Top 6 Best Grub Worm Killers (2021 Review)

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Home > Product Reviews > Weed Products > Top 6 Best Grub Worm Killers (2021 Review)

If brown patches are showing up on your lawn for no apparent reason and spreading, you might have a grub infestation.

A grub problem isn’t easy to solve because they burrow underground. Most pesticides can’t reach them and wouldn’t work anyway.

In this Pest Strategies review, we’ll show you how to find the best grub worm treatment in spite of that.

We’ll explain which ones to use at what time of year and what type of results you can expect from these grub control products.

We’ll also tell you what signs to look for to determine if you have grub worms or something else. We’ll also give you some lawn care advice to interrupt their life cycle.

Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

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NaturesGoodGuys 30 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes

  • All-natural pest control
  • Natural predators that hunt larvae
  • Nematodes disappear as larvae die

What Are Grub Worm Killers?

The adult beetles don’t cause the damage to your lawn. They do their damage during their larval stage when they’re underground. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to kill them with conventional pesticides.

Grub worm killers are specialized pesticides designed to kill grub worms (Order: Coleoptera). Common grub worms are May and June beetles, Southern masked chafers, European chafers, and Japanese beetles. Grub worm killers attack some or all of them.

Read Also: What is a June Bug? (How to Identify & Get Rid of June Bugs)


How Do Grub Worm Killers Work?

Some grub worm killers are considered preventative in nature. This includes Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Halofenozide, Clothianidin, and Chlorantraniloprole. They kill grub worms while they are still immature.

Others are considered curative, killing grub worms that have already hatched. It kills them in late summer and early fall. Carbaryl and Trichlorfon, an Organophosphate (trade name = Dylox™), are examples of curative pesticides for grub worms.

Other grub worm killers consist of milky spores and beneficial nematodes that attack grub worms and persist beneath the soil surface for several years. They are natural predators that kill grub populations without harming beneficial insects.

Finally, Neem oil has been discovered to kill grub worms by interfering with their ability to eat and disrupting their hormonal balance. It’s an all-natural alternative to chemical pesticides.


Are Grub Worm Killers Effective For Killing Grub Worms?

Grub worm killers are a very effective way to control lawn insects. Many of them are specific to grub worms and won’t harm anything else, or they will only attack soil pests that damage turfgrass, ornamentals, and vegetable crops.

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How To Use Grub Worm Killers

Grub worms can’t lay eggs unless there is constant moisture present in the ground. Since most grub worm killers require massive amounts of water to activate them, this works to your advantage.

If you’re using granules, spread them over the affected areas then water the yard very heavily. Put a measuring cylinder out in the yard and when it shows an inch of water in it, you’ll know you’ve used enough water.

Beneficial nematodes and milky spores also require water, although not as much as granules, while neem oil and dusts don’t need any water added to the lawn after they’re applied.

Are Grub Worm Killers Safe Around My Pets and Children?

The chemical grub worm killers are toxic to children and pets until they’ve been watered in and soaked into the ground. Chemical dusts are also harmful. Neem oil is concentrated and can cause burning sensations until it’s diluted with water.

The beneficial nematodes and milky spores are completely harmless to people and pets.

How Do You Find the Best Grub Worm Killer?

  • The best grub worm treatments are those that reliably kill grub worms without harming beneficial insects, birds, or fish.
  • Many grub worm treatments are initially harmful to pets and children so that shouldn’t be a consideration. Just be careful to keep your children and pets away until the product has completely settled in.
  • Grub worm killers should be simple to use, without a lot of complicated steps. The most effective ones are the “spread and water” treatments.
  • Look for grub worm killers that only need to be used once or twice a year. Neem oil, for instance, requires daily use so it’s better for small areas instead of using it on the whole yard.
  • Make sure the product you get will cover your entire yard. If one bag or bottle won’t do it, you’ll have to purchase more of it, increasing your costs. Measure the square feet of your yard before you buy so you don’t get caught short.

