Grub-like Pest In Compost - Knowledgebase Question

Thorndale, PA
Avatar for kevschneider
Question by kevschneider
October 30, 2000
I get great compost but I have what looks like "super grubs" all throughout my compost and thus have to "screen" them out. Could these actually be grubs, just bigger because they are getting nourishment from my compost? What am I doing wrong that they are in my beautiful compost?

Avatar for 2016NGA20e
A comment from 2016NGA20e
February 3, 2018
Agree with NGA that you're not doing anything wrong. Big white grubs that curl up are likely Japanese Beetle grubs - which are probably all throughout your lawn too. They won't hurt your compost, but they do damage to plant roots and leaves. Just crush them when you find them in your compost.

On the other hand, if the grubs are numerous, greyish, and fairly fast moving, they could be black soldier fly larvae. They won't hurt your garden, but they will eat up all your compost and crawl away. You're likely to have them if you compost food or kitchen scraps. I tend to bury my kitchen scraps in the summer to avoid the BSF larvae.

Good luck.

Answer from NGA
October 30, 2000
You are not necessarily doing anything wrong. A compost pile can be a nice breeding ground. There are numerous types of grubs and they come in various sizes depending on the type of beetle. Sometimes turning compost more often and/or using it as soon as it cools rather than warehousing it in the finished state can help reduce the number of them. Covering the pile with a tarp may also help. Screening them and feeding them to the birds is a good solution,too.

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