. This solution can then be spread over the turf easily.
Effective against multiple insects, these nematodes can be used to kill fleas, borers, fire ants, and fungus gnats, in addition to white grubs. To aid users, there are separate instructions on the pack for each target. This makes it an easy-to-use, multi-utility product and also a worthy candidate for the best grub killer for lawns.
What We Liked
- All-natural, no chemicals added
- Safe for pets, plants, as well as the environment
- Simple and straightforward to use
- Available in many pack sizes
- Very efficacious against grubs, fleas, ants, armyworms, cutworms, and many others
- Does not pollute the water supply
What We Didn’t Like
- Not useful for immediate extermination purposes
8. Bayer Dylox 6.2 Granular White Grub Insecticide
Bayer Dylox 6.2 is a granule insecticide effective against grubs, crickets, webworms, cutworms, and other pests. This product also manages Japanese beetle grubs and eliminates insects below the soil surface.
The granules are simple to use and have a high kill rate of grubs in less than 24 hours. After applying this product, if the yard or lawn is watered, it can penetrate thatch up to 1/2 inch deep. However, keep in mind that Dylox 6.2 is only active for 48 hours. As a result, you need to use this treatment at least twice, 3 to 4 days apart, for mature grubs. Dylox 6.2 should be applied as soon as possible after irrigation or rainfall for best results.
You should also know that Dylox 6.2, with trichlorfon as the main ingredient, is low toxic for humans and pets. However, the treated area must be allowed to dry before people and pets can re-enter it.
What We Liked
- High grub killing potency
- Low toxicity level for humans and pets
- Easy to use granules
- It can be used against grubs and other pests
What We Didn’t Like
- Reapplication needs on matured grubs
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Grub Killer
There are a lot of grub killers from good brands available in the market. But not all of them would be good for every lawn and every circumstance. So what do you do?
Simply put, you must know the various grub killers and their types and select the one that best serves your needs. But just learning about the types of grub killers is not sufficient, as there are other factors.
So, we’ve listed the top essential factors you should consider while choosing the best grub killer for your lawn.
Of course, making prudent decisions would yield the best results.
Liquid Vs Granular
When looking for a lawn care service or grub killers, there usually are two options: liquid and dry or granular formulations. After realizing that, do you ponder which item to choose from the shelf?
Most of the time, it boils down to personal preference. Each variety does, however, have benefits and drawbacks. So here is our take on liquid vs. granular grub killers so that you won’t have to waste time debating them.
Liquid formulations are the best if you want a fast and effective grub killer. Besides, they are simple to use- spray the treatment on the lawn, and you’re done. Having said that, you should know that there are two kinds of liquid grub killers:
concentrates and ready-to-use sprays.
Likewise, before applying the “concentrates” varieties, you might need to dilute them with water.
Additionally, liquid formulations are not thought to be child or animal friendly. Finally, they do not evenly cover large surfaces, are dirtier, and are more difficult to clean.
Granular grub controls resemble granular insecticides in appearance. They can be used with a walk-behind or portable lawn spreader. Granular formulations’ long-lasting impact on pest control is one of their best qualities.
One word of CAUTION: you should apply this type of grub killer before it rains; otherwise, you will need to rinse your lawn immediately after its application.
Watering would enable the granules to reach the grubs deep within the soil and eradicate them.
Note: Neither type should be applied when it is raining.
A summary of what you read above for a quick reference.
|Liquid Grub Killer||Granule Grub Killer|
|Fast working||Easy to use|
|May need to be diluted with water||Fill the spreader and use|
|Problem in even coverage||Easily covers a large area|
|Liquid spills are messier||Relatively clean and easy to store|
Synthetic Vs Organic
Now, let’s come down to the age-old debate- should we go with organic or do things synthetically or chemically?
However, the first consideration when selecting a grub killer is whether one will be more efficient. In this instance, synthetic or chemical grub killers are the undisputed winners.
Synthetic grub killers are effective and fast and kill various active insects and grubs. Other pests on your grass can also be easily eliminated with synthetic formulations.
