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Old April 24, 2018   #1
gorbelly
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Default Finding unusually high numbers of grubs? Location: SE PA

I've been noticing really high numbers of grubs this year as I do my weeding and dig planting holes. As in 5 or 6 in every planting hole I dig for my peppers, which are not particularly large holes and one bad cluster of almost a dozen in one. It's strange, because I'll find 1 or 2 in every other hole, usually. I find them more often when digging up turf than when digging in my vegetable beds, but this year, they're all over my veggie beds.

Do they cycle or something?

What might this portend for this season in terms of pest pressures? White/gray beetle grubs all pretty much look the same to me, so I have no idea re: species.
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Old April 24, 2018   #2
brownrexx
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Can you take a picture and maybe we can identify them? Big grubs, little grubs? I found a huge one in my compost pile yesterday but those big ones are usually June Bug larvae.

I am also in SE PA but have not noticed any more grubs than usual. Actually I don't usually see very many grubs but we have skunks patrolling my yard and garden areas nightly and I usually see the little holes from their digging for grubs. I also have hens who are allowed to free range almost daily for 2-3 hrs and they always head for the garden as soon as I let them out of their coop. They LOVE grubs (yuk!) so they might be keeping them in check for me.
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Old April 24, 2018   #3
MissS
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June Bug grubs and Chafer beetle grubs are very hard to differentiate from those of the dreaded Japanese Beetle. They are all the same size. It is very hard to tell the difference until they evolve into an adult.
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Old April 25, 2018   #4
Worth1
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Was last year unusual?
That is when they were out breeding to make this years grubs.
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Old April 25, 2018   #5
PhilaGardener
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I'll have to check things more closely, but anecdotally I noticed several the other day when starting to plant out the garden and thought that a bit unusual. Unfortunately, I don't know a good taxonomic key for the various grubs I encounter.

Not the only possible challenge:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucele.../#7bcff0c7bc16
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Old April 25, 2018   #6
brownrexx
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I thought that the June bug grubs were bigger but maybe not. I guess that you have to cut the butt end of the grub off, stand it on end and look at it under a magnifying glass to tell June bugs, Japanese beetles and chafer beetles apart.

If you really want to know for sure, you can do that. I probably would if I had so many of them.

I'll bet that they are Japanese beetles though. There are always lots of them in PA. They just LOVE my beans but I till in the fall and that brings pupa to the surface for birds to eat so that could partially account for why I don't see as many of them. I leave the soil bare for a few days after tilling before applying my straw mulch for the winter.

Do you till your garden or are you no till?
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Old April 25, 2018   #7
My Foot Smells
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https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef017
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Old April 25, 2018   #8
PhilaGardener
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownrexx View Post
Do you till your garden or are you no till?
I'm slowly converting to no till as I get our clay amended to the point of being reasonably friable. It's only taken 20 years!
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Old April 25, 2018   #9
AlittleSalt
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I removed a large raised bed a shovelful at a time and found a whole lot of grub worms the other day. There are always a lot of June bugs in this area of Texas. It doesn't seem to matter what ground type for grub worms - I've found them in black gumbo, red clay, sandy loam, you name it. I do wonder if they're out in the west Texas desert sand?
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Old April 26, 2018   #10
Nan_PA_6b
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My bug control mostly consists of inviting American Toads onto my property via a small water feature. In the spring, a few sing to attract mates, and toadpoles appear in the water. Nickel sized toadlets appear around the yard and garden, grow into 3 inch toads.

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Old April 26, 2018   #11
dustdevil
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Cutworms are another PITA.
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Old April 29, 2018   #12
Gardeneer
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Last year I noticed a lot of grubs in one area. This year have noticed some in the compost hole. Theyare pretty fat ones, grey backed and white belly. I have no idea what they turn into.
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