The Best Grub Killers of 2022

Whether you need an effective eco-friendly solution or a fast-acting chemical, the best grub killer will eliminate your grub infestation.

By Mark Wolfe | Updated Jun 3, 2022 9:14 AM

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The Best Grub Killer Options

Photo: amazon.com

The white grubs that damage lawns are the larval life stage of several beetle species. Japanese beetles, June bugs, masked chafers, May beetles, and other beetle larvae feed on plant roots before pupating into adults. When the population swells, especially in late summer, the grass won’t regrow roots fast enough to keep up with the hungry larvae. When this happens, it’s time to treat the infestation with grub control products.

There are two approaches to dealing with the problem: preventative or curative treatments. Not sure which is the best solution? Read on for factors to consider before deciding on the best grub killer for your lawn, and then discover some of the top-rated products on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: BioAdvanced Granules 700745S 24 Hour Grub Killer
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Scotts GrubEX1
  3. BEST PREVENTATIVE: St. Gabriel Organics 80010-9 Milky Spore Powder
  4. BEST ECO-FRIENDLY: Bug Sales 50 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes
  5. BEST READY-TO-SPRAY: Bayer Crop Science 700280B Complete Insect Killer
  6. BEST FAST-ACTING: Ortho BugClear Lawn Insect Killer
  7. BEST BROAD-SPECTRUM: Bonide (BND60360) – Insect and Grub Control
  8. BEST ALL-SEASON: Bayer Cropscience 700715M Season-Long Grub Control
  9. BEST ON-CONTACT: Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer
  10. ALSO CONSIDER: Bayer Crop Science 700288S Complete Insect Killer
The Best Grub Killer Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Grub Killer

Not every grub solution is ideal for all circumstances. The best grub killer acts slowly, but an active infestation requires fast action before damaging the lawn. Liquids deliver quick results, but granules may be more convenient because they are easy to spread. Continue reading to learn some important factors to consider before making a selection.

Liquid vs. Granular

Liquid treatments are fast and effective for treating grub infestations: Simply spray the treatment on the lawn and you’re done. But gauging the rate of coverage is difficult, and liquid spills are messier and harder to clean than spilled granules. Also, you may need to dilute some products with water before application.

Granular grub killers are convenient to apply with a handheld or walk-behind lawn spreader. After spreading, simply return any remaining granules in the spreader to the bag for storage. While this is a relatively clean and convenient way to treat, it’s important to note that the best time to apply is just before rainfall, so the active ingredients penetrate deep into the soil. Otherwise, you’ll have to water the lawn after application.

Organic vs. Synthetic

Organic grub killers include milky spore and beneficial nematodes. Both of these products use biological agents to prey on grubs in the soil. They are completely safe for people, pets, and other beneficial insects and highly effective in eliminating grub infestations—and the effect lasts for years. However, they work slowly and may not be ideal for active infestations.

Synthetic treatments work quickly. Many offer season-long control (about three to four months) of white grubs. Most of these products are less selective for grubs, so they also kill a broad range of non-targeted species. They are an excellent choice to stop grub problems and are best applied only to affected areas.

Safety

Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying insecticides, both organic and synthetic. Wear protective clothing such as gloves, eyewear, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes while mixing and handling. Avoid splashing and spills of liquids. Dry products may be dusty. Pour in a well-ventilated area, and wear a mask to avoid breathing dust.

When not in use, always store chemicals in their original containers and a locked cabinet, away from children and pets.

Application

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the application rate and timing between applications. Mix liquid concentrates according to the specified dilution rate. Wear rubber boots while applying liquid treatments, and rinse off the residue afterward. To keep applications on target and eliminate spray drift, avoid applying in windy weather. Allow treated areas to dry thoroughly before allowing human or pet traffic.

Our Top Picks

White grubs can be extremely destructive, and the best grub killer is a solution. Whether the purpose is to halt an active infestation or prevent one from ever occurring, these picks represent some of the top-rated products on the market in a variety of categories to keep a lawn looking pristine.

Best Overall

The Best Grub Killer Option: BioAdvanced Granules 700745S 24 Hour Grub Killer
Photo: amazon.com

Apply BioAdvanced 24 Hour Grub Killer at the first sign of grub activity to stop the infestation immediately. These easy-to-spread granules kill grubs on contact. Users can apply in spring and summer with any rotary or drop spreader for season-long control of grubs and other listed insects.

