White Grubs in the Garden

Updated November 21, 2016

Gardeners often find insects feeding on their vegetable crops. White grubs are common garden pests. These insects pupate as larvae underneath garden soil and emerge as beetles.


White grubs are medium-sized, C-shaped worms with dark-coloured heads. Grubs vary in size, ranging from ¼ to 2½ inches in length. These insects have wide front legs, which are used for digging in soil. White grubs lay their eggs in the soil, where the eggs remain until the larvae hatch.


White grubs feed on the roots of garden plants and cause significant damage by tunnelling in root zones. Garden plant damage often occurs with as few as three grubs per square foot. Large numbers of grubs can seriously damage plants, turf grass and vegetables.


Preparing garden soil before planting can help reduce white grubs. Several animals, including skunks, raccoons, and birds, feed on grubs, which helps control their numbers. Applying insecticides in granulated form may control white grub populations, as well.

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About the Author

Tracy Hodge has been a professional writer since 2007. She currently writes content for various websites, specializing in health and fitness. Hodge also does ghostwriting projects for books, as well as poetry pieces. She has studied nutrition extensively, especially bodybuilding diets and nutritional supplements.