11 Natural Ways to Get rid of Grubs [Step by Step Process & Precautions]

Grubs are small white larvae found in soil. Although sometimes they are referred to as grub worms, they are actually beetle larvae, and once they mature they climb out of the soil as full-grown beetles.

These larvae are quite destructive to garden plants, as they feed off the roots as well as the shoots of the plants.

Grubs grow from the eggs of Japanese beetles, so it is also important to control the population of these beetles to prevent grubs from growing in the first place.

So if you are a gardener or you’re looking forward to gardening, you must take care of grubs before you plant anything into the ground. They are also notorious for destroying grass turf, so whether or not you have a garden, you may still have a problem with grubs.

The good news is that there are many easy yet natural solutions for getting rid of these pests. In this article, we will discuss some of these natural methods of getting rid of grubs. 

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1. Milky Spores

Milky spore is a type of bacteria living in the soil. While your garden could already have milky spores, but adding a colony of it in your garden can effectively keep grubs away for a long time. This bacteria causes a disease in the beetles and their larvae i.e grubs and it kills them.

The effect of this can last for years and years, so this is the best method for getting rid of and controlling grubs.

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Spread about 1 teaspoon of milky spore powder every four feet. Spread it everywhere in your garden, do not leave out any part.
  • Water your garden to activate the milky spore. The water will also help the milky spore go below the soil to attack the grubs. 
  • The best way to do this treatment is to apply it during late summer when the grubs are fairly small. 
  • The bacteria will not only kill the grubs but since they thrive in soil, it will also prevent grubs in the future. 


Some commercial pesticides can reduce the population of milky spores in the soil, so make sure you’re using the right kind of products in your garden afterward. 

2. Beneficial Nematodes

Nematodes are tiny parasites that can help kill grubs and other small insects. These microscopic parasites infect the grubs and eventually kill them.

This is a great biological control method for grubs as it’s safe for plants and humans, while also being very effective against grubs. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Choose the right type of beneficial nematodes for your garden, as different kinds are meant for killing different pests. 
  • Follow the package instructions for mixing the nematodes into the correct ratio of water. 
  • Once mixed, pour the liquid on the most affected areas of your garden. You can also spread some of the mixtures around the garden, other than the affected areas just to make sure. 
  • Within a day or two, the nematodes would attack the grubs and kill them. The nematodes would seek out and kill all grubs in your garden if they are spread evenly. 


Always make sure to check for grubs before you use nematodes. You may be wasting the beneficial nematodes if you spread them in the wrong place. 

3. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is the skeletal remains of diatoms, which is a type of algae. These microscopic particles are very sharp and can kill any soft-bodied insects. It can help kill grubs as well when used correctly.

However, we must keep in mind that grubs usually stay underground, so to reach them, you’d need to dig up your lawn or aerate it before you use this method. So it only works for small infestations. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • First, dig up any affected areas about an inch deep to reach the grubs. Once you identify the grubs, start the method. 
  • Spread diatomaceous earth powder all over the grubs and areas around them. 
  • You can also spread some diatomaceous earth powder around the perimeter of your house for further protection. 
  • Make sure that you’re doing this on dry ground on a sunny day. If it rains, you should re-apply the powder. 


Diatomaceous earth powder is only effective if the insect walks over it, or it is applied directly on them. Simply leaving it out will not be enough.

4. Liquid Soap and Water

Soap and water is potent insect killer and it’s capable of killing grubs from your garden as well. This is one of the easiest yet effective and cheap methods for getting rid of grubs from your garden.

The liquid soap breaks down the outer layer or the cuticle of the grubs, which then kills them. This is a great solution for a small number of grubs since liquid soap can damage plants in your garden as well. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Mix 1 part of liquid dish soap with one part of water and mix it well. 
  • Dig up the soil in the affected areas. Any part of your lawn that is yellowing or has uprooted is most likely affected by grubs. 
  • Once the grubs under the soil are exposed, pour the dish soap mixture over the grubs directly. Pour enough of the liquid to drown the grubs. 
  • Within an hour or so, they will die. 


Do not use this method regularly since the liquid soap can damage other beneficial insects in the soil, and it can damage plants. 

5. Liquid detergent

Liquid Detergent is essentially a very strong form of soap, which is why it’s very effective against grubs. Similar to liquid soap, the detergent helps break down the outer layer of the insects’ bodies, hence killing them.

