Though your grass may look normal, it could have grub damage. Grubs are the larvae stage of beetles that leave irregular brown patches on your grass that watering won't remove. Another tell-tale sign of grubs is more birds, moles, and skunks in your yard than usual. These creatures feed on grubs. If grubs have invaded your lawn, you will likely have to patch and reseed. Here are some tips to repair the damage.

Remove Dead Grass

Early fall or early spring is the best time to repair grub damage.

  • Remove the dead grass with a rake working across the yard and raising up to pull old grass.
  • Dispose of the old grass in a lawn bag.
  • If the thatches are thick, cut them with a spade. The dead grass remnants are safe to use for a compost pile.

Use a Lawn Aerator

Rent an aerator from you local garden center or hardware store. An aerator works like a lawn mower removing small chunks of grass. Run it over your lawn once. 

Aerating your lawn will help treatments work better and keep the lawn healthy by allowing more room for nutrients to enter the soil. Walk across your lawn several times with spiked garden sandals after aerating. Though the effectiveness of spiked shoes is debatable, a university study found walking over the lawn three to five times in them further reduces grub population.


  • Measure the square footage of the lawn to determine how much seed you will need for each damaged area.
  • Keep a bucket of soapy water handy for removing any grubs you find while you work.
  • Break up 1/4 level of dirt so the seeds can settle in the surface. 
  • Add a high-phosphorus fertilizer to help grow healthy roots. Bone meal is a good choice for fertilizer.
  • Plant the seeds evenly covering them with a small amount of straw for protection from wind and to help them hold moisture.
  • Plant 16 seeds per square inch with enough space so each seed can get equal nutrients, but don't plant them so far apart as to cause weak growth.

Water the Lawn

Water the whole lawn and the reseeded areas three to four times daily until the grass is two inches. You will only need to water once daily after it reaches two inches. Avoid using too much water. Mow the lawn once grass gets three to four inches and water only during dry weather.

To prevent future infestations of grubs, buy grub layer preventative and spread it on your lawn in early June. You should treat the grubs before repairing the damages. If you haven't effectively treated grubs, you will need professional lawn care service such as