How and when to Get Rid of Grubs.
Naturally Nematodes!





Allow me to introduce you to my friend.  The grub.  As is often the case with my friends, I’m going to have to kill him.  It was this little creature that did this to my lawn …


Grub Damage


Grubs are larvae of different insects.  The European Chafer, or Japanese Beetles, or whatever else.  No matter what larvae they are from, grubs are hungry little creeps.  They’re grazers that line up to chew on your lawn roots the way old people line up for Crab night at The Mandarin.

All it takes is a couple of seasons with these grubs to destroy an entire lawn from the underside up.  They just keep eating and eating and eating your lawn roots until the lawn says “Forget this … death would be easier“.  And it up and dies.

I’ve had grubs for years and every year my lawn gets worse and worse.  But grub control is one of those weird things that has to be done with very specific products, at certain times of the year.  It’s a process

So this year, what with fixing up the front yard and everything, I decided it was time to figure out how and when to get rid of these stupid, swollen, wet, wormy things.

My first thought was to hold a “Survivor-style” contest on the street and see who could eat the most amount of them, but even though I put out a signup sheet on a clipboard with a pen attached to it all professional like, no one signed up.  Apparently my neighbours aren’t any fun.  Or adventurous.  Or maybe they’re all just full.

So I went to my local garden centre and asked a girl I know and trust, what I should do.


That’s what she told me.  Nematodes.  It rang a bell, but I had her further explain.  Nematodes are a natural, chemical free way to get rid of grubs.   My suspicion flags immediately went up.  ALARM, ALARM … Green bug control never works!  Slowly back away.  Leave now!

But I heard her out and then went home and did some research.  Turns out …. Nematodes really work.  They’re the #1 chemical free way to get rid of grubs along with many other destructive bugs.  If you’re looking for a chemical application,  check out Merit Grub control.  (It’s almost 100% effective.)

So what is a nematode?  Nematodes are microscopic worms.  You apply them to your soil or lawn and the nematodes work their way down into the subsurface where they make their way into the offending bug.  In my case, grubs.  Within 24-48 hours, the grubs they came in contact with are dead.  Simple as that.

Grub control with Nematodes takes place at the beginning of May and late August to Early October.  Twice a year.  Once when the grubs in your lawn are just coming up to the surface prior to turning into whatever bug they’re going to turn into (May), and once when the new eggs have hatched and the new population of grubs is feasting (August – October).   If you only think to put nematode control down once, the later application in August or October is the best time.  Past October the grubs burrow deeper into the soil where they’re harder for the nematodes to find and kill them.

So there you have it.  Get rid of those gross grubs that gorge on your grass.  Grimmediately.





One package of Nematodes like this costs $25 and will treat 2,000 – 4,000 square feet of lawn.  You can order Nematodes on the Internet or find them in a cooler at your garden centre.  Note all of the pests it gets rid of.  Even termites!



Nematodes 2

When you open the cardboard box up, inside will be a baggie with a damp sponge inside.


After packaging, the Nematodes work their way into the damp sponge and hang out.  As soon as you unfold the sponge you’ll see them.  They look like a mush blob.


Nematodes 5

Pour about a gallon of water into a bucket and put your sponge in and swish it around vigorously.  Stretch and pull the sponge.  You’re trying to get all of the Nematodes out.  Swish, swish, swish.  This bucket is now your concentrate of Nematodes.


You can either apply them with a Nematode sprayer that gets attached to your hose, or … if you have a smaller lawn, just water them in with a watering can.   Fill up your watering can and then add around a cup of the Nematode concentrate.



Nematodes 1

If you use the watering can method, remember to shake your can of water every so often to make sure the Nematodes are evenly distributed.  Otherwise they’ll all just sink to the bottom.  Now just walk around your lawn and water!

Nematodes 4

Your package of Nematodes will come with full instructions.

I’ll leave the signup sheet on the fence, just in case …


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  1. Cathy says:

    Once you spray down the nematodes, do you have to repeat this process each year. Do the nematodes live, year long, year after year?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy! It depends on where you live and how bad the nematodes are. Sometimes the slugs come right back. They just munch their way over from the neighbour’s yard. :/ I don’t do it every year, but I probably should. ~ karen!

  2. Carlies Longbottom says:

    White Milky Spore works the same way but has the added benefit of surviving extreme hot and freezing conditions.
    That means once you have treated your lawn for two seasons you’re good for 10 years!
    But you can’t get it in Canada even though it is a natural biological organism like Nematodes.
    Why not I want to know?

