Curl grubs! Any worm friendly suggestions?

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Curl grubs! Any worm friendly suggestions?

Postby Lara » Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:29 pm

Hi there, I'm having a curl grub dilemmna. These guys get into my pots and garden beds (I don't have lawn) and kill my plants, esp. the natives :cry:. I have tried flooding them out but the birds don't seem to be very good at cleaning up. I read something about plastic sheeting but this isn't viable as the areas are too heavily planted. I haven't used poisons yet because I fear for the earthworms whom are my dearest friends. Anyone have any worm friendly suggestions? Will a molasses concoction hurt them? Cheers, Lara.
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Postby aquarium » Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:26 pm

i noticed quite a few grubs back when i was using artificial fertilizer for the lawn "weed'n'feed". the chemical fertilizers might make the grass tops look lush but, lurking beneath is souring soil and shallow/weak roots. the grubs favored such an environment. i haven't seed any grubs since i started feeding the lawn organically. i've recently dug a hole in the lawn for a duck pond...zero grubs.
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Postby midgin » Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:37 pm

Hi Lara, curl grubs are the bane of my life........... I have tried various things and researched the net to no avail.
If either of us do find a solution... lets share the 'news', thanks.
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Postby Lara » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:23 pm

Found something called "Milky spore" (Bacillus popilliae) which is a biological control for curl grub on the web. Looks pretty good and doesn't hurt anything else (eg. birds who eat dead grubs). Just don't know if it's available in Australia.
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Postby Bertha » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:59 am

i've recently dug a hole in the lawn for a duck pond...
:shock:

You big softy you, Aquarium! :P
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Curl Grubs

Postby Sheila » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:42 pm

What do these look like and have they another name? When in Tasmania we had some grubs that would eat the grass roots leaving the grass on top dead. There was a very expensive bottle of 'chemical' but I found that scattering dry detergent on the grass and watering into the holes brought the nasties up then I collected them, put them on to the concrete and the birds loved them. I think they were called 'Corby' crubs
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Postby midgin » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:00 pm

Lara wrote:Found something called "Milky spore" (Bacillus popilliae) which is a biological control for curl grub on the web. Looks pretty good and doesn't hurt anything else (eg. birds who eat dead grubs). Just don't know if it's available in Australia.



That sounds interesting Lara.... lets hope it leads somehere.......
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Postby Sam » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:10 pm

We've had a few discussions about curl grubs before.

Try this thread:

url=http://www.gardenexpress.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1553&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Good luck!
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Postby Lara » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:46 pm

Thanks all, read about the laundry powder trick before but unfortunately this also kills the worms, will consider if I can't find an alternative! Not sure what the botanic name for curl grub is, they are the larvae of beetles, also called Lawn grub or C grub that I've heard of, you could google the botanical name. Already read that previous thread before I posted, I'm hoping someone might have had a stroke of brilliance since then! :D
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Postby aquarium » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:07 pm

Bertha wrote:
i've recently dug a hole in the lawn for a duck pond...
:shock:

You big softy you, Aquarium! :P


now i'm the sucker who has to drain the filthy water by bucket and put in fresh water. mind you, the stinky water is a good liquid fert.
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Postby Bertha » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:34 pm

Well, it's up to you, :P but I think Lucky's idea of the ex-sandpit has merits, especially the shell-shaped ones... 8) bit easier to drain... :P having "bucketed" a couple of plants thru' some hot waterless summers, I'm not real keen on buckets any more... :roll:
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Postby aquarium » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:08 pm

yep...it's the shell shaped kiddie sandpit type i have. takes about 50 litres = 5 full buckets filled by using a plastic ice-cream container. i've sunk the "pond" into the soil for easy access for the ducks. it's too heavy to lift without breaking it or my back. btw the ducks love to make holes in the soil and strain the soil in the water, hence why it gets filthy quickly. i've made some surrounds with boards but they would need to be perfectly joined for the ducks not to dig between them....sigh. still have to make them a not-expensive weather shelter, become laying den.
anyway...this is way off topic now.
seriously the curl grubs multiply quickly when you get weak lawn roots..by using artificial fertilizers. some wasps feed on the grubs. reducing/stopping the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers will go a long way to providing a "balanced" system whereby the grubs are no longer an issue.
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Postby Bertha » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:18 pm

Aquarium, she is getting the curl grubs in her pots and garden beds, as she does not have a lawn...

What do curl grubs grow up into, as a matter of interest?
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Postby aquarium » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:37 pm

african beetles or field cockchafers or other such similar beetles.
some of them do feed mostly on decaying matter.
hmm...pots...drown the buggers.
in the garden....unless seen doing damage to plants/vegies...do nothing
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Postby midgin » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:49 am

In one pot alone I had 27 of the little buggers..... chewing away (sorry to repeat myself...those who have heard this tale before) and a beautiful, white standard Azalea was destroyed by the munchers. (The Azalea was with my other two I have shown pics of). They do not touch our grass, probably having a preference for my garden plants!!
When I dig in the garden I find heaps....some as fat as my thumb.
I try not to use any chemicals in my garden... and I don't want to kill the worms. So, I am in a quandary. :?:
"In grief, the world looks poor and empty. In depression, the person feels poor and empty".
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Postby The Estate » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:36 am

Many years ago I lost quite a few of my first standard roses planted becuae of these little buggers :cry:
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Postby aquarium » Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:52 pm

from my experience and reading, the grubs prefer acidic conditions...which azaleas also enjoy :(
you can tell whether you have acidic soil by either doing a ph test or if you observe thatch building up in lawn...as acidic conditions slow down or even prevent biological breakdown of matter. if you do have a generally acidic soil, and not too many azaleas/camellias/etc planted around the place, then a good addition of dolomite all over the garden soil will add the needed calcium and make the conditions much less to the grubs liking. once their numbers are reduced in the general garden, there won't be many to infect your pots.
as a temporary measure for the pots: submerge in water for a few hours...so the curl grubs drown.
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Postby midgin » Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:12 pm

Thanks Aq. I have a tester gizmo and most of our soil is neutral...moving slightly to acidic. I must re-test as since I now get heaps and heaps of leaf ;litter and compost from R the gutter man... the PH of the soil may have altered. I have far too many pots for soaking.... at times I have wondered if my leaf litter and our trees attract the beetle. :?:
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