Are Grub Worms Harmful to Dogs? (Stop Pet From Eating)

White grubs are widespread in lawns and gardens. These plump, C-shaped larvae feed on plant roots underneath. Grub worms may harm pets and plants, so it’s important to understand their effects. In this blog post, we will delve into the question “are grub worms harmful to dogs” and explore effective methods of white grub control to maintain the well-being of your furry friends and cherished plants.

Are Grub Worms Harmful to Dogs?

Grub worms are not inherently toxic or poisonous to dogs. In fact, they can be safely consumed by both humans and animals if they are from sterilized soil. However, it’s important to consider some factors that could potentially be harmful to your dog if they consume grub worms. Grubs attract other pests that eat them, such as moles and skunks. But, as Pest Samurai points out, grub worms are neither poisonous or ,detrimental to people or animals in and of themselves. As long as they come from sterile soil, they may really be eaten safely by both people and dogs.

Lets learn more about them.

What are Grub Worms?

Some beetle species, such as Japanese beetles, June beetles, European chafers, and others, have larval life stages that are similar to grub worms. These tiny, white, C-shaped pests may be a prevalent issue for lawns in the Intermountain West and other areas because they feed on grass roots. Grubs are voracious feeders, feeding all summer long and even into the autumn, which may seriously harm a lawn.

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Thankfully, there are methods for eliminating grub worms and keeping them from harming your lawn. Using nematodes, good bacteria, or even certain kinds of plants are some natural grub control strategies. For individuals who choose a more forceful approach, chemical insecticides are also offered. But, since these pesticides might damage other helpful insects and pollinators, it’s crucial to apply them cautiously and in accordance with all recommendations. Additionally, it’s essential to consider the potential impact on our furry friends. As responsible pet owners, we should be aware that grub worms can be harmful to dogs if ingested. Therefore, it’s important to take precautions and ensure that our canine companions are not exposed to areas where grub worms are present.

Managing grub worms also requires prevention. Beetles wanting to deposit their eggs may be deterred from choosing your lawn if it is kept healthy with regular watering, mowing, and fertilizer. Also, avoiding overwatering and maintaining low thatch levels helps deter grubs from establishing themselves in your lawn.

Are Grub Worms Harmful to Dogs

Specification Description
Size Between 1 and 2 inches long, and 0.5 to 1 inch wide
Color Dark brown or black head and a lighter brown or cream-colored body
Texture Smooth and firm
Habitat Soil-dwelling, found in compost heaps, lawns, and gardens
Diet Feed on plant roots and decaying organic matter
Life cycle Complete metamorphosis with egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages
Predators Birds, rodents, and other insectivores
Benefits Important decomposers in ecosystems, provide food for wildlife
Risks Can damage crops and turfgrass, may attract unwanted wildlife to gardens
Control Biological controls such as nematodes or bacterial sprays, or physical controls such as handpicking or applying insecticides


Are Grub Worms Dangerous?

SFGATE claims that garden grubs may be dangerous to your garden since they can seriously destroy the roots of your grass and other plants. They may also attract other pests that eat them, such as moles and skunks. But, as Pest Samurai points out, grub worms are neither poisonous or ,detrimental to people or animals in and of themselves. As long as they come from sterile soil, they may really be eaten safely by both people and dogs. Grub worms consume the dirt they live in, therefore it’s crucial to make sure the soil is safe to eat before eating them, according to the University of Florida Entomology & Nematology.

According to and, the grubs have a lesser detrimental effect on lawns.

According to the information provided on, white grubs are recognized as the most damaging pests to home lawns in Connecticut.


Are Grub Worms Dangerous
Cindy kuiphuis, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

According to Love and Kisses Pet Sitting, if a dog consumes grub worms, nothing will likely happen. Grub worms on their own are entirely safe and may even boost your pet’s diet. It is essential to remember that certain animals may be sensitive to or allergic to specific species of insects, so it is always better to keep an eye on your pet and to see a veterinarian if you detect any strange symptoms.