    • Karen says:

      I’m not sure. It could be because there are too many areas it won’t work in in Canada so it’s not as effective as nematodes for us. Also it only controls Japanese Beetle grubs, as opposed to all other grubs like chafers. There are a variety of nematodes being sold (I believe at Costco) that are cold hardy for Canada. ~ karen!

  3. Sydney E Elser says:

    MUCH needed ! Thank you for this.
    And you are hilarious. Very entertaining read !

  4. Michele says:

    Not gonna happen in Florida! Love reading your blog though ❤️

  5. Lisa Berg says:

    My only concern is, I have 3 dogs and 2 cats, isn’t nematodes a round worm. If my animals are laying in the grass can they get round worms after application?

  6. Paula says:

    My chickens love them!

  7. Janet Sullenberger says:

    I have an above ground veg garden. This year while planting I noticed these little pests. Took them on a trip to my nursery and was told that no one in Las Vegas has an organic substance to get rid of them and was told that I would have to order on line. I didn’t notice that I had grubs last year or the year before, but, do this year. I would like to get something, but, do not know how or where. Can you please tell me so that I can get rid of them as soon as possible.

  8. Leora says:

    WOW just what I was seearching for. Came here by searching
    for garden

  9. Lynn says:

    So Karen, it is now the middle of October in Nebraska. We just got mole activity in our lawn the last few days.
    Would it be a waste of time to put the nematodes down now? Should I just wait til May & do the application then. I hate to spend the money & time on this if it is a mission in futility. We have not had a mole problem for years. I hate to lose my lawn. Help!

    • Karen says:

      Hmm. Well have you dug to see if you actually have grubs? The mole’s technically could be going for something else. I’d give a dig to first see if you have grubs and if you do I’d wait until spring to apply the nematodes. ~ karen!

  10. Jenny Forte says:

    Love these posts, which are most helpful. Ordered my neems the other day, but unfortunately, they won’t arrive until the 12th. I’m okay, though, as long as I can see a light at the end of the grub rainbow. My yard is beautiful, but the Japanese beetles are killing me! Actually, my roses and callas. I tried chemicals, but it really doesn’t work very well, and did a bit of research, which lead me to nematodes. I’m praying this works, because I enjoy sitting out back enjoying the flowers and birds. Your posts are giving me confidence that I can control the grub problem. Thanks to all!!!! May you enjoy a grubless year! Oh, and me, too!

  11. Fran says:

    Where can you get this stuff at? I so need it bad.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Fran. Garden centres carry nematodes. You usually have to ask for them though because they’re kept in a refrigerator. ~ karen!

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  13. Just a quick note. If you are converting your lawn to a garden area, nematodes are a must. After you pull your lawn out or kill it off, make sure that you use the nematodes in the fall and in the spring. If you don’t, your garden will be full of them. The part of my garden that we did no use nematodes probably has one grub every 4 inches. It is saturated with them. We have had to treat for two years.

    We do the gardening method. One thing we learned is if you have chickens, and you let them out in the fall, the will dig down and make a major dent in your grub population. They think the grubs are New York Steak!

    I have never seen nematodes do any damage to my worm population.

  14. Lezlie says:

    My garden area would look so empty if I didn’t plant my tomatoes in it, which is why your info is a fantastic help to me! (These plants all came from my little greenhouse ;))

  15. Lezlie says:

    Oh, and, by the way; I’ve read the articles about eggshells deterring Grubbs. The majority consensus is that eggshells attract Grubbs. Only when the shells are left in larger pieces do they combat Grubbs, because they slice n dice the little pests’ outer “skin” as they crawl thru/over the larger shells.


  16. Lezlie says:

    A thousand thank yous for this info! I’ve been witnessing the food chain for a few years, now: the moles that push up my lawn, plowing all over for their feast of Grubbs.
    I’m a beginner gardener.
    I have tomato plants, still in containers, that I’m afraid to place into the ground….fear of these Grubbs ruining my first-year of dirt under my nails.
    I’ve actually been considering putting out crushed egg shells laced with dry yeast, on the opposite side of my property.
    Egg shells to draw, yeast for the natural rupture, once they ingest.

    1K Thanx!

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome Lezlie! And for the record, tomatoes actually really like growing in pots, so no need to worry about that. :) (granted they need to be bigger ones than you brought them home from the garden centre in). ~ karen!

  17. Tracy says:

    Are these the same Nematodes that knot up roots and end up killing vegetables? If it is you might want to note that. Its very hard to get rid of nematodes once they are in the soil. They have destroyed many hard working gardens…. Just a thought.

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