This is a great way to kill a small number of grubs in your garden. It is not recommended for extended use since the detergent is not good for the soil. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Mix one part of liquid detergent with two parts of water. Transfer this mixture into a spraying container. 
  • Dig or loosen up the soil around the affected areas in your garden. Anywhere with yellow patchy grass is likely the area where the grub is affecting. 
  • Once you have reached the grubs and you can see them in the ground, Spray the detergent mixture over them, making sure that the liquid is in direct contact with them. 
  • Cover the whole area with the mixture to ensure that the grubs are covered in the mixture. They will start to die within an hour or so. 


Liquid detergent is neither good for the soil, nor is it good for plants, so do not use this method for a large area, as it can severely affect the soil quality. 

6. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a commonly used organic insecticide. This oil is poisonous to many insects including grubs. This is a great solution for those that have a widespread grubs problem.

This oil is not bad for your plants or the soil, so you can use it regularly if needed. It is very easy to use, and it is completely safe for the soil as well as the plants. 

Required Material:

  • Neem oil 
  • Water
  • Spraying container and hose

Step by Step Process:

  • Use one cup of neem oil per gallon of water. Add your desired amount of neem oil to the water and transfer it to a spraying container with a hose. 
  • Mix the liquid thoroughly before applying. Use the spraying hose to spray the mixture all over the areas affected by the grubs. 
  • Make sure that the ground is wet with the mixture and it is actually penetrating the soil. 
  • Repeat this process a few times for a month. This will get rid of all grubs from your garden. 


Neem oil is a pesticide, so it has the potential to harm beneficial insects such as earthworms as well, so only spray this mixture where needed. 

7. Garlic Grub Repellent

Grubs are not fond of the smell of garlic. In fact, a lot of insects are repelled by the smell of garlic. One of the easier ways to prevent grubs is to plant a lot of garlic plants around your garden, but it may not be a suitable option for everyone.

This is when you can make a homemade repellent by using garlic as the main ingredient. This is usually not a long-term solution and you may have to look at other solutions to get rid of grubs permanently. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Mince one whole garlic and soak it in 2 cups of water. Leave it in the fridge overnight. 
  • Strain the water from the minced garlic. Add 4 teaspoons of dish soap to the water and mix it well.
  • Transfer this mixture into a spray can. Spray it all over your lawn, especially in areas with small grass. 
  • The best time to use this method is during late summer since this is the time when the grubs are born. 
  • This mixture will keep away the grubs from your lawn and if there is any already in your garden, they will die because of the soap. 


This is not a long-term solution and you may have to re-apply the mixture a few times to keep away the grubs. 

8. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper contains a strong chemical known as capsaicin. This is the chemical that causes the burning sensation in your mouth. This same chemical can easily take out a number of different insects, including grubs.

The strong chemical causes a burning sensation for the grubs as well, which when applied in the right amount can easily kill them. Even if it doesn’t kill them, it will surely encourage these insects to leave. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Mix one tablespoon of cayenne pepper in 2 cups of water. Mix it well and transfer it to a spray bottle. 
  • Dig up the soil where grubs are affecting your lawn and expose them. 
  • Spray the cayenne pepper directly onto them. Drench the insects in the liquid. 
  • Within a few hours, the grubs will die or become inactive. You can later re-apply the soil on top.  


Cayenne pepper can seriously cause damage to your eyes, nose, or even your skin, so wear protective gear while handling this mixture. 

9. Lemon Juice Grub Repellent

A homemade grub killer can be made using only a few different ingredients that you can find in your own house. This is an effective yet cheap alternative to commercial poisons.

Although it doesn’t guarantee that all the grubs will die in one treatment, it does ensure that any remaining grubs will be repelled by them. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Take 2 cups of lemon juice, and add 1 cup of dish soap into it. Mix it well. 
  • Add ½ cup mouthwash and ½ cup of water into it and mix it well. 
  • Transfer this mixture into a spraying container and spray it directly on your lawn. Concentrating on the areas that have been affected by grubs. 
  • The best time to do this is during late summer since this is the time when grubs are born, and it’s easiest to get rid of them. 
  • This mixture can also kill the grubs if applied directly to them. 


Do not use this method on a regular basis since the soap can damage plants and the soil. 