This product also kills ants, ticks, billbugs, chinch bugs, crickets, cutworms, earwigs, grasshoppers, and more. The 20-pound bag covers up to 10,000 square feet. The active ingredient is 9.3 percent Trichlorfon.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granules
  • Quantity: 20 pounds
  • Coverage Area: 10,000 square feet
  • Organic: No
  • Compatible Insects: Grubs, earwigs, ticks, ants, cutworms, chinch bugs, and more

Pros

  • Kills grubs on-contact
  • Can be applied in spring and summer
  • Easy to apply
  • Lasts for 180 days

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not suitable for use in gardens

Get the BioAdvanced grub killer at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Grub Killer Option: Scotts GrubEX1
Photo: amazon.com

One application of Scotts GrubEX1 kills and prevents grubs from causing extensive lawn damage all season long. One annual application can also help prevent Japanese beetle infestations. This product will not harm earthworms, beneficial nematodes, or soil bacteria and is safe for wildlife when used as directed.

The granules are formulated to flow efficiently through rotary, drop, and handheld spreaders. This value-priced 28-pound bag treats up to 10,000 square feet. The active ingredient is 0.08 percent Chlorantraniliprole, considered a safer alternative insecticide that has significantly fewer negative effects on non-target species, like bees.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granules
  • Quantity: 28 pounds
  • Coverage Area: 10,000 square feet
  • Organic: No
  • Compatible Insects: Grubs/white grubs, Japanese beetles, sod webworms, and more

Pros

  • Lasts for months
  • Does not harm helpful insects
  • Multiple application types

Cons

  • Not suitable for use in gardens
  • Some users report difficulty while using

Get the Scotts GrubEX1 at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s.

Best Preventative

The Best Grub Killer Option: St. Gabriel Organics 80010-9 Milky Spore Powder
Photo: amazon.com

Milky spore is a naturally occurring microscopic bacteria that feed on beetle larvae. The spores grow and reproduce in the soil, reaching peak strength within 3 years and persisting another 10 or more years. This environmentally friendly product from St. Gabriel Organics can prevent such an infestation without harming people, animals, or beneficial insects.

Apply the dry powder in concentrated deposits (spoonfuls) at 3- to 4-foot intervals across the lawn or garden. This 10-ounce package treats up to 2,500 square feet. The active ingredient is the bacteria species, Bacillus popilliae.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granules
  • Quantity: 10 ounces
  • Coverage Area: 2,500 square feet
  • Organic: Yes
  • Compatible Insects: Japanese beetles

Pros

  • Kills grubs in the larvae phase
  • Persists for up to 10 years
  • Safe for homes with pets and children
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Smaller quantity than comparable options

Get the St. Gabriel spore powder at Amazon, Sears, and Walmart.

Best Eco-Friendly

The Best Grub Killer Option: Bug Sales 50 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes
Photo: amazon.com

Predatory nematodes are relatively fast-acting biological controls for grubs. Unlike bacteria that must be discovered and consumed by grubs, nematodes actively seek out grubs. Within 2 weeks of using this product by Bug Sales, the grub population will rapidly reduce.

The nematodes will persist and continue to control grubs for up to 18 months—or two full growing seasons. Mix the nematode powder with 1 to 5 gallons of cool water and apply to the lawn with a pump-up sprayer, hose-end sprayer, or watering can. This package containing 50 million live nematodes covers up to 20,000 square feet. The active ingredient is the nematode species Heterorhabditis bacteriophora.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granules
  • Quantity: Up to 5 gallons
  • Coverage Area: 20,000 square feet
  • Organic: Yes
  • Compatible Insects: Grubs

Pros

  • 50 million live nematodes
  • Fast-acting formula
  • Safe for homes with pets and children
  • Works for 18 months

Cons

  • Requires dilution before use

Get the Bug Sales nematodes on Amazon.

