Grubs 101 for Indianapolis Lawns

How to Get Rid of Grubs

Grubs are the larvae of various beetles, which include Japanese beetles and “June bugs.” These will often appear white, with dark red-heads and black mandibles. They’re soft and shaped like the letter “C,” with legs near their heads.

The Life Cycle of Grubs

A grub’s lifecycle consists of four stages. These are Egg, Larvae, Pupa, and Adult.


Beetles burrow just below the soil and lay their eggs between June and August.


Just a few weeks after the eggs have been laid; the hungry grub worm will emerge. These newly hatched grubs feed on organic matter in the soil. Mainly grassroots. Grubs stay only a few inches under the soil but will burrow deeper just before the winter months. When the ground starts to thaw, in the spring, the grub will move closer to the surface once again.


Once the larvae have fully developed and completed their feeding stage, the Pupa stage begins. This is when the grub worm develops a casing around itself and changes into an adult beetle. This process takes about three weeks.


After the transformation that occurs during the Pupa stage is finished, the adult beetle will emerge from the soil. Adult beetles will begin feeding on foliage and other organic matter, then mate; completing the life cycle.

The Problem with Grubs

Grubs may seem like harmless creatures; they can cause serious problems. Unfortunately, your lawn’s root system is the grub worm’s main food source. Grubs can ruin your beautiful lawn. It is important to know that everyone has grubs. The problem comes when your lawn has too many grubs. When the amount of grubs is too great in a concentrated area, they can kill large sections of your lawn.

Grubs in dirt.

Grub Prevention

A preventative application can be applied to control the number of grubs in your lawn. This application works by applying an insecticide with a long-lasting residual effect that will kill grubs when they try to eat the grassroots. Check out Lawn Pride’s guaranteed Grub Control Program.

Lawn Pride professional applying grub control

Grub Curative

If grub damage has already occurred; you can stop any further damage with a curative insecticide application. However, the effectiveness of a curative insecticide application is much lower if the grubs have already burrowed deeper in the ground for the winter season.

Grub Damage

Identifying Grub Damage

Unless you want to dig up your entire yard, grubs can be relatively tough to find. However, there are warning signs to help you know if your lawn has been or is at risk of being invaded by these hungry pests.



Beetle on yellow flower Because grubs are the larvae of various beetle species, if you notice increased beetle activity around your landscape, then you are more susceptible to grub damage. Beetles begin mating in late summer and lay their eggs underground to start the vicious cycle of grub infestation once again.




Other Critters

Dirt holes from critters Another telltale sign of grubs is if you have an influx of birds or rodents hanging around your lawn. With grubs being a favorite meal, your yard can quickly turn into a gold mine with birds, moles, groundhogs, and even raccoons feasting on these little hidden treasures.





Dead Grass

Grub Damage There are many reasons for turf to die and having grubs in your lawn is one of them. Grubs munch at the grass’s root system and since roots provide water and essential nutrients to your lawn, it cannot survive without its lifeline. Often, grub damage can be spotted if your grass starts turning brown, and doesn’t change color despite all the watering or rain it receives. If these dead patches start showing up during the summer or early fall, especially if you regularly irrigate your lawn, then the culprit could likely be grubs.



The Carpet-Roll Method

Grub Damage The last, but the most definite way of telling if you have grubs is the carpet-roll method. If you suspect you have a grub infestation, gently lift up the affected area. If the grass easily lifts up and rolls in one piece, then your issue is grubs. Grubs are classified as a below-ground insect and only consume grassroots while keeping the grass and thatch layer intact, making the issue relatively simple to diagnose once the damage has been done.




Need additional help? The experts at Lawn Pride are here to help you get the answers you need. Call us at 317-251-6800.