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Best Grub Killers 2022: How to Get Rid Of Grubs | Effective Treatment Ways Approved by Scientists

What is the best grub killer? There are two most effective solutions suggested by scientists. The first one is powerful chemical insecticides that provide a quick result. The other one includes organic insecticides that are either based on plant extract or use nematodes as biological control. Which one to choose largely depends on the levels of grub infestation. Natural solutions are of low toxicity but have a milder effect while chemical solutions are more potent but should be applied with caution. Products containing active ingredients like chlorantraniliprole should be used as a preventive soil treatment. Insecticides made with chemicals like trichlorfon and carbaryl are the most effective when applied in mid-August.

1. Scotts GrubEx1 Season Long Grub Killer
Made with chlorantraniliprole, it prevents root and turf damage. One pack treats 5,000 sq.ft, with the effect lasting 4 months. Apply it in the spring.

Scotts GrubEx1 Season Long Grub Killer min: photo

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2. Sevin Ready-to-Use 5% Dust
This easy-to-apply dust comes in a pack that includes 3 one-pound shaker canisters. Formulated with carbaryl, the insecticide kills grubs on contact.

Sevin Ready-to-Use 5% Dust min: photo

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3. NaturesGoodGuys 30 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes
This mix of 3 nematode species includes a grub exterminator — Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. One pack of 30 million nematodes covers 9,000 sq. ft.

NaturesGoodGuys 30 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes min: photo

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4. Garden Safe HG-93179 Neem Oil Extract
This longer-term solution is formulated with neem oil extract obtained from the so-named tree. Kills insects, prevents plant diseases. OMRI-listed.

Garden Safe HG-93179 Neem Oil Extract min: photo

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Which of these products will work best for you? Well, that depends on the level of infestation. But read on and you’ll learn whether the scientists recommend using chemical or natural treatments, which ways are more effective and can protect your lot for over 15 years, and which of the 10 best grub killers from $7 to $60 will solve your problem.

Farmers face the issue of grub worms on their lots from the end of the summer till the beginning of the fall. The worms feed on plant roots causing the lawn to wither and bronze, and the soil becomes loose. To stop this from happening to your backyard garden and lawn, read on!  You will find out what the six most effective treatment ways approved by the scientists for short and long term. You will decide whether it is better to use chemical or natural killers. Finally, check out our list of the TOP best grub killers from $7 to $60.

The Comparative Table of 6 Ways to Get Rid Of Grubs

Effectiveness Scale: 1 being the least, 10 being the most effective.
Method/Killer Advantages Disadvantages
Curative Chemicals Sevin Concentrate Pest Control, 1-Gallon FAST. Quickly solves the problem, is used in the summer. Effectiveness: 8 Carbaryl is very toxic for some helpful insects, and bees. Removes 74-77% of grub worms.
Preventive Chemicals Scotts GrubEx1 Season Long Grub Killer, Protects Lawns Up to 4 Months, 10,000 sq. ft., 28.7 lbs Causes minimum to zero damage, provides long-term results and complete removal of grub worms. The number of pests will drop by 75-100%. Effectiveness: 10 You should decide whether to use this treatment when you still don’t know the extent of pest infestation. These chemicals are useless on the pests that have already infected your soil.
Milky Spore Powder St. Gabriel Organics Milky Spore Granular Natural Bacteria Japanese Beetle Grub Killer Lawn and Garden Care Control, 20 Pound Pack Is natural and safe. Kills larvae without harming either the garden nor humans. Unlike nematodes does not depend on the weather (even if there are heavy downpours or frosts). Can be used if the soil has previously undergone pesticide treatment. Effectiveness: 9 Is only effective against Japanese beetle larvae, best results are seen only after over a year.
Parasitic Nematodes BioLogic Scanmask Steinernema Feltiae (Sf) Beneficial Nematodes for Natural Insect Pest Control, 5 Million Size Are safe and natural, act within 24 hours, kill grub worms but are useless against earthworms and other helpful insects. Effectiveness: 10 Reacts to temperature and drought, incompatible with chemical pesticides.
Neem Oil Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate, For Organic Gardening, Fungicide, Insecticide, Miticide, Neem Oil For Plants, 10 fl Ounce Is safe and natural and will control insects at all development stages, stimulates earthworm activity (which is useful for the soil). Is a good choice for removing a new pest generation. Effectiveness: 7 Has a sharp unpleasant odor, the first results are not fast and seen only within two weeks.
Birds A natural method for getting rid of grub worms that shows good results. Effectiveness: 6 Bird care requires investment, birds can harm your lot.

