How to Get Rid of Grubs: Identification and Treatment

A Spring-Green reader, concerned with which treatment options work best for which grub species, sent in the following question on grub control:

“Do I need to be sure what species of grub is in my lawn before I treat it? If so, how do I identify which grub it is? I was told that milky spore powder only works for the Japanese beetle grub? Is this true? I suspect a moth grub but can’t be sure. We are in Sedona, Arizona. Thank you for your time and expertise.”

Mr. Griffin,
Thank you for sending in your question on how to get rid of grubs. No, you don’t need to know what species of grub is in your lawn to treat for it with conventional methods. Grubs are the larval stage of adult beetles. You are correct that Milky Spore, Paenibacillus papillae, will only control Japanese beetle larvae. Identifying grubs is a little more complicated. This is done by looking at the pattern of hairs on their raster, or backside, such as you see in this picture. Japanese beetles have a v-shaped pattern of hairs. The trick is getting them to hold still long enough to examine them with a 10X hand lens. There are about 15 species of grubs that can attack a lawn. If you want to check, you can either place them in a formaldehyde solution or you can cut off the back half of the grub to inspect it. Suffice it to say that if you have grubs and they are damaging your lawn, the fastest way to get rid of grubs is to apply an insect control application. The product that works best on active grubs is called Dylox. Be sure to read and follow all label directions before using the product. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions on how to get rid of grubs.

grub identification

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