Grubs in Clay

Asked December 21, 2019, 2:21 PM EST

What is the best way to get rid of grubs in compacted clay soil? They are attacking shrub and tree roots.

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

5 Responses

Thank you for your question. Are you certain you have grubs? These are the larval stage of beetles that eat grass roots: Larvae attacking other plants are likely a different species, and you should contact the Extension office nearest you for help: Good luck!

Thanks for the response, Kristena. When I removed the shrub, there were white grubs in the surrounding soil. I will contact the local Extension office for additional information.


Good! A picture (or an examination) is worth a thousand words!

Hi Kristena -

Here are 2 pictures of the roots and a picture of the healthy evergreen shrub. I hope they help.


The healthy shrub looks like a yew. The roots in the photos do not show evidence of grub feeding. The roots look like they were subject to root rot.

If the roots were yews, we have seen a lot of Yews die from the extreme wet weather we had last year and into this spring. They do not like to be in saturated soil and last year's rains were excessive.