Best Ready-to-Spray

The Best Grub Killer Option: Bayer Crop Science 700280B Complete Insect Killer
Photo: amazon.com

Bayer Crop Science Complete Insect Killer offers a two-step approach for controlling grubs and many other pests. It includes an insecticide that kills on contact and a systemic insecticide that protects the grass from the inside out. This broad-spectrum insect spray kills and protects against grubs and other soil-dwelling insects for up to three months. It is also effective against 62 listed pests, including ants, chiggers, deer ticks, fleas, and others in soil and turfgrass areas.

Surface insects die within 24 hours. Attach the ready-to-spray bottle nozzle directly to a garden hose to mix and spray at the same time. This 32-ounce liquid formula treats up to 5,334 square feet. The active ingredients are 0.72 percent Imidacloprid and 0.36 percent Beta-cyfluthrin.

Product Specs

  • Form: Liquid
  • Quantity: 32 ounces
  • Coverage Area: 5,334 square feet
  • Organic: No
  • Compatible Insects: Grubs, fleas, chinch bugs, ants, ticks, and more

Pros

  • Dual insecticide formula
  • Kills on-contact
  • Built-in applicator
  • Works within 24 hours
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Product may run out quickly

Get the Bayer Crop Science killer at Amazon, Walmart, and Sears.

Best Fast-Acting

The Best Grub Killer Option: Ortho BugClear Lawn Insect Killer
Photo: lowes.com

Ortho BugClear Lawn Insect Killer is a broad-spectrum insect killer that controls scores of species, both at the surface and below ground. To treat grubs, spread the granules in the infested lawn area, water them in, and grubs begin to die within hours. In addition to lawns, this product is safe to use as directed in flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Apply with any rotary, drop, or handheld spreader. One treatment kills and protects against grubs and most other insect pests for up to three months. This 10-pound bag treats up to 10,000 square feet. The active ingredient is 0.115 percent Bifenthrin.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granules
  • Quantity: 10 pounds
  • Coverage Area: 10,000 square feet
  • Organic: No
  • Compatible Insects: Grubs, spiders, stink bugs, mites, earwigs, and more

Pros

  • Broad-spectrum insecticide
  • Works within hours
  • Suitable for lawns and gardens
  • Multiple application types
  • Lasts for over 3 months

Cons

  • May not be safe for homes with children and pets

Get the Ortho insect killer at Lowe’s, Sears, and Walmart.

Best Broad-Spectrum

The Best Grub Killer Option: Bonide (BND60360) - Insect and Grub Control
Photo: amazon.com

Bonide Insect and Grub Control is infused with the power of a combined contact and systemic insecticide to kill grubs and dozens of other insects above and below ground. Use a rotary, drop, or hand spreader to apply over the affected area and water thoroughly to activate.

The systemic component is most effective when applied in early summer. This 6-pound bag treats up to 7,500 square feet. The active ingredients are 0.5 percent imidacloprid and 0.1 percent Lambda-cyhalothrin.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granules
  • Quantity: 6 pounds
  • Coverage Area: 7,500 square feet
  • Organic: No
  • Compatible Insects: Grubs, ants, crickets, chinch bugs, billbugs, cutworms, and more

Pros

  • Contact and systemic insecticides
  • Kills up to 40 insect varieties
  • Works above and below ground
  • Multiple application types
  • Affordable

Cons

  • May kill some helpful insects

Get the Bonide grub control on Amazon or at Walmart.

Best All-Season

The Best Grub Killer Option: Bayer Cropscience 700715M Season-Long Grub Control
Photo: amazon.com

Bayer Crop Science Season-Long Grub Control is a systemic grub control plus fertilizer formulated to eliminate grubs and heal grass simultaneously. The systemic insecticide becomes a barrier to feeding grubs all season long, while the nitrogen and potassium plant food provides the nourishment the stressed grass needs to grow back strong and healthy.

Apply once at any time spring through summer at the first sign of grub damage. Use a rotary or drop spreader to apply the granules, then water them in. This 12-pound bag treats up to 5,000 square feet. The active ingredient is 0.25 percent imidacloprid.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granules
  • Quantity: 12 pounds
  • Coverage Area: 5,000 square feet
  • Organic: No
  • Compatible Insects: Grubs, mole crickets, European crane fly larvae, and billbugs

Pros

  • Systemic insecticide
  • Nitrogen and potassium fertilizers
  • Application lasts for 1 year

Cons

  • Pricey

Get the Bayer Season-Long grub control at Amazon, Sears, and Lowe’s.