There is a BUT, though! The majority of synthetic grub killers lack selection. It implies that they will also harm a diverse range of unintended species.
Additionally, they are toxic to both children (humans) and pets. Therefore, they should only be used in dry, afflicted areas. Also, use synthetic composition with extreme caution when it’s close to water.
Organic grub killers, on the contrary, are safer for humans and pets. They frequently include helpful nematodes and milky spores. In other words, organic grub killers hunt on soil grubs via biological agents.
Sounds fair and environmentally friendly, no? However, they only sometimes work well for already active infestations. Organic formulas might not be beneficial if you have a serious active grub problem on your lawn.
|Synthetic Grub Killer||Organic Grub Killer|
|Fast working||Safe to use|
|Toxic||Uses biological agents|
|Works best on active infestations||Needs time to show results|
|Non-selective||Won’t kill beneficial insects|
Safety is a factor that cannot be compromised while using insecticides or pesticides.
Before even attempting to open the product’s package, the user’s manual must be read. Carefully read the product’s usage guidelines, mixing, and application instructions.
The second thing to consider is if you are utilizing the proper safety equipment while applying the insecticide. Rubber gloves, eyewear, suitable shoes, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes are examples of safety equipment we are talking about.
It is always best not to allow the insecticide to come into contact with bare skin. Use a mask to avoid breathing the composition, which may cause allergic reactions.
Be careful not to spill liquid grub killer if using it. Wear a mask to prevent inhaling dust if you’re using the granular kind.
Additionally, put pesticides in a locked closet well away from children and animals while not in use.
We know it’s hard to hold on to patience once you get your hand on your preferred grub killer.
But we advise you to hold up on your excitement and take some time to study the user manual for the grub killer you bought to learn how to use it properly. Different compositions can be used in different ways. You can also view YouTube videos on the subject for complete knowledge.
If “concentrated” liquid grub killer is used, you may need to dilute it with water. For the “ready-to-spray” kind, however, all you have to do is open the bottle and spray the substance.
Apply liquid treatments while wearing rubber boots, then rinse the residue off. Be warned that most liquid products are non-selective.
Therefore, always apply them when there is no wind, and keep your application precise on the targeted areas only. Before you or your pet walks on the treated area, let it dry off completely.
If you use granular products, spread them as directed and water the treated area immediately. When using dry grub killer, wear a mask, gloves, and eye protection.
Important Considerations While Using Anti-Grub Solutions
Why Is It Necessary to Treat My Lawn for Grubs?
Grubs are the larvae or egg state of beetles, chafers, and other insects. They resemble tiny caterpillars and frequently coil up into a “C” shape when touched or poked.
Grubs consume the roots of lawn grass, sometimes resulting in significant harm. Even though grass can withstand some grub feeding, a large-scale grub infestation is dangerous.
Hence, a chronic grub infestation can damage your lawn if left untreated.
Do you still wonder why treating lawns for grubs is even necessary?
You must act immediately if you notice any typical grub outbreak symptoms. And what are those?
According to the level of infestation, pick any grub killers from the list we provided, read the instructions, follow the safety precautions, and apply the product to your lawn.
Of course, these items’ pre- and post-management must also be considered. For instance, take care of the optimal time to use these items, watering the lawn, walking on the treated area, etc.
Will My Grub Killer Affect Bees and other Pollinators?
The answer is dependent on the type of grub killer you’re using.
Selective grub killers rarely harm other species on the lawn. They hunt grubs and work on them. However, insecticides such as “Roundup” contain hazardous compounds that are “non-selective.”
This substance, coupled with the grubs, will kill everything. Bees and other pollinators may be affected if they swallow pollen exposed to the chemical.
If you don’t want to harm bees or other pollinators or beneficial insects, utilize very selective products that include non-toxic substances.
If you need clarification on any product, get help. We are always available to answer your questions. Alternatively, you can go to your local garden center for help and advice on grub killers and their different sorts.