There are several techniques for eradicating grub worms if you are a gardener and worried about the harm they could do to your grass. The usage of nematodes, milky spore, and chemical pesticides are just a few of the natural and chemical options for properly getting rid of grub worms, according to Smart Gardening. However, before using any treatments to get rid of grub worms in your garden, make sure you thoroughly read the directions and safety warnings. It’s also important to consider the potential impact on your pets, especially dogs. Grub worms can be harmful to dogs if ingested, so take necessary precautions to prevent your furry friends from coming into contact with treated areas or consuming contaminated soil. By being mindful of your pets’ safety and following recommended guidelines, you can effectively address grub worm infestations while keeping your dogs out of harm’s way.

Are Grub Worms Poisonous?

According to SFGATE, Grub worms alone are not poisonous, safe and a rich source of protein, but consuming them might cause upset stomach or diarrhea in certain dogs, particularly if the soil is tainted with pesticides or other pollutants. As a result, it’s critical to confirm that the grubs come from sterilized soil.

According to Love and Kisses Pet Sitting, a dog eating grub worms is most likely to result in nothing. Grubs are a healthy protein source and absolutely safe. But, if your dog consumes tainted grubs, issues may arise. If your dog successfully digs up grubs, according to Wag Walking, they’ll probably attempt to eat them. As grubs are harmless to dogs, this is not a cause for alarm. The grubs might upset your stomach, however, if they came from polluted soil.

Grubs are really a healthy treat for dogs, according to My Dog Guide, and they are safe to consume. There are, however, a few additional considerations. Grubs consume a wide variety of substances, including poisons, therefore if they come from polluted soil, dogs may suffer as a result. Moreover, excessive grub consumption in dogs may cause upset stomach or diarrhea.

According to JustAnswer, many of the substances used to destroy grubs may be poisonous to dogs, making it possible that killing them might be worse for the dog than eating it. In order to prevent your dog from eating too many grubs, it is essential to keep an eye on him. Dogs may eat grub worms because they find them appetizing, but this should be discouraged as much as possible, particularly if the grubs come from polluted soil, according to ThriftyFun. It’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with dogs consuming grub worms, as they can be harmful to their health. By taking preventive measures and discouraging your dog from ingesting these worms, you can help ensure their well-being and minimize any potential harm that may arise from the presence of grub worms in your yard.

Although eating grubs is not particularly harmful for dogs, some dog owners claim their pets have had stomach discomfort or diarrhea as a result of doing so, according to All About Worms. You should keep an eye on your dog’s health if he consumes a lot of grubs. According to Grubbly Farms, grubs are a hypoallergenic and highly digestible source of protein for dogs, but they should only be purchased from reliable vendors who can guarantee that they come from sterile soil.

Nonetheless, Can Dogs Eat It? argues that even while grub worms are not hazardous to dogs, they may be infected with parasites and chemicals from the soil. As a result, it’s advised to never give them to dogs. Last but not least, Dog Breed Cartoon cautions that although though grub worms are neither dangerous or harmful by nature, consuming them may cause diarrhea or other digestive problems in certain dogs, particularly if the soil is tainted with pesticides or other pollutants.

What Do Grub Worms Turn Into?
David Cappaert, Michigan State University,, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Can Dogs Eat Grub Worms?

The University of Florida Entomology & Nematology claims that grubs are safe for consumption by both people and dogs. It’s crucial to remember that this is only accurate if they originate from soil that has been sterilized. The grub worms eat the soil they reside in as they grow by digging through it. The grubs may get polluted if the soil is contaminated with pesticides, chemicals, or parasites.

Beetle larvae known as grub worms may be found in many gardens and lawns, where they eat soil organic materials and roots. It’s not unusual for dogs to want to eat these worms while they’re digging in the yard since they may be drawn to the fragrance and feel of them.