TOP Grub Worm Killers

We picked the best grub killers that are effective and approved by the scientists:

  • powerful and fast acting insecticides,
  • natural products with neem oil, milky spore and nematodes.

Powerful Insecitides

1. Scotts GrubEx1 – Grub Killer

Scotts GrubEx1 Season Long Grub Killer, Protects Lawns Up to 4 Months, 10,000 sq. ft., 28.7 lbs

GrubEx with the active ingredient chlorantraniliprole is used for preventive soil treatment. The product’s effects lasts for up to four months. It is recommended for use in the spring or early summer as the preventer will avert the damage before the grubs hatch. A single pack will be sufficient to treat an area of 5000 square feet. Fill the sprayer with it and spray dry lawn. After this, moisten the soil in order to activate the chemical.

Among all preventive treatments, the ones containing chlorantraniliprole are the safest. Allegedly, it does not do harm to earthworms and soil bacteria. However, some users disagree with this. One of them commented: “It may damage some but not all of the earthworms. But it’s a whole lot better than your whole lawn getting eaten up.” Scotts GrubEx distribution is restricted as it cannot be used in the state of New York.

Price: Check the current price

2. Bayer Advanced 700740S 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus, Granules & Bayer Grub Control, Spray

Bayer offers two products against grub worms with different active ingredients: granules and a spray. Let us begin with granules. The manufacturer promises to eliminate grub worms within 24 hours on the same 5000 square feet area for almost the same price. These trichlorfon-containing granules are used during curative treatment. This substance is less safe and its use is partly restricted. Moreover, unlike the previous product that is made in the USA, Bayer Advanced is made in China.

NATRIA Armyworm Pheromone Trap, Ready-to-Use, (1-Pack) with BioAdvanced 24-Hour Grub Plus for Lawns Ant, Tick, and Insect Killer, 10-Pounds, Ready-to-Spread Granules, Standard Bag

BioAdvanced Complete Insect Killer for Soil and Turf, Ready-to-Spray, 32 oz

Do not use it in the kitchen-yard and on edible plants. You can apply it on flower beds but avoid the actual leaves and petals. One of the users was satisfied by the use of this product and left the following comment: “The 24-hour Bayer kills grubs and is the best of the grub products that I’ve used. Best time to do this is end of August or early September.  According to the description, the same treatment is effective against ants, scorpions, ticks and other insects.

Bayer Granules Check the current price

The second item is Bayer Grub Control Spray and its active ingredient is 1.47% imidacloprid (Merit). It promises to kill grub worms for the entire season after a single use. The spray will also cover an area of 5000 square feet but is less popular than granules. The feedback is contradictory, but those users who were able to restore their blossoming lawn without any brown bald spots, recommend using this preventive method twice: in the fall and in the beginning of spring.

Bayer Spray Check the current price

3. Sevin Ready-to-Use 5% Dust 3 Pack

This ready-to-use dust contains 5% carbaryl as an active ingredient. It is also used as curative treatment. The manufacturer claims that the product is suitable for fruit and veggie gardens and for the flower beds with decorative plants. Nevertheless, it is recommended to wear rubber gloves when applying it and to not let children and pets on the treated area until the dust settles down. The users are also cautious about applying Sevin on fruit and vegetables. If you treat lettuce with it, for instance, rinse it thoroughly and do not consume for three days.

Garden Tech Dust Bug Killer Multiple Insects Carbaryl 3 / Pack

The product can kill over 85 insect species and is simple to use. Apply a thin layer of it on the leaves without mixing it with anything. It is made in the USA. users gave this item a very high rating. However, some of them question the treatment’s safety. One of the customers shared their impressions: “I wouldn’t do it inside. I use it to kill bees in the ground – it is VERY toxic to bees but doesn’t say that on the label. That fact alone is enough for me not to use it inside.”