Can I Use Grub Killer in Flowerbeds?
Again, the answer depends on the type of grub killer you’re using.
Certain products can be used on flowerbeds without risk. For example, Roundup for Lawns Bug Destroyer (listed above) can be used in flower beds.
When using grub killers on flower beds or vegetable gardens, ensure to use organic and non-toxic products. For example, select herbicide or grub killer with the Natural Organic Program (NOP) level.
These grub killers are non-toxic, making them safe to use near veggies, flowers, and fruits.
What are the Best Practices for Controlling Grubs?
Want to keep those pesky and harmful grubs off your lawn year after year? You would, of course! Then, without fail, adhere to the tips we’ve provided below.
- First and foremost, test the soil of your lawn to determine its nutritional content and the presence of active grab eggs.
- You can take a tiny sample of your lawn soil to your local garden center for analysis.
- Remember to fertilize grass during its growing season to ensure active and healthy growth.
- Apply your lawn treatment before the season’s first rains.
- In the spring or early summer, use a prophylactic grub control solution. It will control grubs before any damage occurs.
- When applying the grub killer, make sure to follow the guidelines exactly.
- If you use a granular product, ensure you irrigate your lawn to activate it.
- After you’ve applied the grub killer, mow your lawn. Keep the grass as tall as possible to promote a healthy root system.
- If you still see signs of grub infestation, cut off the turf in that area and inspect it for grubs. Spot application of selective grub killer is feasible in this situation.
Note: The first step in preventing grub infestation is maintaining healthy grass. Remember that well-kept grass can withstand more grubs per sq foot than a disturbed and unhealthy one.
What are the Signs of A Grub Infestation?
Finding out whether the cause of lawn damage is an infestation of grubs is necessary before you proceed to buy and use the best grub killer solutions. Remember, common signs of a grub outbreak are:
- Browning patches of grass
- Spongy grass that lifts easily off the ground
- Increased number of moles (that feed on grubs) around the lawn
- Crows and other grub predators frequently visiting the turf
- Tiny moths (adult flies and beetles) flying above the grass
Once you have ensured that there is an infestation of grubs in your lawn, you can take curative measures.
Different Forms of Grub Control
There are several different types of grub control solutions that you can select depending on the time of application, the scale of the infestation, and the proximity of the lawn with water bodies or vegetable patches.
The following types are the most common:
1. Curative Insecticides
Curative insecticides are meant to kill grubs in any stage of development. They contain either carbaryl or trichlorfon. If you want the immediate elimination of a large number of grubs and insects, this is the option you should select. For their proper functioning, they need to be applied in fall or early spring.
2. Preventive Insecticides
Products containing imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, or chlorantraniliprole help prevent the growth and proliferation of grubs. They work on the effective removal of newly hatched grubs. You need to apply them in June or July for the most benefits.
3. Insecticides Ineffective Against Grubs
Lambda-cyhalothrin, gamma-cyhalothrin, and bifenthrin do not kill grubs. Instead, they are effective against other insects such as ants, fleas, ticks, among others. They bind with organic matter in the soil and as such, do not percolate beneath the ground to where grubs reside.
4. Natural Grub Control Products
Milky spores (bacteria) and nematode-containing biological pest control methods are apt for long-term protection against grubs. They remain in the soil for many years. A downside of this is that they do not provide immediate resolution of your pest problem but take some time to begin showing effect. For instance, the milky spores need to be applied for two years before they will make your lawn completely free of grubs.
Grubs are harmful to your turf’s health. For this reason, it is pertinent that you take up measures to eliminate them as soon as you can. One such measure is the use of grub-killing pesticides.
Selecting the right pesticidal formula is of the utmost importance. To help you with this, we have compiled a list of the 7 best grub killer formulas in the review guide above. Their pros and cons should be weighed in based on your needs for maximum protection against grubs.
Want to maximize the yield of your backyard garden plants? Read this review of the best fertilizers for yards and gardens.
Check out these other great posts!