Grub control products

Safe, effective grub control products now at Plants Unlimited

Plants Unlimited is pleased to offer two products using the first Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae (Btg) bioinsecticide proven effective against a wide range of white grub species throughout all stages of their development – Phyllom BioProducts’ grubGone and beetleGone.

Better results

Unlike other biological or chemical grub control products, grubGone and its wettable alternative beetleGone provide effective control from larvae to beetle. What’s more, grubGone and beetleGone have a higher level of biological activity than other products and no adverse risks to pollinators or other beneficial insects, including ladybugs.

When used as a foliar spray, beetleGone works well against adult beetles. grubGone is a granular application that targets larvae. Used in conjunction these products have a longer window of use than other products, while also performing better overall.

Many of our customers currently use milky spore (Paenibacillus popilliae, formerly called Bacillus popilliae) for grub control, yet several universities have questioned the overall efficacy of milky spore in New England’s milder climate. (See below for references.)

The charts below summarize the comparative efficacy and other key features of grubGone and milky spore.

Efficacy against common pests


(Bacillus thuringiensis galleriae)

Milky spore
(Paenibacillus popilliae)
Japanese beetle grub Yes Yes
Oriental beetle grub Yes No
Asiatic garden beetle grub Yes No
European chafer Yes No
Northern masked chafer Yes No
Southern masked chafer Yes No
May/June beetle grub Yes No
Green June beetle grub Yes No
Western masked chafer Yes No
Annual bluegrass weevil Suppression No

Note: grubGone has not proven effective against the Colorado potato beetle.

Comparison of key product features

Feature grubGone Milky spore
Overwinters No Not in New England
Controls adults Yes No
Soil temperature range No restriction if grubs are active 60-70 degrees for 3 months
Effective in Northeast US Yes Questionable
Applications per season 1 3
Works in application season Yes No
Works preventatively Yes Yes (after 3 years)
Works curatively Yes No
Shelf life 2+ years Unknown


Support for grubGone and beetleGone

Among the scientific voices supporting the use of these products is Dr Richard Cowles of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Dr Cowles wrote in his article “The Big Picture: Grub control, neonics and bees”, “Phyllom’s Btg products are produced via fermentation like beer, wine or tofu. All ingredients used are food grade and the primary ingredients are plant sources of carbohydrates and protein.”

“Adoption of either of the new white grub insecticides (Bacillus thuringiensis var. galleriae and chlorantraniliprole) over the previous choices is completely compatible with using the lawn as valued forage for pollinators, and eliminates one of the justifications (protecting bees from pesticides) for eliminating blooming plants from lawns.”

- Dr Richard Cowles, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

You can read the full article here: http://www.conngardener.com/images/neonics.pdf


The chart below details product application throughout the Japanese beetle life cycle from grub to beetle. It provides general guidelines for timing of application to ensure the longest window of use. It also helps explain why accuracy of application is so important.

Japanese beetle life cycle and product application

Grub & Beetle Life Cycle

From New York State Integrated Pest Management Program and Cornell University Cooperative Extension. “Grubs in Your Lawn? A guide for lawn care professionals and homeowners”. Available at: https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/43856/grubs-in-lawn-bro-NYSIPM.pdf?sequence=1

Product information is available from Phyllom BioProducts at http://www.phyllombioproducts.com/turf.html


University articles questioning the efficacy of milky spore include:

University of Connecticut Home and Garden Information Center, 2016. “Grub Problems in Turf”. Available at http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/FactSheets/grub-problems-in-turf.php#

Cornell University Turfgrass Program. “Insect Management”. Available athttp://turf.cals.cornell.edu/pests-and-weeds/insect-management/

University of Vermont Extension, 2011. “Identifying and Managing White Grubs in Turf”. Available at http://pss.uvm.edu/pesp/PAR/PAR-2011Spring.pdf

University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 2016. “Pest Management Fact Sheet #5037 – Japanese Beetle”. Available at https://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/ipddl/publications/5037e/

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