Q: What are the odd-looking grubs I've been finding? A:
These are beetle larvae. The photo that was sent showed fat little critters about an inch long with golden brown heads, dark gray hind ends, curled on their sides like a letter “C”. Although there are several different types of beetles whose larvae live in the soil, most of the grubs look similar and most eat roots. However, this is not a problem if there are only a few of them. if you find some in your pots or beds, you can just toss them out in some open space for birds to eat. I usually leave most of them alone since many are larvae of the beautiful, iridescent green fruit beetles that buzz around in summer, and I like those. The damage to my plants seems to be very small. No treatment is needed in a lawn if there are 5 or fewer per square foot (dig up a couple of square foot patches to check and then replant the sod). If there are more than 10, then the grass may be in trouble and you may see brown spots appearing in summer. Grubs don’t do well in dry soil, so water your lawn the minimum to see if that takes care of the problem. You might be able to add parasitic nematodes (a type of tiny worm) to the soil. Ask at your local garden center and be sure they are alive when you buy them. If these don’t do the trick, as a last resort, you can try applying a chemical in July or August next year. If you do use one, water it in to encourage the grubs to move up to the wet area. However, the number of grubs varies a lot from year to year, so postpone using chemicals until you are sure you have a persistent problem.