Herb Garden and White Grubs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Karen Tippin
Posted on: April 26, 2003

I have a question and I was wondering if you can answer it. I just purchased a home and have discovered I have WHITE GRUBS. I would like to plant nothing but a herb garden. Can I do so even with the white grubs? As I can not treat the area of the property until June. I would hate to spend a lot of money just to feed the grubs.

White grubs are the larvae of the june beetle (Phyllophaga spp.). In the larvae or grub stage, they can be very destructive, cutting the stems of plants at the soil surface and eating the roots. Their damage is most apparent in lawns in summer when brown patches develop. White grubs usually can be found in these patches if you dig. The grubs can live for two winters in the soil.

They attack all grasses, grain crops, vegetables such as corn, potatoes and beans, nursery stock, roses and other cultivated plants. Most herbs are likely to be susceptible to white grub damage although we have no specific reports of susceptibility. In our region of southern Ontario white grub activity is sparse and generally limited to lawns which is why we have haven’t had problems with grubs attacking herbs in our gardens. But if your soil is infested and you plant herbs your plants will likely be attacked. You should get the grub problem under control first before planting.

Beneficial nematodes offer excellent natural control of white grubs. We sell a product called "Scanmask" which is easy to apply – you simply sprinkle over the affected area and water. The tiny worm-like nematodes will attack the grubs and kill them. The nematodes are harmless to humans, pets, plants and beneficials such as earthworms, bees and ladybugs. You can order Scanmask online at http://www.richters.com (click on the Online Catalog link and go to the Natural Pest Controls section).

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