Best On-Contact

The Best Grub Killer Option: Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer
Photo: amazon.com

Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer kills grubs plus more than 100 other insect pests on contact. Use it as a curative treatment against actively feeding grubs. This product is most effective in the summer for killing and controlling newly hatched grubs.

Apply the granules with a drop, rotary, or hand spreader for uniform coverage. This 10-pound bag covers 12,500 square feet. The active ingredient is 0.05 percent gamma-cyhalothrin.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granules
  • Quantity: 10 pounds
  • Coverage Area: 12,500 square feet
  • Organic: No
  • Compatible Insects: Grubs, ants, chinch bugs, armyworms, billbugs, and more

Pros

  • Kills on contact
  • Tackles 100 insect varieties
  • Can be used during multiple seasons; spring to fall
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Must be completely dry before walking on; may not be suitable for homes with children and pets

Get the Spectracide insect killer at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s.

Also Consider

The Best Grub Killer Option: Bayer Crop Science 700288S Complete Insect Killer
Photo: amazon.com

This insecticide from Bayer Dylox kills and controls grubs and other pests, including ticks, fleas, ants, mole crickets, chinch bugs, mosquitoes, and more. It is formulated for use in and around turfgrass lawns, landscape flowers, trees, and shrubs.
Apply these granules with a rotary, drop, or handheld spreader, and water in thoroughly. This 10-pound bag treats 10,000 square feet. The active ingredients are .15 percent imidacloprid and .05 percent beta-cyfluthrin.

Product Specs

  • Form: Granules
  • Quantity: 10 pounds
  • Coverage Area: 10,000 square feet
  • Organic: No
  • Compatible Insects: Grubs, ticks, fleas, ants, mole crickets, chinch bugs, and more

Pros

  • Suitable for use in turfgrass, flowers, trees, and shrubs
    Multiple application types
    Lasts for over 3 months
    Affordable

Cons

  • Some users report ineffectual use

Get the Bayer Bayer Complete Insect Killer at Amazon, Walmart, and Lowe’s.

Our Verdict

For a reliable grub killer that covers ample square footage and works on a variety of insects, we recommend the BioAdvanced grub killer. This versatile pick kills grubs, earwigs, ticks, ants, cutworms, chinch bugs, can be applied in summer and spring, and lasts for over 180 days. Alternatively, for a budget-friendly option, the Scotts GrubEX1 grub killer can be applied with a rotary, drop, and/or handheld spreader and lasts throughout the spring and summer months, killing grubs for months with just one application.

How We Chose the Best Grub Killers

These recommendations for the best grub control products include a variety of products to meet the grub-killing needs of typical users who want to maintain an insect-free residential landscape. We narrowed our research to focus primarily on granular grub killers, as those are some of the most popular on the market due to their versatility and effectiveness. However, we found that one liquid grub killer ranked highest for ease of use.

We also evaluated the grub killers based on how long each product stays in or on the ground and grass and if they kill on-contact or systemically, as many kill grubs on-contact and continue to last all season long. Plus, some of these products are capable of covering 5,000 square feet or more, killing grubs throughout lawns and gardens and simultaneously fertilizing the space.

While there are a broad number of grub killers ranked on our list that can work quickly and have long-lasting effects, others are designed for killing insects such as ticks, Japanese beetles, crickets, ants, and many more to reduce grub damage and crate an overall insect-free landscape.

FAQs

Get to know more about reducing and killing grubs by checking out some of the most frequently asked questions about grub killers below.

Q: Do grub control products also kill bugs?

The active ingredients in many synthetic grub control products kill other bugs as well. Each product is slightly different, so be sure to read the label to avoid unwanted collateral damage and control additional bugs.

Q: Can I use grub killer in flower beds?

Yes, but avoid broad-spectrum sprays that will harm pollinators and helpful insects. For this reason, flower and vegetable gardens are ideal locations to apply beneficial nematodes or milky spore.

Q: Can I seed grass after applying my grub killer?

Yes. The active ingredients in grub killer are safe to use with new lawns, whether seeded or sodded.

Q: How long does it take to kill grubs?

Some products begin killing grubs in as little as 24 hours.