Can Grub Worms Eat Vegetable Roots?

You don’t want their larvae living or the bugs in your backyard although particular beetles were once considered by the Egyptians sacred. Beetle larvae are voracious eaters that feed on a broad assortment of plant roots, including vegetables, fruits and turf grass. Transplants and young seedlings are susceptible to feeding damage, but various control methods can allow you to get rid of backyard grubs and protect your vegetable crops.

About Grubs

White grubs are the larvae of various beetle species, including Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica), masked chafers (Cyclocephala spp.) and May or June beetles (Phyllophaga spp.) . Grubs vary in appearance according to species, but typically range to 1-1/2 inches in length and have white to gray bodies with heads. Most species pops up into the shape of a”C” when disturbed. Once mature beetles mate in the spring, females lay approximately 15 to 20 eggs to 8 inches. The eggs hatch and the grubs munch on the surrounding roots and plant parts during the summertime. The grubs emerge in the spring to keep feeding, after overwintering beneath the soil. This cycle continues until a grub reaches maturity and pupates in its year, typically into adulthood.

Grub Damage

Grubs have life cycles that allow them to do great damage to your own vegetable plants until they become adults if left untreated. Feeding activity can cause surface scars and shallow holes . Plants can experience wilting, stunted growth or even death, and mature plants suffer with big grub populations. Before you even know you have a problem, because they concentrate on their work plants can be quickly damaged by them. Damage takes place when grub-infested garden regions attract predators, including birds, skunks, armadillos and raccoons, while digging up the pests, some of which might injure your vegetable plants.

Cultural Control Methods

By eliminating potential overwintering sites, Avoid grub infestations. Eliminate old garden plants and until the soil to a depth of approximately 7 inches after harvesting your final crop. Wait two to three weeks and until again. Cultivate the soil again in the spring, tilling approximately two inches. (This helps expose hibernating grubs into the elements and hungry predators. Look for grubs beneath vegetable plant leaves and round the stems at the soil line. Wearing gloves to protect your skin from possible irritation, remove grubs you find and drop them in a bucket of soapy water. Handpicking is very time-consuming, although effective and has to be done for pest control that is optimal.

Utilizing Milky Spore Disease

Inoculating garden soil with bacterial spores of Bacillus popilliae, commonly referred to as milky spore disease, can help you achieve grub control. After grubs eat the spores the bacteria multiply inside the larvae. Affected pests expire in approximately seven days. As a lifeless decomposes, it release the spores back into the soil for beetle larvae to eat. Read and follow the directions on a producer’s tag because instructions vary. 1 product advocates using a spreader to evenly put milky spore disease granules across regions that are growing. Water the bacterial spores into the soil within 24 hours of application. Apply milky spore disease bacterium in summer, the spring and fall for two years in a row to let the fleas actually build up in the soil. Following that, the illness self-perpetuates, and the treatments can provide you over 10 years of grub control.

Grub Prevention

Grub worm infestations by adult beetle people on your own vegetable garden. The females are kept by spreading row covers from laying eggs in the soil, as does handpicking the adults and dropping them. Place the row covers until seedlings emerge, but remove them so insects can reach the blossoms if the plants begin blooming. Oil is. Before using, carefully read and follow the application instructions and safety precautions on the label of the product. 1 neem oil product advocates thoroughly mixing two tablespoons of oil concentrate. Use a garden sprayer that is handheld to thoroughly moisten all plant surfaces. Till you no more spot any adult beetles, repeat treatments.

A Few Considerations

Neem oil is toxic to honeybees, although milky spore disease won’t hurt any insects that are beneficial. Plants with neem oil in the morning or around dusk to avoid spraying on the pollinators and minimize the danger of leaf burn. Keep pets and relatives out of the treatment area until the oil spray dries. Though not harmful to pets or people, neem oil and spore disease treatments can nevertheless cause skin and eye irritation on contact. Wear a face mask, goggles, work gloves, long sleeves, socks and pants with shoes.

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