Best Grub Worm Killers Reviewed

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NaturesGoodGuys 30 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes are microscopic round worms that attack more than 200 species of soil insects and pests. They are natural predators and parasites that won’t harm the environment, people, or pets.

They are easy to apply with a pump-up sprayer. Pour the nematodes into water then spray them across the yard.

The nematodes begin hunting for insect larvae and entering them through natural body openings. Once inside, they excrete harmful bacteria.

The nematodes can only survive when there are host larvae for them to feed on. As the grub population shrinks, so does the nematode population.

The Good And The Bad

  • Easy to apply
  • Self-regulating
  • Won’t harm the environment
  • Harmless to people and pets
  • Kill 200 species of soil pests
  • May kill some beneficial insects
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Scotts GrubEx1 – Grub Killer for Lawns

Scotts GrubEx1 is an effective, long-term grub killer. The active ingredient is Chlorantraniliprole, a curative and preventative chemical that lasts for up to four months. It controls lawn grubs without damaging earthworms and soil bacteria.

It requires 2.87 pounds of granules per 1000 square feet of lawn. Water the lawn with an inch of water (use a measuring cylinder to measure how much water you’re using) to activate the granules then let the yard dry.

It prevents grub damage to grass roots before grubs hatch. It kills grubs after the eggs hatch and before they are mature enough to survive the pesticide. It’s easy to use but it can be hazardous to pets and children when it is first applied.

The Good And The Bad

  • Easy to use
  • Lasts for up to four months
  • Is both a curative and preventative
  • Use 2.87 pounds per 1000 square feet
  • Won’t harm earthworms or soil bacteria
  • Hazardous to pets and children when wet

BioAdvanced 24-Hr Grub Control

Manufactured by Bayer Advanced Crop Science, this is advertised as a 24-hour-grub-killer that contains Dylox™. It’s a grub-killer-plus because it also kills ants, armyworms, cutworms, earwigs, grasshoppers, millipedes, ticks, and more.

A 10-pound bag of granules will cover 5000 square feet of lawn. It needs to be heavily watered in during the first 24-hours after application and it should be used in the spring or early summer for best results.

Pets and children should be kept off the lawn until it has completely dried, and some customers have reported that it requires a second application in the fall to be effective.

The Good And The Bad

  • Easy to use
  • Lasts for several months
  • 10-pound bag covers 5000 square feet
  • Kills many other insects as well as grubs
  • Hazardous to pets and children when wet
  • May require a second application in the fall

Cold Pressed Neem Seed Oil

This is 100% cold-pressed neem oil from neem seeds. The active ingredient is Azadirachtin. It is yellowish-brown with a strong garlic or sulfur smell.

It reduces insect feeding and creates hormonal imbalances making it difficult for grubs to lay eggs.

It has to be mixed with water, 2-3 teaspoons per 32 ounces of water, then sprayed on the yard. Early morning or late evening is the best time to prevent burning the plants.

To control grubs, you’ll have to spray it daily for about three weeks.

Don’t get the pure neem oil on your skin or in your eyes, and be sure to keep children away from it.

The Good And The Bad

  • Easy to use
  • No chemicals
  • Don’t get it directly on your skin or in your eyes
  • Keep children away from it

Gabriel Organics Milky Spores

Milky spores are natural and safe. They won’t hurt animals, birds, bees, beneficial insects, fish, plants, or people.

They only attack the larvae of Japanese beetles. If you have any grubs other than Japanese beetle grubs, this preventer won’t work for you.

This is a long-term solution and the best results won’t be seen until after a year has passed. You can apply it with a hand spreader any time from spring through the fall.

This 20-pound bag covers 7000 square feet of yard.

The Good And The Bad

  • Spread with a hand spreader
  • Covers 7000 square feet
  • It will last for 2-3 years
  • Won’t harm off-target insects, fish, birds, or mammals
  • It takes a year to start seeing results
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