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How to get rid of lawn grubs

Have you ever seen a lush, green lawn suddenly turn brown and patchy? Or worse, die off completely? It’s terrible to watch that happen to a lawn that you have cared for so well. And if you get lawn grubs, that might be what you’re in for! Left untreated, these pests can quickly destroy even the most well-loved lawn. And because they’re hard to see, they can sometimes get in and do a lot of damage before you even know what’s happening. So once you do realise, it’s important to get rid of them fast. As experts in all things turf and lawn care, we have some top tips on how to get rid of lawn grubs fast. close up of curled white lawn grub sitting on dirt for how to get rid of lawn  grubs

How to Get Rid of Lawn Grubs

What are lawn grubs?

Lawn grubs are the larval form of certain surface-dwelling moths and beetles. When they’re in their larval form they live underground and like to munch on the leaves and roots of your beautiful lawn, which can cause mass destruction. Lawn grubs are most common in the warmer months of the year, but they can strike at any time (particularly here in southeast Queensland!). So it’s a good idea to know what to look out for. image of a bunch of curled white lawn grubs curled on the bare dirt among patches of turf for how to get rid of lawn grubs

Diagnosing a lawn grub infestation

So how do you know if the damage to your lawn is being caused by lawn grubs, or something else entirely? Because they’re not visible (living underground after all) it can be tricky to diagnose a lawn grub infestation. But here are some things to look out for:

Bouncy of spongy texture

When lawn grubs eat the roots of the lawn, it has nothing holding it down into the earth and the turf will start to lift. You might first notice this as a bouncy or spongy feeling as you walk over it. If you feel that try to see if you can roll the lawn back or lift it up like a rug. If you can, you can be sure it’s lawn grubs.

Lots of moths or beetles around

If you’re noticing moths hanging around your grass, or small black beetles burrowing into small holes in the lawn, then you can be pretty sure you’ve got lawn grubs. In both cases the adult versions of your lawn grubs (the moths or beetles) are using your lawn to lay their eggs and larvae, which will then turn into more lawn grubs making a vicious cycle of lawn destruction.

Brown patches

Brown patches are another sign that you might have lawn grubs – though these can come from other pests as well. Brown patches develop when the grubs feed on the roots of the turf and the lawn begins to die out from lack of nutrients. These patches tend to be irregular in shape rather than circular. close up image of little grey bird on the grass

Increased wildlife

If you see more birds or rodents around, and particularly interested in your lawn, you might have lawn grubs. These creatures are trying to feed on the grubs, and they can be particularly destructive if they start digging up your already weakened lawn.

Soapy water trick / overnight towel trick

Another way to see visibly if you’ve got lawn grubs is to try either the soapy water or overnight towel trick. Lawn grubs are attracted to moisture, so leave a wet towel on your lawn overnight and some lawn grubs will rise to the surface seeking that moisture. Simply remove the towel in the morning and see if there are any hanging around. The other way to see if you’ve got lawn grubs is to empty a bucket of soapy water on your lawn. Check back after 10 minutes and there should be some lawn grubs at the surface. image of a person in blue clothes with a green fertiliser distributor spreading fertiliser on patchy grass for how to get rid of lawn grubs

How to get rid of lawn grubs

So now that you know you’ve got them, here’s how to get rid of lawn grubs.

Step 1: Keep your lawn healthy

The healthier your lawn is, the more able it will be to withstand all kinds of pests, including lawn grubs. You can keep it healthy by following our top five lawn care tips:
  1. Fertilise.
  2. Water.
  3. Mow.
  4. Aerate.
  5. Control weeds and pests.

Step 2: Act quickly

If you suspect you might have lawn grubs it’s a good idea to act quickly. The faster you take steps to fix the situation, the less damage your lawn will sustain.

Step 3: Treat with insecticide

Finally, treat your lawn with an insecticide like Grub Guard. It works on multiple levels by killing off both the hatched pupae and the larvae of lawn grubs. This means it will keep your lawn safe from any major damage, and looking beautiful in the long run. Another great all-round turf insecticide solution is Acelepryn GR. It only needs a single application to give you an entire season of protection. image of a perfect green lawn with trees in the far distance a blue sky and the sun just setting behind the trees

Keep Your Garden Looking It’s Best!

Now that you know how to get rid of lawn grubs, you’ll have a beautiful garden to spend time in. And maybe you’ll even have some time to do some new DIY projects. Check out our how to and product info pages for our best outdoor landscaping and garden ideas. And if you don’t see something that you love, get in touch! Our team is always excited to chat about all things landscaping and lawns!