The Q&A Archives: Troublesome Grubs

Question: I am trying to come up with a way to get rid of Japanese Beetle Grubs that are infesting my property. I'm wondering if there are any chemical free options. Milky Spore Disease hasn't even worked. My soil is very sandy and low in organic matter, so I was wondering if I will have fewer grubs when my soil is richer?

Answer: Japanese beetles are a difficult pest to control. Your best bet is a two-prong approach: one to deal with the larvae, one to deal with the adults.

Japanese beetle grubs are best controlled by spraying beneficial nematodes on the lawn and garden area. These microscopic worm-like creatures attack only the grubs in the soil and not plants, animals or humans. Spray them in spring when the temperatures are above 55F and you should see a difference this summer. You can buy the beneficial nematodes from, Gardeners Supply co, 128 Intervale Rd. Burlington, VT 05401 (800-863-1700).

For adult beetles, I'd try a new product called whole neem oil. This is different than the Bioneem in that it is a stronger concentration of this organic spray. It's available from Greenlight Co., Box 17985, San Antonio, TX 78217, (210-494-3481).

Organic mulches can harbor the insects, but in the case of your sandy soil, you'll be doing your plants a favor by amending it with aged-compost or other organic matter prior to planting this spring.

Hope the above helps!

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