Price: Check the current price

4. Sevin Concentrate Pest Control

Sevin Concentrate Pest Control, 1-Gallon

It contains 22.5% of the active ingredient carbaryl and is much more expensive. This concentrate is suitable for large gardens and can kill up to 100 species of insects targeting fruit, vegetables and flowers. It is not for indoor use. Once you dissolve the concentrate in water, you will end up with 86 gallons of ready-to-use treatment, which will be enough to cover over two acres of land. That is why eventually Sevin Concentrate will be more cost-efficient than the previous goods, especially if you need to treat a large area. This product has also been approved by the users as 77% gave it the maximum rating. However, the users use it with caution as “you have to be very careful because it is a toxic item and you don’t want to get any on your hands,” as one of the users of this concentrate warned.

Price: Check the current price

Organic and Natural products

5. ST GABRIEL ORGANICS 80080-P Milky Spore Grub Control Mix Pest Controller

100% natural grub killers are more expensive, Milky Spore. This is also a harmless natural product that is recommended as an environmentally friendly grub control item along with the nematodes. Unlike the latter, milky spores can be applied in any weather and any time from spring to fall. Remember, though, that it only acts against Japanese beetles’ grubs.

St. Gabriel Organics Milky Spore Granular Natural Bacteria Japanese Beetle Grub Killer Lawn and Garden Care Control, 20 Pound Pack

The treatment covers a 7000 square feet territory and the manufacturers promise that the pests won’t enter your lot for the following 15 years after use! Given such prospects, the high price seems justified.

Scientific research attests to the duration of its effect: “In fact, studies have demonstrated that milky spore can last 15 to 20 years in the soil. It has been thought that milky spore may remain in the soil in a dormant but viable state until new infestations of grubs are present,” as claims Raymond A. Cloyd, University of Illinois Extension.

Several users share their positive experience of using this treatment. One of them commented: “I only did 1 application…& it worked!!! And it didn’t kill my wonderful earthworms! It has been about 5 months and still no grubs.”

Price: Check the current price

6. Dr. Pye’s Scanmask 10 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes

Environmentally friendly Steinernema Feltiae nematodes are compatible with useful soil bacteria and only kill the insects you don’t need. They will not immediately yield results, but within three-four months.

NaturesGoodGuys Beneficial Nematodes Hb+Sc+Sf - 30 Million

BioLogic Scanmask Steinernema Feltiae (Sf) Beneficial Nematodes for Natural Insect Pest Control, 5 Million Size

Studies have shown that treatments containing Heterorhabditis bacteriophora nematodes are more effective than the ones with Steinnernema glaseri or S. Carpocapsae, although no nematodes showed as steady results as chemical insecticides do. Steinnernema are known to inhabit the upper layers of soil closer to the surface and to follow their victims, while Heterorhabditis digs deeper into the ground and hunts actively, chasing its victim. That is why you might as well test another treatment containing Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. If we compare descriptions, we will indeed see substantial differences as Steinernema Feltiae nematodes cover only 200 square feet, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora are able to cover up to 3000 square feet for the lower price.

Price: Beneficial Nematodes Hb: Check the current price

However, Dr. Pye’s Scanmask has a competitive edge as its nematodes kill up to 230 insect species, more than the nematodes of the second type do. The users’ ratings also favor the former (55% versus 49%). One satisfied user states: “This is the third year for our 3,000 SF organic garden and all of the crops are healthier than they have been in the past.”

The treatment can be used by letting the nematodes directly into the ground or by spraying them. Once in the soil, the nematodes will chase and kill grub worms. You should store nematodes in the refrigerator.

Price: Dr. Pye’s: Check the current price

7. Garden Safe HG-93179 Neem Oil Extract Concentrate

Here is yet another natural treatment, available with a good discount. It is suitable for protecting vegetables, fruit, flowers and shrubs but is not recommended for application on tender, withering or freshly transplanted plants. The concentrate combines three garden products: an insecticide, a fungicide and a miticide which is extremely cost-efficient for such a low price.

Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate, For Organic Gardening, Fungicide, Insecticide, Miticide, Neem Oil For Plants, 10 fl Ounce

Its active ingredient is neem oil and thanks to it, the insects quit feeding, laying eggs and eventually they die. It won’t yield immediate results, so aim for long-term prospects. To guarantee best results, the manufacturer recommends using Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate once a week or a fortnight. Apply it early in the morning or late at night.

Garden Safe Neem Oil is a favorite natural remedy for controlling a variety of bugs and grubs. Some people worry that not all ingredients are listed on the label, but the general rule is not to mention harmless components.

Price: Check the current price

8. Safer Brand 5102 5102-6 Ready-to-Use End All Insect Killer-32 oz

Unlike the previous product, this is not a concentrate, but a spray. It protects vegetables, fruit, flowers and shrubs and kills 45 insect species. It is recommended for hydroponic gardening. Be careful when using it though as it contains not only neem oil and potassium salts of fatty acids, but also pyrethrin, which is a pesticide affecting the insects’ nervous system.

Safer Brand 5110-6 Insect Killing Soap, 32 Oz.

This is a cheaper neem oil-containing treatment, and it is less popular with users, some of them were frankly disappointed as one of the comments reads: “Honestly, it didn’t seem to work on anything. My mother ended up just throwing it away.” Overall,  a lot of the users were satisfied.

Price: Check the current price

Expert Opinion: Dr. David Shetlar, the Department of Entomology, Ohio State University

Scotts GrubEx1 Season Long Grub Killer min: photo

Dr. David Shetlar, the Department of Entomology, Ohio State University

David Shetlar is a professor of urban landscape entomology at Ohio State University. He teaches general entomology and focuses on turfgrass entomology research. Dr. Shetlar has co-authored several books on turfgrass insects and has numerous scientific publications.

“There are many approaches for the management of the white grubs and the first one is tolerance. I know this is easy for me to say but can be very difficult for a lawn care company to explain to their customer when that customer digs in their flowerbed and finds a grub or two. And they wonder, why you do not control my grubs. Just because you found 2 or 3 grubs, that is not enough. You need grubs about 8 to 10 grubs per square foot before you would really achieve damage. To prevent grubs, use residual lifespan of insecticides that we apply to the turf. Even though we know that most white grub populations arrive in July or August, some of these insecticides have residual activities of 3 to 4 months, and so we can apply them earlier to prevent those grub infestations from happening”.

Comparative Chart of the Best Grub Killers

When and How to Apply Grub Worm Treatment

Timely treatment is crucial as otherwise even the most effective product won’t provide proper effect. Mid-August is the most favorable period for undertaking a curative method as the grub worms are still small. By the end of September, the grubs have grown and dig deeper into soil outside of the insecticide action area due to the drop in temperature. Spring is also not the best curative grub control time as after the winter, the grubs are quite large.

In general, it is quite troublesome to find the right time for using curative control. When applied too early, insecticides can decompose in the soil before grub eggs hatch, and if you use them too late, it will be harder to kill grubs that have already damaged the soil. This can be avoided by using a preventive approach that implies a more flexible treatment schedule. The best time for using preventive products is mid-June or mid-July, before the grubs hatch. Preferable season can also vary depending on the region.

Remember to irrigate the soil abundantly after treatment. To determine the necessary amount of water, place several coffee cups on the lawn. Once they are filled for an inch with water, the soil is sufficiently moistened.

Although if used properly, modern insecticides do not pose any serious risks and help prevent grub worm damage, make sure you follow these safety rules.

  • Read the entire product’s label and follow its instructions.
  • Buy the necessary amount of insecticide.
  • Never flush the remaining insecticide down the toilet, sink or in any other water source as you can do harm to the environment. The best way to dispose of the unused pesticides is to contact your local waste and refuse facility or waste management facility to properly dispose of the insecticides. Or save them in a cool well ventilated dry place for use again for preventative measures.
  • When applying insecticides, do not keep the granules or spraying liquid on the ground or any other solid surface to reduce the risk of it leaking to unwanted areas.
  • Do not use control products (especially sprays) when it is windy.
  • Do not let people and pets into the treated areas until the leaves are dry.

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