10. Borax Spray

Borax is a great way to get rid of grubs. Borax is poisonous to grubs, so when applied directly onto them, it will kill them very easily.

You can either buy a pre-made borax spray or simply make it yourself. This is a good treatment for a widespread infestation since borax is quite safe for the environment and does not hurt plants. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Mix one tablespoon of borax powder in 2 cups of warm water. 
  • Stir the mixture until the borax is dissolved in the water. 
  • Transfer this mixture into a spraying can and spray it over the affected areas. Make sure to saturate the soil with the liquid. 
  • Borax is toxic to grubs, so it will kill them within a few hours or a day. 
  • Repeat this process a few times over the course of 2 to 3 weeks to make sure that all the grubs are dead. 


This process can take time to work properly since borax cannot kill grubs immediately. 

11. Lawn Aerating Shoes

Lawn aerating shoes have long spikes on the bottom of them to help make the ground looser and to allow more air to enter the ground.

However, the way these shoes work against grubs is quite simple. Grubs are found about 2 to 3 inches below the ground. So when you use these aerating shoes, the spikes pierce through the grubs quite easily, killing them in the process. 

Required Material:

Step by Step Process:

  • Find the area that is affected by grubs in your garden. Unusually the spots with yellow or drying grass are the area that has been affected by grubs. 
  • Wear the aerating shoes and start walking over the area, making sure that the spikes are penetrating the ground. This will make sure that the spikes are actually reaching the grubs and killing them. 
  • You may have to repeat the process a few times over the course of 2 to 3 days to ensure that most of the grubs are dead. There may be a few left, but they cannot cause any significant harm to your garden. 


Lawn aerating shoes also has the potential to kill beneficial insects like earthworms. They can also cause damage to any plants in the area, so be careful of these factors before using this method. 

5 Natural Ways to Keep Grubs Away

1. Encourage more birds on your lawn

Birds are natural predators of grubs. Whenever birds see grubs, they will eat them. This is why it’s a great idea to encourage birds on your property if you want to get rid of and prevent grubs from your property.

You can put out a handful of birdfeed in your garden, or you can add a few nesting boxes in your garden to encourage more birds to hang out in your garden. This will allow the birds to feed on grubs and reduce their population drastically. 

2. Don’t water your lawn for a few weeks during late summer

Grubs need water to survive, so when you ensure that your lawn is as dry as it can get, then it is quite easy to kill them.

Late summer is the time when the beetles lay their eggs and the tiny grubs are born. This is the best time to kill them since they are still fairly small and do not require too much effort.

So, by drying out your lawn for a few weeks you would ensure that any grubs that are born would dry out and die soon after. This means you would not have to deal with full-grown grubs later on.

3. Replace your lawn with artificial grass

This is a common trick used by many homeowners to ensure that there aren’t any soil-dwelling insects or animals on their lawn.

By replacing real grass with artificial grass, you are taking away the food source for grubs, i.e. roots of the grass. This is a great idea if you’re having to get rid of grubs frequently and want a long-term preventative solution. 

4. Let your lawn grow thick and long

Long grasses tend to have longer roots as well, which binds to the soil tightly. This is discouraging to the beetles that lay eggs in the soil, which will later become grubs.

If you do not mind long and thick grasses on your lawn, then it’s a great way to repel the beetles from laying eggs in your garden. 

5. Kill or Repel adult Beetles

Grubs are beetle larvae, specifically Japanese beetles. Every year these beetles lay eggs in the soil, which then hatch, and grubs are born.

If you want to prevent grubs, it only makes sense to get rid of the beetles first, so that grubs are not born in the first place. There are many ways to get rid of Japanese beetles, including traps and simply hand-picking them. 

Top 5 Natural Repellents to Available Online to Get rid of Grubs

If you are looking for readily available natural repellents to get rid of grubs, check below listed Natural/Organic Repellents.

Final Words:

Grubs can be annoying as well as destructive to your garden. While you can simply leave them alone, once they start to grow in population, they can easily take over your garden in no time.

This is why it’s important to identify a grub infestation as soon as possible and it’s very important to get rid of them as soon as possible.

The natural ways to get rid of grubs are not only safer but also very effective at getting rid of these pests. We hope you can use these methods to get rid of grubs from your garden as soon as possible.