University of Wisconsin Garden Fact Sheets
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Grub Control in Home Lawns

Authors: R. Chris Williamson, UW Turf and Ornamental Specialist, M. J. Ballweg, UW-Extension Sheboygan County
Last Revised: 04/25/2004
X-number: XHT1018

Listed below are trade names and common chemical names of insecticides available to homeowners for controlling white grubs in lawns.

White grub damage.
White grub damage.

Preventative Control Products

Due to the development of new and improved insecticide chemistries, season-long residual or “preventive” controls of white grubs are now available, and are becoming the preferred management strategy.  Preventative control strategies require insecticide application prior to egg lay or hatch.  Timing varies depending on grub species: May/June beetle; late-May – early-June, and Japanese beetle; late-June – late-July.

Preventative Control Products

Trade Name

Company

Common
Chemical Name

Overall Toxicity

Application Timing

Season-Long Grub Control

Bayer Advanced Lawn

Imidacloprid

Low

Late-May – Late July

GrubEx

Scotts

halofenozide

Low

Late-May – Late July

Curative Control Products

The curative control approach entails applying a control product when grubs are present, active, and causing measurable damage.  Insecticides should be applied when grubs are feeding in the root zone.  However, greater control can be attained if the insecticide is applied to smaller or younger grubs – usually in July for May/June beetles, or August for Japanese beetles.

Curative Control Products

Trade Name

Company

Common Chemical Name

Overall Toxicity

Application Timing

24 Hour Grub Killer

Bayer

trichlorfon

Low

Mid-May – Early October

Sevin

Numerous

carbaryl

Low

Mid-May – Early October

Diazinon

Numerous

diazinon

High

No longer recommended.

Dursban

Numerous

chlorpyrifos

High

No longer recommended

Remember that grubs feed in the root zone.  Thus the control product must reach them in order to be effective.  Therefore, regardless of insecticide brand or formulation, you must water the insecticide into the root zone to achieve maximum effectiveness.  Apply at least 12 inch of irrigation or rainfall on sandy soils, and up to 34 inch on heavier clay soils.  Apply water within 24 hours after application to get the most benefit from insecticides.  For spray formulations, wash spray off grass plants and into the soil before the spray dries.  Liquid formulations of some products have shown greater efficiency.

For more information on May/June beetles and Japanese beetles:  See UW-Extension bulletins A3275 and A3714, and UW-Extension Garden Facts X1062, or contact your county Extension agent.

 


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References to pesticide products in this publication are for your convenience and are not an endorsement or criticism of one product over similar products. You are responsible for using pesticides according to the manufacturer’s current label directions. Follow directions exactly to protect the environment and people from pesticide exposure. Failure to do so violates the law.

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