While grub worms are typically healthy for dogs, it’s still a good idea to keep a watch on them if they have a tendency to eat things they shouldn’t. Your dog can have stomach distress, such as vomiting or diarrhea, if you see them consuming a lot of grub. It is recommended to speak with your veterinarian if this occurs.

It’s also important to keep in mind that many products used to kill grubs may be poisonous to dogs, meaning that killing them may be worse for your pet than eating them. It’s crucial to prioritize the safety of your dog when dealing with grub infestations. Instead of resorting to potentially harmful chemical pesticides, consider using natural pest management strategies like nematodes or helpful insects to control the grubs in your yard. These methods are safer for both your pets and the environment. By opting for natural alternatives and consulting with professionals, you can effectively manage grubs without putting your dog’s health at risk.

How to stop dogs digging for grubs?

Dogs are often attracted by the scent and movement of grubs, leading them to dig. Here are some methods to deter your dog from this behavior:

  • Grub Control: The most straightforward approach is to eliminate the grubs from your garden. Use a grub-specific insecticide for this purpose. Ensure to follow the product instructions and keep your dog away from the treated area until it’s deemed safe.
  • Dog Training: Teach your dog to respond to commands like “leave it” or “no dig”. Use these commands when you catch them digging and reward their obedience.
  • Engagement: Keep your dog engaged with a variety of toys and activities. This can serve as a distraction from the grubs.
  • Designated Digging Spot: If your dog is fond of digging, allocate a specific area in your garden for this purpose. Bury some toys in this spot to motivate your dog to dig there instead of grub-infested areas.

how to stop dogs digging for grubs


Can dogs smell grubs?

Indeed, dogs possess an exceptional sense of smell, enabling them to detect grubs in the soil. This is typically what prompts them to dig.

can dogs smell grubs


How to stop my dog from eating worms?

Dogs might eat worms due to nutritional deficiencies, boredom, or mere curiosity. Here’s how to prevent this:

  • Nutrition: Ensure your dog’s diet is balanced and nutrient-rich. Consult your vet for dietary advice if needed.
  • Distraction and Redirection: If you notice your dog about to consume a worm, distract them with a toy or treat, then divert their attention elsewhere.
  • Yard Maintenance: Regular yard cleanups can help remove worms or other insects that your dog might be tempted to eat.
  • Obedience Training: Teach your dog the command “leave it”. Use this when they attempt to eat a worm.

Always consult a vet if your dog’s behavior changes suddenly or if they fall ill.

how to stop my dog from eating worms

Are grub worms harmful to plants?

By feeding on the roots of your lawn and developing into adult beetles that consume the leaves of other plants, grub worms, which are the larval stage of beetles and chafers, may harm the plants in your garden. Especially in the late summer and autumn, when the larvae are most active, grub worms may significantly harm a lawn. The grass may become thinner and weaker as a result, opening it susceptible to disease and other pests. Grub worms may harm the stems and leaves of different plants in a vegetable garden, which is a huge hassle for many farmers.

Many homeowners choose to use a chemical grub control solution, often known as a grub killer, on their lawn once or twice a year. The use of milky spore, Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), or helpful nematodes, all of which are organic and risk-free for plants, animals, and people, are some natural methods to get rid of grub worms in your lawn and garden. Helpful nematodes hunt for and destroy grubs and other soil-dwelling insects by releasing bacterium that kills the larvae. Although Bt is a natural bacterial pesticide that targets the larvae of several insects, including grubs, milky spore disease is a bacterium that infects and kills Japanese beetle grubs.

Not all kinds of grub worms consume turf grass roots, and some may have beneficial functions in the environment. Among of the 12 grub species that may be found in North Texas, only two actively consume the roots of turf grass. In addition, grub worms may be consumed safely by both humans and animals provided they come from sterilized soil and are not hazardous to ingest. Consequently, before choosing a management strategy, it’s necessary to take into account the particular species of grub worm and the level of the harm they’re creating.

How to get rid of grub worms in garden?

