Dre Campbell Farm
10 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Grubs in Garden

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10 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Grubs in Garden

Many home growers and farmers have dealt with the irritation of finding grubs in the soil among their plants and crops. These critters are voracious root-eating worms that turn into leaf-eating adult beetles [1].

It’s not a pretty sight, seeing fat white earthworms crawling all over the place, eating your precious harvest, and destabilizing the structure and stability of your plants and lawn.

If you’re reading this article, then it’s a good bet you’re seeking natural, harmless ways of getting rid of grubs once and for all, with natural being the keyword here.

Fortunately for you, there are plenty of methods you can use to rid your garden of grub bugs without harming either your plants or any of the useful insects you want to keep.

Many of the mentioned methods are highly effective, but plenty are also somewhat harmful to the insects you want to keep. Hence, it’s important to make sure you’re getting what’s right for you and your garden.

How to Get Rid of Grubs Naturally

There are many home remedies for grub control. Some are items that can be readily accessed and others are things you can do to limit infestation.

Eco-friendly pesticides are also available as not all commercially-sold insecticides are harmful. In fact, there are several brands that are quite natural and healthy for both you and your harvest.

Many of these can easily be found either at your local gardening store or else online for quick shipment. Any one of these methods is guaranteed to help rid your garden of the critters before they can do any permanent damage.

1. Beneficial Nematodes

This is a popular eco-friendly method for those seeking to get rid of grub worms in lawn.

These tiny creatures actively seek out grass worms and similar soil-dwelling pests as their favorite treat. What’s more, you can purchase beneficial nematodes.

You simply soak them in water on the sponge they come in. Put into a sprayer attached to a hose and then give your yard and garden a good and thorough rinse to release them. 

2. Milky Spore  

This is a naturally occurring pathogen that, once released into your garden, won’t harm you or your plants.

It’s highly effective, but the problem is that it can take up to two years or three before it reaches its maximum potential [2].

It’s best to combine it with other techniques, such as the nematodes for the best effect against your enemies. 

3. Birds and Chickens 

The best grub worm killers are birds and chickens.

Set up bird feeders or a chicken coop. The former may be easier, but with the latter, at least you’ll get eggs out of it.

They will peck and forage voraciously against anything they find in the soil, especially beetle grubs.

The only con to this otherwise brilliant plan is that the birds may also go after beneficial insects you’ll want to keep, so give it some thought first. 

4. Organic Fertilizer 

Using an organic fertilizer compared to synthetic stuff has a lower chance of killing helpful organisms, such as the mentioned nematodes. Read 29 Organic and Homemade Fertilizers for Plants.

It may not stop the grubs, but because it allows everything else to keep living. The other organisms stand a better chance of surviving another day to eat them. 

5. Neem Oil 

This is a very popular option being a natural and healthy pest control oil.

Mix with 1-2 tablespoons in a gallon of water and then spray generously across your garden to prevent grubs from appearing and, most importantly, feeding.

It can be found decently priced online and at some retail gardening shops. 

6. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

DE is another great extermination remedy that is safe to use around the house and in vegetable gardens. This special powder contains the skeletal remains of diatoms.

This product is used to crack holes in the exoskeletons of any insects it comes across, dehydrating them to death. Dust a little around your plants on the soil.

This grub worm treatment is very effective, but it is also indiscriminate, so use sparingly.  

7. Garlic Spray 

Actually, a lot of vegetable garden pests can’t stand garlic spray. For this natural grub killer recipe, you can look up different solution mixes online for the best outcome.

For a simple solution, puree 4 bulbs of garlic into one cup of water and let it sit overnight.

Strain and then spray around your garden to discourage both the grub insect and whatever else you don’t want to skulk about in there. 

8. PyGanic 

A special organic insecticide that has been widely proven to repel all varieties of annoying pests.

With its active ingredient being pyrethrin, PyGanic is safe for most types of crops and works on a wide array of different insects. 

9. Surround WP

Made from specialized Kaolin clay, this stuff forms a protective shield around vegetables and other plants when sprayed on liberally.

Surround WP is an effective natural pesticide. It repels pests and causes severe debilitation such as confusion or irritation. Follow the package directions on how to use it.

10. Limit Irrigation 

White grub worms require moisture for a healthy environment to grow successfully.

Therefore, if you limit the amount of water flowing into your garden or over your lawn, you can effectively dry them out.

This will prevent them from moving around easily and eating whatever they come across.

Whatever doesn’t require as much water can be left alone, and you’ll save some money in the process on your water bill. 

What are Grub Worms? 

They are essentially nothing more than small, wriggly larvae laid by adult beetles and hatching out as little white worms.

In all life stages, they’re especially harmful to your garden and need to be dealt with as soon as possible.

They nibble on the roots of your plants. This leads them later in life to chewing up the leaves of your prized garden, harming the plants and their ability to photosynthesize.

They spread like wildfire and once you’ve got them en masse, they’re tricky to exterminate because of how many of them can appear at one time.

Because of their damaging nature, it’s imperative to kill them as soon as they’re spotted. If not, you’ll be in for a rough time dealing with them as they mature.

They’re little ticking time bombs of destruction and mayhem for your harvest, so take these little buggers seriously. 

Signs of Infestation 

You’ll see telltale signs of grub worm damage when you notice dead or damaged patches in your lawn. If it feels spongy and soft to the touch and if you see various wildlife digging at your grass, that’s another indication.

If you happen to pull back a section of grass and can count more than five of them per square foot, you’ve got a fairly significant explosion this year.

This means your lawn likely wasn’t very healthy, to begin with. A healthy grassplot is usually able to withstand such infestations to some degree.

With these signs, it means that they are most likely present in your garden as well.

Droopy leaves, the sudden death of plants, and the appearance of garden moles are all signs of an infestation.

When to Treat for Grubs?

The best time to treat an infestation is before it can happen. It’s usually in the spring or fall when they’ll be most active and feeding. 


The ground grub issue can be a major challenge for any gardener or farmer, and there are so many ways of dealing with them that it’s often hard to choose.

Fortunately, with a little research and experimenting, you’re bound to find the perfect natural remedy for keeping these pests out for good.

Andre Campbell

Organic farmer and co-founder of Dre Campbell Farm. He appreciates everything in nature -- sunshine, plants, animals, and human life.

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