White Grubs | TruGreen

White Grubs

Scleranthus annuus

White Grubs are an extremely common type of lawn-destroying insect that includes a number of different species. Also known as Scleranthus annuus, White Grubs can be found in all different types of grasses all across North America. Eventually, these lawn pests become beetles.




Sub Surface

Sub Surface

There are many, many different species of White Grubs that can damage your lawn. In adult form, grubs are typically easy to distinguish from one another—as larvae, these lawn pests are all fairly similar in appearance. In general, White Grubs have creamy-white to gray-colored bodies, brown heads and six distinct legs. You can usually find them curled up in a C-shaped position in your lawn's soil. The easiest way to identify the different types of White Grubs is to examine the raster patterns on these lawn pests. Raster patterns are a collection of spines, or hairs, found on the underside of the tip of the abdomen. Each kind of grub has a unique raster pattern. Signs of White Grub damage in lawns often resemble signs of drought stress. Watering these areas of your lawn will often mask the injured grass, but not get rid of the lawn-destroying insects. Early symptoms of a White Grub infestation include the gradual thinning, yellowing and wilting of grass. Scattered, irregular or dead patches can also occur. Infested grass typically feels spongy underfoot as it's not well-anchored to the soil due to the grubs feeding on the roots. These areas can easily be pulled up by hand to expose the soil surface—and the feeding grubs. To identify White Grub activity in your lawn, TruGreen® recommends pulling or cutting back the damaged grass and visually checking for grubs near the soil surface. Be aware that animals such as skunks, raccoons and moles feed on grubs—they can cause even more damage to your yard when digging for food. These animals may also return for up to year after the grubs are controlled as they remember where food was found in the past.

Life Cycle

White Grubs are the larva stage of adult beetles. As these lawn pests progress through their life cycles, they become easier to differentiate as adults than as larvae. Some of the more common lawn-destroying species of White Grubs include: • Japanese Beetle • Sugar Cane Grub • European Chafer • Masked Chafer • May/June Beetle • Asiatic Garden Beetle • Oriental Beetle • Green June Beetle


There are two methods for controlling White Grubs that TruGreen® recommends: 1. Use professionally applied pest control designed to prevent excess lawn pest populations, which can cause damage to your lawn 2. Kill insects, grubs and other lawn pests before they have a chance to damage your lawn Proper mowing and watering techniques can also help foster a healthy lawn that's more tolerant to lawn pest attacks—plus you'll get a lawn you'll want to live on in the process.


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