Saving Your Lawn from Grubs

Grubs are public enemy #1 when it comes to insects that damage your lawn.  They can destroy large portions of healthy lawns in a matter of days or weeks.   They are the larvae of different kinds of beetles, including Japanese and Masked Chafer Beetles.  Grub larvae are dirty, white and soft bodied and can usually be found on their sides in a C-shaped pattern right under the grass surface in the soil.  They feed on grass roots killing the grass in patches. White grubs become active when the soil warms up, and they destroy lawns from late spring to early fall.  Central Indiana homes are subject to extensive and devastating damage from various types of white grubs.  At GreenLawn by Design, we stop the damage before it starts.

So how can you protect your lawn from these damaging insects? In this blog we will cover:

  • Do You Have Grubs?
  • Prepare Your Lawn
  • Treatment & Maintenance


It isn’t hard to tell that grubs have invaded your lawn.  But by the time you see the evidence, it may be too late.  The grass appears to wilt and turns brown in large, irregular patches. Brown areas of grass roll up smoothly like a carpet. Birds and animals (like crows, skunks, and raccoons) may be digging in the lawn. Milky white grubs from 1/8″ to 1″ long, with brown heads and three pairs of legs, lie curled in the soil.

To find out if you have a problem, peel back a square foot of turf. If you see six or more grubs, it’s time for action. You want to apply your lawn treatment when grubs are newly hatched or just before. That’s because they’re easier to control when they’re small. For most lawns in our area, season long controls should be applied after Memorial day.  Instant kill options can be used when you see adult Japanese beetles flying around – or anytime.


By taking some steps to prepare your lawn before treating it, you can make it easier for the treatment to work.  That’s why it helps to mow your lawn before treatment.

Also, if you have more than half an inch of thatch, it could get in the way of the treatment. You’ll want to de-thatch your lawn first.By taking some steps to prepare your lawn before treating it, you can make it easier for the treatment to work.  That’s why it helps to mow your lawn before treatment.

There are two courses of action you can take to deal with the grub issue; trapping Japanese beetles and treating your lawn for grub larvae.


Japanese beetle traps release both a sex pheromone and a floral scent, and are very effective in attracting adult beetles. They fly to the trap in droves, where they crawl or fall into the bag and can’t get out. You simply dispose of the bag, and put on a fresh one, and the process starts all over again. They work best if you have a very small, isolated population of beetles that can easily be lured and controlled by the trap.

Adult beetles are most active during June, July, and August. Traps are only effective when the adults are out, particularly during the early season before they’ve done too much mating and egg-laying.

Here are some tips to follow when using these traps:

  • Keep a Distance: Place the traps as far away as possible from the plants you’re trying to protect.
  • Install Downwind: Make sure to hang the traps downwind from your garden, so that as the beetles follow the wafting scent from the trap, they won’t be flying right over your garden and be tempted to stop for a munch.
  • Keep Traps Fresh: Not only can the lures go stale, but the bag full of dead bugs can cause the trap to stop working. Replace the lure according to package instructions, and replace the trap bag every few days.


GreenLawn by Design offers a guaranteed grub control application to prevent this damage.  We use a targeted pesticide to kill grubs while they are young and before they can cause damage to your turf.  These season-long systemic controls work when the grass root absorb the control agent and then the grubs eat the grass root and die.  For this process to work, the control must be in the plant when the grub feeds, so the best time to apply is mid June to early August, so the plant has the time to absorb the control before the grub eats it.  Apply too soon, and all the power is gone before the grubs start feeding. With this treatment, grubs will not be able to feed on the lawn and cause damage. When properly applied within this time frame, 1 – 2 applications a year is all that is needed to protect your investment in your lawn. Sign up today to prevent damage to your lawn.


Grubs are a formidable opponent, but with some knowledge of their life cycle and the right treatments, you can gain the upper hand and take back your lawn.  At GreenLawn by Design, we stop the damage before it starts.  Sign up today to prevent damage to your lawn.

For a thick, green, lush, weed-free lawn trust the locally, veteran-owned experts at GreenLawn by Design.  We do more than make your grass green….we make your neighbors green with envy!  We’re conveniently located in Carmel, Indiana, just minutes away from WestfieldFishersNoblesvilleZionsville and surrounding areas. Please call us 317-804-8088 or complete the contact form for your Free Estimate!