How to Control Grub Worms and Beetles
CSIRO, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are several natural ways to get rid of grub worms in your garden.

  1. Introducing natural predators that will consume the grubs is one successful strategy. Birds, moles, and skunks are just a few of the numerous natural enemies of grubs. You may lower the grub population by luring these predators to your garden.
  2. Limiting the amount of wetness in your garden is another method of grub management. Grubs enjoy moist soil, so using less water may prevent them from settling in your garden. Milky spore, a bacteria that infects and kills grubs, is another option. The use of this technique is environmentally friendly and may eventually help your garden have fewer grubs. Check out Get milky spore from here.
  3. Natural pesticides that are effective against grubs include neem oil and azadirachtin. To eliminate the grubs and stop them from returning, these products may be sprayed directly into the soil. Another all-natural method for getting rid of grubs is to introduce helpful nematodes. By introducing bacteria into their bodies, these tiny worms may kill grubs. Here you can check out the pesticide for grub control.
  4. Borax may also be used to create a DIY grub killer. Spray your lawn or garden with a mixture of water and borax. This technique causes the grubs to starve to death by interfering with their digestive system.
  5. Lastly, dethatching and aerating your lawn may also help reduce grubs. You may make the environment less conducive for grubs to dwell in by removing thatch and loosening the soil. If all else fails, grubs may be eliminated with the chemical pesticide carbaryl.

Are Grub Worms Harmful to Lawns?

By feeding on the roots of your grass, grubs may harm a lawn. Although all grass may handle some grub feeding, better grass can accept more. How damaging are grubs to the lawn, then? The response is based on how bad the infestation is. Large dead spots in the lawn may result from the damage if it is not repaired. Thus, it’s crucial to spot grub infestations quickly and cure them.

The most effective strategy for treating grub worms in your lawn will depend on how bad the infestation is. Using helpful nematodes is one method for getting rid of grub worms. These beneficial nematodes hunt for and consume grubs and other soil-dwelling insects. They arrive on a sponge and are undetectable to the human eye. Another option for treating grub worms is using pesticides designed specifically for them. However, it’s important to be cautious when using these pesticides, as they may have harmful effects on beneficial insects and, importantly, dogs. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the potential impact on our canine companions when applying any pesticides.

Maintaining a healthy lawn is vital to preventing pests. This entails giving your lawn regular irrigation and fertilization, mowing at the appropriate height, and seeing to correct drainage. A healthy lawn is less prone to pests and can sustain occasional grub feeding. By implementing these measures and considering the potential harm that grub worms may pose to dogs, we can ensure a thriving and safe environment for both our lawns and our beloved pets.

Frequently asked question about Are Grub Worms Dangerous

Are grub worms harmful to plants?

Yes, grub worms can be harmful to plants. According to SFGATE, garden grubs may kill lawns by feasting on the roots of the grass. By feeding on the roots of other plants, such as flowers and vegetable crops, grub worms may also harm them.

What do grub worms turn into?

Grub worms turn into pupae after finishing the larval stage, and eventually adult beetles emerge from the ground. The larval stage of certain scarab beetles is known as grub worms. According to Bioadvanced, grub worms go through four phases in their life cycle: egg, larva (grub), pupa, and adult beetle. Read the full article from here.

How to get rid of grub worms?

There are a number of strategies you may attempt to get rid of grub worms. Using a grub control product, according to Sod Solutions, is one method of controlling grub worms. These products include pesticides that go after beetle larvae before they really harm the grass. Another approach is to control grub worm numbers naturally by introducing nematodes, milky spore, or helpful bacteria to the soil. While thatch might foster the perfect habitat for grubs, you can also try eliminating it from your grass.

Will Epsom salt kill grub worms?

Epsom salt is not likely to kill grub worms. Epsom salt is not an insecticide that can successfully control or kill grub worms, despite the fact that it may assist to enhance soil fertility and provide vital nutrients for plants. To get rid of grub worms, it is preferable to utilize natural remedies or specialist grub control treatments. Read more on this topic.

