How to Kill GRUBS

hgiljrSeptember 23, 2008

So back in June I identified grubs and killed them using Bayers 24 Hour Grub Killer. Well now they are back and even though I can't find this product at my local big name brand store, not sure if I want to use it. I live in SFLA and really need to try to find something to kille them. I read that most of the products to prevent them will not kill them now since they are active. Is there anything I can use? Someone local told me to use Malathion but don't want to use anything that will kill the lawn. Any help or info appreciated. Thanks

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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)


    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:46PM
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Where can I get Dylox by itself? I'm having a hard time finding it locally... Any info appreciated. Thanks

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 7:13PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

Dylox is the chemical name, Merrit is the trade name.

See link for Dylox / Merrit.

Also, read this article -

Here is a link that might be useful: 24-Hour Grub Killer Plus Granules

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 9:00PM
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Definitely read the article Gary mentioned (I linked it below for convenience), great discussion there.

If you can't find Dylox you might try Sevin (carbaryl), which is mentioned in that article too.

Both are pretty nasty, but for active, mature grubs there is nothing else worth trying.

Here is a link that might be useful: grub killer overview

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 9:21PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

I like Sevin because it kills over 90% of earthworm population plus who knows what.... It's about the nastiest stuff you can buy off the shelf at big box stores.

I have plenty of grubs but they don't cause any problem. I have to wonder what exactly is going on in your lawn. My lawn is organically cared for meaning no chemicals at all. Just trying to figure out why you have a problem but I don't with grubs. Maybe it's something else?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 9:37PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

But Lou, you have "devil's weed" and call it grass. Nothing kills that stuff, not even grubs!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 9:43PM
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Lou, I don't like Sevin either, or Dylox for that matter. But when the choice is grub poison or dead lawn, erosion over the winter, and start over next year, that is an easy choice. From a lawncare perspective, earthworm populations are irrelevant if the the lawn has been killed off by grubs.

I have had massive grub damage in the past. In order to avoid the need to use those poisons I use imidacloprid as a preventative in early July. The stuff is much less harmful to earthworms than those others, but only works as a preventative. If you have never had massive grub damage you might not see the value in using that. But I do.

Yes, milky spore (only for Japanese beetles, and only after a few seasons of application) and yes, nematodes (which are also specific to the actual beetles that happen to fly into your lawn). But my local extension office tells me that milky spore does not work well here, and I am not about to try netting and dissecting all of the beetles flying around in May and June in order to figure out which nematodes to buy.

If you don't have a grub problem in your "organic" lawn, it is either because you are using a combination of milky spore and nematodes that luckily seem to be working against your particular pests, or you just don't have those pests - yet. But regardless it has nothing at all to do with fertilizing with grains, or brewing the perfect compost tea, or mowing high and mulching, or any other "organic" practice. Which I am sure are what you are about to suggest as grub control measures.

I'm just saying that when folks here present real grub problems in spring or fall, you could at least recognize that the only solutions - at that point - are synthetic pesticides like Dylox and Sevin. Any other advice, again, at that point, will result in a dead lawn. You might also be up front about the difficulties in combining milky spore and nematodes in an effective way when you don't know exactly what sort of grubs you have, and of the seasons long delay in milky spore even becoming somewhat effective against even just the japanese beetle.

/off soapbox


    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 10:01PM
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Question - what else do those chemicals kill and after a one-shot deal, can you go back to organic or is that option lost forever?

My ideal is an organically cared for lawn. However, this place was neglected so long it became a Field of Weeds. And now I'm discovering, GRUBS. The new lawn is doing well for the most part, but there are a couple of questionable patches. I assume they're due to grubs because in other places where I still have just dirt, I often dig them up. And we saw adults (and their holes) about a month or two ago.

I'm hesitant to use anything too toxic for a variety of reasons, one of which is not wanting to kill all my plants. The other is wanting to go back to a more organic approach once I get rid of these pests. I fear the nematodes may not be sufficient.

How variable is the egg color? When digging up a carolina jessamine that didn't make it (only plant of about 20 that didn't do well), I found a bunch of yellow egg-looking things...but I have read that grub eggs are white. These were definitely yellow almost brown. Could these be grubs and could this be what killed that plant?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:08PM
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I can't answer all of your questions, but I can say that even using Dylox or Sevin you can immediately go back to organic lawn maintenance, and the idea of organic lawncare is most certainly NOT lost forever. Many of the soil organisms will have been killed or set back by that stuff for sure, but the remainder will start to thrive and multiply, and you will get new organisms every day even just from the wind. It may take a few weeks, though, before your new populations of organisms can absorb whatever organic ferts you plan to put down afterwards. If you are concerned, use the poison, then a synthetic fert, and then resume the regular organic fert program, maybe next spring.

Think of it this way: if this were not true, then every lawn out there that ever received this stuff would have massive deposits of not-broken-down organic matter, and they would be growing higher by a a foot or two every year. But they don't, which means that microbes are eating the detritus. And which also means that plenty of them survived the poision

Yes, Sevin and Dylox are nasty things, and there is a lot of scaremongering out there trying to prevent you from using the stuff. But the fact is that both of those (and particularly Dylox) break down fast in the soil, and the so-called "soilfoodweb" always recovers. And that is true whether or not you "inoculate" the soil with compost tea or whatever, and always faster than the "organic" folks would predict if you don't.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:31PM
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Thanks for all your help. I am going once again with the Bayer product, will do it tomorrow. Per Bayer support they said to do it about every 10 days to make sure they are dead. Will get back to everyone on the results.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 9:15PM
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gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)

I used the Bayer product last year, and it didn't kill the grubs for me either. I do know you have to water it in thoroughly, or it doesn't get down to the soil level where the grubs actually are.

It's also supposed to kill ants. I had a couple giant ant mounds in my yard too, and it didn't kill them either. So I'm not too impressed with it.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 9:38PM
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I'm in the Greater Boston area and found a grub infestation in my back lawn. I've seen lots of grubs and want to kill / slow them down as much as possible and reapply in August. Dylox/Merit or Sevin will be question is - When can I plant my grass seed after applying the pesticide? Different "professionals" give different answers and no two have given the same answer...ow long do you have to wait before trying to grow grass?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 4:00PM
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I used Bayer 24 Hour Grub Killer with fantastic results! Every grub is dead and my lawn looks beautiful again. I highly recommend it, and think Bayer products are the best. Check out for more info. Also, Rompun by Bayer is a great way to calm down an unruly or hyperactive pet. Check out the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stevie's helpful hints

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 2:33PM
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