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INSECTICIDES FOR CONTROL OF WHITE GRUBS* IN KENTUCKY TURFGRASS
*(Masked chafers, Japanese beetle, Green June beetle, May beetle, Black turfgrass ataenius)

By Michael F. Potter and Daniel A. Potter, Entomologists

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture


The following table lists insecticides currently available for controlling white grubs in Kentucky. Detailed information on biology and management of white grubs is provided in University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service publication ENT-10: Controlling White Grubs in Turfgrass. Consult label for detailed directions on use rates, mixing, and proper application.

Chemical Name Brand Name Formulation1 Comments2
Preventive Control Products listed for preventive control have long soil residual and are meant to be applied before a potential grub problem develops. They are most suited for high-risk sites with a history of grub problems, or where heavy beetle activity was noted.
Imidacloprid Merit, Bayer Advanced Lawn Season-long Grub Control G,WP Merit (professional use) and Bayer Advanced (homeowner use) are effective against young, newly hatched grubs. Can be applied between May 15 and mid-July, although optimum treatment period is mid-June to mid-July. Ineffective as curative or "rescue" treatment against large grubs.
Halofenozide Mach 2, Scott's Grub Ex G, L Mach 2 (professional use) and Scott's Grub Ex are effective against young grubs. Timing is the same as for Merit (see above). May also be used for early curative control although is slower and generally less effective than trichlorfon against large grubs.
Curative Control Products listed for curative control are normally applied in August or September, after the eggs have hatched and grubs are present.
Trichlorfon Dylox, Bayer Advanced 24-hour Grub Control G, SP Professional and homeowner use. Good for rescue treatments against larger grubs. Relatively good at penetrating thatch.
Carbaryl Sevin G, L Professional and homeowner use. Very toxic to earthworms. Generally less effective than trichlorfon
Biological/Microbial Insecticides The following products are derived from living organisms. In general, they tend to be less reliable than conventional insecticides for control of white grubs.
Milky disease
(Bacillus popilliae)
Milky Spore Powder Poor performance in Kentucky field trials. (Labeled for Japanese beetles only).
Entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernema carpocapsae, S. glaseri, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora) Several products  Requires moisture for optimum performance. Do not apply when weather conditions are hot and/or dry. Inconsistent in Kentucky field trials.
1Abbreviations: G=granule; L=Liquid; SP=soluble powder; WP=wettable powder.

2Consult label for detailed directions on use rates, mixing and proper application. Some products have restrictions on where they can be applied.


Trade names are used as examples. No endorsement is intended, nor criticism implied of similar products not named. Always read and follow directions on the label.


Issued: 7/99
Revised: 6/05


CAUTION! Pesticide recommendations in this publication are registered for use in Kentucky, USA ONLY! The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local county agent or regulatory official before using any pesticide mentioned in this publication.

Of course, ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS FOR SAFE USE OF ANY PESTICIDE!


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This page is maintained by Pat Dillon, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky. Please send questions or suggestions to: pdillon@uky.edu