Signs of Grubs on a Lawn

Top 4 Signs of Grubs on a Lawn

Maintaining a healthy lawn has become difficult due to the onslaught of grass diseases. Fortunately, most of these lawn annoyances are apparent, except for grub infestation.

Grub is an excellent description for these ruthless critters, whose grip on your lawn can swiftly progress from worrying to horrific. These squishy little scumbags consume your grass quickly. Your lawn can look lush and inviting one day and then turn brown, parched, and wilted the next.

The worst aspect about a grub invasion is that you won’t realize it’s happening until it’s too late. This is why knowing the signs of grubs on a lawn will play an important role.

Here are the five best signs of grubs on lawns. But, before we dig at these signs, let’s find out if grubs are as harmful as everyone claims.

Is grub a foe or a friend

We usually take immediate control steps when we spot one grub on our lawn. On the contrary, grubs are a positive indicator that your lawn is productive and well aerated.

Not all grubs, though, are friendly. There are approximately 10 species of grubs, three of which are known to be harmful to lawns.

The good news is that grubs are only damaging lawns in large quantities, so if you only see one per square foot, don’t be afraid.


Signs of grubs on a lawn

1. Spongy tuft

Grubs are beetle larvae that feed on your grass’s roots.

The grubs will dig deep into the lawn soil, eating away at the roots and generating a spongy effect when you walk on it because there will be nothing anchoring it. You may also roll your lawn like a carpet when the grub invasion is heavy.

The sponginess is the first clue that grubs have attacked the lawn. You may confirm this by tugging on the grass and seeing if it comes out readily or rolls easily.

2. Thinning and browning of grass

A lawn with a root problem will appear frail. Your healthy grass will thin quickly since the grubs will gnaw on your lawn root, causing fading. The grass thins down quickly; no, this is not lawn baldness; the patchy brown pattern clearly indicates grubs destroying your lawn’s root structure.

Without strong roots to keep the blades shiny and green, they will die, leaving a wide circular or irregular brown patch of thinned-out parts on your lawn.

3. Presence of other critters

On their route to adulthood, the grubs attract various predators, from birds to tiny mammals. These predators will dig up your lawn in quest of these easy treats.

If you notice an increase in the activity of other critters on your lawn, there must be a reason for their visits. Grubs are a popular diet for many creatures, so keep looking for voles, raccoons, birds, and moles since they are the best and most dependable sign of grubs on your lawn.

Remember that shooing them away when you observe birds or raccoons in your yard will not fix the problem. Deal with the grubs to keep other animals at bay.

See also: How to keep raccoons from digging your grass

4. Beetles hovering on your grass

Grubs are young beetles, so if you notice beetles buzzing around your grass, it warns of an approaching grub infestation. The beetles fly at grass level, looking for healthy lawns to feed their young. They will deposit eggs on your grass, hatching them into grubs later.

Although bugs lingering over your lawn is not always a sure warning because not all beetle species destroy your grass. However, it is best to be prepared and keep a watch out for low-flying insects.

Have you spotted the grubs on your lawn?

Seeing is believing; if you spot grubs on your lawn, you will have the right answer to your question. Spotting grubs is not that easy since they spend most of their time underground nibbling the roots of your grass.

So, to check for grubs, you will have to pick a shove and roll your sleeves. However, you should keep in mind that a few grubs on your lawn are normal and does not necessarily warrant a control measure.

This makes knowing how to correctly check for grubs on the lawn important.

See also: How does fungal damage differ from grub damage in lawns

How to check for grubs on the lawn

When you are up against a massive army of grubs, all they need is one night to kill your lawn. No wonder these tiny fat squishy worms looking like pests are feared by many homeowners.

Additionally, their silent attacks and the confusing symptoms they exhibit pose a challenge in identifying that you have a grub invasion. But when you see some of the surefire signs mentioned above, then it’s time you take a closer look.

Here is how to check for grubs on the lawn.

Step 1:

The greatest time to scout your lawn for grubs is during the warm weather when the grubs are most active. As a result, it is recommended to investigate grub-infested areas between September and August.

Let’s grab a shovel and go grub hunting. Begin by selecting various areas and cutting approximately an inch deep.

Step 2:

Remove the turf to reveal the soil beneath and inspect for grubs.

Step 3:

Count the grubs if there are any. Less than 5 grubs per square require no control measures, whereas more than 5 necessitate rapid intervention.

Step 4:

Replace the squares with sod and thoroughly water them to prevent drying.

Grub season has arrived, and recognizing the signs of grubs in lawns will spare your lawn from their merciless fangs.

Since grubs normally hide beneath the earth, we only detect their presence when it’s too late. As a result, when our lawns begin to turn brown, we frequently treat the wrong ailment.

Digging around the discolored grass to check for grubs is a good habit. However, use the above signals to watch for any signs of grubs on a lawn.


University of Maryland Extension: Fall turf grass problems? Grubs might be the culprit.


  • Jannete

    My name is Jannete, and I'm passionate about all things related to gardening and the outdoors. I love spending time in my garden, tending to my flowers and vegetables, and I also enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, hiking and camping. As an author who writes about lawn care, landscaping, gardening, and the outdoors, I have been in the business for over five years and have seen it all regarding yards. I met Ricky from We Mow Dallas at a networking event for small business owners. We started a conversation, and I could tell he genuinely loved and appreciated his work. Ricky is a second-generation lawn care provider and told me his story. We collaborated because we share a passion for the outdoors and lawn care. In my articles, I share my knowledge and experience on lawn mowing, watering, fertilizing, and other aspects of lawn care. I also write about gardening tips, landscaping ideas, and ways to enjoy the outdoors. I hope every reader will learn from my success and failures in the lawn care and landscaping industry. I believe that everyone has the potential to create a beautiful outdoor space, and I am passionate about helping people to realise that potential. Whether you are looking to start your garden or want to maintain a healthy lawn, I can offer you advice and guidance based on my extensive experience. So if you are ever in need of some expert lawn care advice, check out our We Mow Dallas Articles. You won't be disappointed.

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