Grubby Gardens

Tara from Nova Scotia asked how could she control the grubs in her vegetable garden. This one is a bit tricky.

What are grubs?

Grub worms are the larvae stage of the common summer beetle.

What do they do?

Grubs cause damage to your lawn and garden directly and indirectly. Because they reside in the soil this white, grey or brownish worm goes root browsing, where they feed on the roots of plants causing them to weaken and die. Additionally small rodents like mice, voles and gophers love to feast on these juicy bugs and in the process dig up your gardens to get at them.

How do I treat them?

Ontario recently passed a Province wide pesticide ban for cosmetic purposes. This ban is a great thing for keeping your family and our environment healthy but limits what we can do to combat pest problems in our gardens. Your local garden centre will carry allowable pesticides that may help fight your grub problem. If you are not restricted where you live then a chemical pesticide is the best options to rid your garden of this pest. Grubs cause the most damage when they are hatching, July to September, so this is the best time to apply a chemical pesticide to your garden.

You can also try applying beneficial nematodes to your soil to destroy the worms. These are naturally occurring microscopic worms. Again you should check with your local garden centre to see if they supply them.

Also by combating the beetles at an adult stage with bug attracting zapping lights you reduce the number of eggs being laid.

How can I prevent them in the first place?

Unfortunately you can’t control what others do. If your neighbours have grubs and do nothing about them then in all likelihood you will always have a problem. Grubs are one of the hardest things to get rid of once you have them. Try to keep the soil aerated, fertilized and well watered to produce healthier plants that will be more resistant to the damage done by these horrible bugs.


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