found grub worms in my vegetable garden

by Holly Wyman

I was working in my small veggie garden and while digging to add more plants/vegetables I ended up digging up grub worms, but ONLY 2 so far and I did A LOT of digging around the vegetables that are already there. ALL my plants (cucumbers, zuccinni, tomato, peas, beans, romaine, etc.) look AMAZINGLY well, BUT... upon finding these GROSS worms I am MORTIFIED and am worried they MIGHT start on my BEAUTIFUL plants!! PLEASE help. I only found 1 grub worm NEAR my squash plant BUT am sure there are more. What can I do? I heard moth balls help? Of course I am looking for a NATURAL remedy and NOTHING harsh!! Please advise w/ the BEST possible info. I DON"T know if this email is going to cost ANYTHING BUT i CANNOT afford to pay for advice. Thank YOU in advance and look forward to your help & guidence! God Bless, Holly Wyman

Comments for found grub worms in my vegetable garden

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Jun 18, 2011
Grub Worms
by: Kiwi George

Hi Holly, I would love to help if I can but I do not know what a "Grub Worm" is. Perhaps if you can give the botanical name I may have a remedy.
God Bless to you and yours from me and mine
Kiwi George

Jun 20, 2011
Controlling grubs in garden and lawns
by: Megan

I call these grass grubs. We have a native grass grub here in NZ that comes from the scarab beetle. They are the reason that the birds, especially blackbirds mess up lawns in winter as they dig down to get these grubs. The local university landscaped grounds have large patches of decimated lawns each year as the birds have a field day. They need a good lecture!

In other countries, grub worms or white worms are similar and can be the grub of several beetles, most commonly the iridescent, brown and green Japanese beetle. The grubs hatch about mid summer and the beetles fly around and eat leaves, particularly of roses, some fruit trees, grapes, maples and many other leafy plants and weeds.

Over 4-6 weeks female Japanese beetles go through many cycles of eating, mating then burrowing deep into the soil to lay eggs, particularly in grassy hills, paddocks and lawns. In late summer to autumn/fall, the eggs develop into larvae (grubs) and wriggle upwards to feed on plant roots and other organic soil contents. Once the grubs have eaten enough and are mature, they then burrow down into the soil to overwinter.

When the soil is warm enough in spring, the grubs head upwards again, pupate into adults (beetles) and take off to feed on leaves.

Milky Spore Disease (Bacillus popilliae), is a recognised control for grass grubs/grub worms/white worms and can be bought online or in garden stores. Soak it into the grub infested soil at their feeding stage, and the grubs ingest it, whereupon the bacteria become alive and cause the grubs to starve and die. These bacteria stay in the soil, and in fact most soils already have some Milky Spore bacteria in them, so if you add more it helps control these grubs.

Other control methods are Beneficial Nematodes and natural predators like parasitic wasps, birds, many good beetles, and even ants will seek out the eggs. Neem oil is also recommended for grubs, but it although it's natural it will kill other insects, so don't use it on your vegetable or flower garden, only use it sparingly on lawns if you really have to.

A few grubs will not be a problem and not worth the effort and challenges to control and kill them because more will always fly in each year from outside areas. If you find one or more grubs in each handful of soil, that's getting to be an infestation which may need action. A popular control method with many people is to simply go out at night with a torch and pick off the beetles from plants and squash them or flick them into a bucket of soapy water. Check the tops of bushes and plants where they congregate and start their feasting. ~ Megan

Oct 01, 2012
Grub Worms
by: Kat

I have a raised vegetable garden. When I cleaned the dead plants out of it today, I found grub worms. Today, October 1, I removed by hand at least 60 baby and full sized white grubs in a 12 X 5 ft raised garden. Does anyone think this is enough to control them. I would rather not put anything in my vegetable garden. I heard nematodes are not good to use for vegetable gardens. Any comments or advice?

May 30, 2013
kat 60
by: j

Wow 60 kat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 30, 2013
60 grubs
by: Anonymous

Yes, 60. My son and I went through the garden soil twice. The second time we found only two. Since my two gardens are in 12 x 5 ft boxes, I may just physically remove them. It wasn't too difficult and the soil got tilled at the same time.

May 30, 2013
Grub Worms
by: Kiwi George

Hi Holly. I would love to help but i am unsure what a "Grub Worm" is. I am a 100% organic No-Dig gardener and accordingly have many types of "bugs' in my garden as the sea weed, horse manure, sheep manure etc I process therough my compost heaps produce many bugs but I find that treatment with liquid seaweed foliar feed and seaweed mulching seems to keep them at bay. Do you have a horticultural name for your "Grub Worms" as i may have something in my notes which is a specific cure for your grubs.
Kiwi George

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