How to Deal with Curl Grubs in your Garden

How to deal with a white grub infestation in soil!

Discoloured patches of turf, dying produce and easy to pull out grass isn’t something you’d want to see in your front lawn or garden beds. All three are signs of a white curl grub infestation, which can destroy the veggie garden you’ve worked so hard for or the lush looks of your front and back yard.

So, if you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned signs let’s see how you can identify a white grub infestation and how to get rid of the destructive pest.


Table of Contents:


White curl grubs identification

How to identify a white curled grub

  • White and plump body
  • Two to three centimetres in size
  • Have grey-ish bottom
  • Have six legs

Curl grubs are the larvae of different species of beetles, including the African Black Beetle and the Christmas Beetle here in Australia. They are white, plump, grow to about 3cm in size, have three pairs of legs and a small orange head.

The easiest way to identify curl grubs is to poke them with a stick. If they curl into a “C” shape you have a curl grub problem on your hands.

What curl grubs feed on?

Curl grubs change their diet in the varying stages of their growth. In their earliest phase, grubs feed on decaying organic matter. Once they become a bit bigger, white grubs will feed on grassroots, as well as roots of vegetables and flowers.

In the late stages, white curl grubs tend to cause the most damage to lawns and garden beds as this is the time when they’re feeding the most.

Curl grubs life-cycle

The life cycle of the curl grub is pretty simple. Adult beetles mate and lay eggs throughout the spring season. Once the grubs hatch they spend the whole summer feeding on your lawns and plants in your garden beds, pupate in the autumn and rest in the winter months.


How to check for a white curl grub infestation

Curl grubs hate when their environment is wet. A simple way to see if you have an ongoing curl grub infestation is to cover a portion of your lawn or garden bed with cardboard after watering.

Leave it overnight and check it the morning after. If you find any white curl grubs present beneath the cardboard covered area, then you have an ongoing infestation.

Keep in mind that one or two grubs aren’t a cause for concern. It’s only normal to have insects in your soil. You should be worried if large amounts are present.


How to get rid of white curl grubs

While curl grubs can cause a lot of damage, they’re pretty easy to deal with. Some DIY pest control methods work well if applied at the right time.

You can effectively control and kill white curl grubs in the soil by applying Neem Oil. The product works by both disrupting the growing stages of the grubs and stopping them from feeding on the sprayed plants.

If you want to use Neem Oil as a grub control method, you should apply it in mid-summer. Spray the lawn or garden bed with the vegetable oil and you should start seeing results within a week. This method can also be applied to affected potted plants as well.

If you don’t have a week to wait, the fastest way is to use pesticides to kill the curl grubs.

How to prevent a curl grub infestation

Like with any other type of infestation, prevention is key. The best way to deal with an infestation is to prevent it in the first place. Maintaining the soil well irrigated can help keep curl grubs away from your property.

Make sure your turf is thick and at a minimum of 5cm in height. This is a great way to ensure grubs won’t lay eggs in your yard.


How Fantastic Services can help you!

Maintaining a lush green turf requires a lot of time and experience. If you just want to kick back and relax in your backyard you can hire professional gardeners to take care of the white curl grubs infesting your lawn.

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Image source: Shutterstock/Erik Kukolowicz

Posted in Gardening Tips

Last update: June 14, 2019

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