Where do grub worms come from?

Grub worms come from eggs laid by adult beetles. Beetles deposit their eggs in the soil, and when the eggs hatch, they develop into larvae or grub worms, according to SFGATE. Depending on the location and environment, different species of beetles lay their eggs at various times of the year. The larvae, sometimes known as grub worms, then consume soil organic materials and roots as they grow and evolve into pupae and ultimately adult beetles.

Do grub worms bite?

Grub worms are the larvae of beetles and do not bite humans or animals. They lack teeth that can bite, therefore they mostly eat plant roots and decomposing organic substances in the soil. On lawns, gardens, and agricultural areas, grub worms are often seen. By feeding on the roots of plants, they may harm them. Grub worms are not dangerous to people, despite the fact that they have the capacity to harm plants. However, it’s important to note that while grub worms may not directly harm humans, it’s crucial to consider their potential impact on our pets, especially dogs. Grub worms can be harmful to dogs if ingested in large quantities, leading to stomach distress and digestive issues. As responsible pet owners, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on our dogs and discourage them from consuming grub worms. By taking precautions and implementing effective grub control strategies, we can create a safe environment for both our plants and our furry companions.

Are grubs poisonous to humans?

Grub worms are not poisonous to humans. They are not known to contain any toxins or compounds that are dangerous and might affect one’s health. It’s crucial to remember that certain grub worm-emerging beetle species, such blister beetles, may be poisonous to both people and animals. Cantharidin, a chemical found in blister beetles, may lead to skin blisters, inflammation, and other health issues. It is always advisable to refrain from handling a beetle if you are unclear of its identify and to see an expert.

Do I need to worry about grubs?

Grub worms, known for causing damage to lawns, gardens, and agricultural crops by feeding on plant roots, are typically not a significant hazard to humans or animals. This includes dogs, thus answering the concern if grub worms are harmful to dogs – the answer is generally no. Still, if symptoms of grub damage are apparent in your lawn or garden, such as brown patches of grass or withering plants, it may be necessary to take steps to control the infestation. Management strategies may encompass the use of pesticides or organic control methods such as beneficial nematodes. However, it’s essential to be aware that insecticides can harm beneficial insects and other species. Therefore, it’s critical to use these products strictly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to mitigate potential environmental damage.

Can I touch a grub worm?

Yes, you can touch a grub worm. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to use gloves while handling grub worms in your garden to prevent any possible allergies or rashes. Grub worms may be slippery, so it’s important to handle them carefully to prevent dropping or crushing them.

What do grubs do to humans?

Grub worms do not do anything to humans. They pose no health risks and are not hazardous. Grubs may only potentially harm people by destroying gardens and lawns, which may need treatment to stop future harm. Grub worms do not represent a serious hazard to human health or safety since they are not known to transmit any parasites or illnesses that may infect people or other animals.


In conclusion, grub worms may hurt pets and plants, although not all instances are urgent. Grub worms may attract dogs owing to their aroma or curiosity, but they pose little danger unless they eat a lot of them. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your dogs and discourage digging or eating strange items.

Biological agents, cultural approaches, and targeted pesticides may control mild grub worm infestations in plants. Proper grass care, including watering and fertilizer, may help reduce grub worm numbers. These methods provide effective means of managing grub worms while minimizing harm to pets and plants.

Monitoring, prevention, and targeted treatments are essential to keeping your pets and plants healthy. By being educated and using proper white grub management, you may enjoy a flourishing garden and your animal pets without stress. It’s crucial to consider the potential impact of grub worms on dogs, as they can be harmful to their health if consumed. Therefore, it’s important to take necessary precautions to prevent your dogs from coming into contact with grub worms or eating them. Taking proactive measures and implementing appropriate strategies ensure a harmonious environment where both your pets and plants can thrive, free from the harmful effects of grub worms on dogs.

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

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