June Bug Grub Control

Okay, help. I’m having a bad B horror movie over here. I went to dig up my raised bed, in order to get ready to plant my tomatoes. Good thing I did. Good news: Filled with earthworms so much so, I can see the casings in the soil mix. Wonderful. Bad news: I have just about as many June bug grubs. Hundreds. I’m trying to dig out as many as I possibly can, but I know I won’t find them all, and it’s going to take me at least 3 days to do that. What can I safely put down (besides Milky Spore, which is going to take a couple of years) to get rid of any remaining grubs, and still plant my tomatoes? I’d like to spare all my lovely earthworms, since they’re doing such an admirable job on my soil. BUMMER.

Patty S.

Beetlejus from Gardens Alive, I think @Drew51 might have mentioned using it

Gardens Alive

Yes, it is one product and it is organic and expensive. I’m trying it again this year. Beetlejus is for live beetles, for the grubs use this, it is a new strain of BT.

It is not meant for gardens though. I would think as grubs usually eat grass roots, and are not usually in gardens. I got some while on sale for Japanese beetle grubs. I heard from master gardeners it will kill just about any beetle grub.
It should be safe to use as the product for live beetles is safe to use on edibles and it is the same BT strain
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) galleriae.

I can’t say how effective it is. I used it on live Japanese beetles and still can’t say as new ones hatch daily here. They were extremely bad last year!
Milky spore is not an option as it only infects Japanese beetles.
You could try nematodes too, many places sell them.
Gardens Alive does too

Thanks, Drew. I’ve read a bit online about these grubs, and from what I’m reading, they only feed on decaying organic matter. But, there are SO many of them, I think I should continue digging them out of my bed. I have an 8’ x 4’ raised bed. About 12" - 15" of soil. I’ve gone through 1/2 of the bed, and I think I’ve probably dug out about 300 to 500 grubs. So, I’m going to order the nematodes (what I also found as safe to use), and I think this year I’m going to mulch with newspaper. That might help keep the adults from re-laying in the bed this season.

Now, I need to go take a shower. And, hopefully forget about what I just saw, so I won’t have nightmares tonight. :scream:

Find a kid who likes bugs, like mine!


don’t judge me, I like squishing the grubs with my garden gloves :sunglasses:

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Way, way too many to squish. But, I did leave about 100 out for my birds to chow down on.

Patty S.


You know Patty, they could have been hundred of Figeater Beetle grubs :tired_face: These guys are an inch+ long!

OMG. :scream::scream::scream: Mine looked like that, only not as long. There are just some insects that I cannot stand to touch, look at, deal with, etc. Grubs are up there, almost as bad as tomato hornworms. Which are at the top of Creepsville for me. My hubby took pity on me, and dug out the rest of the bed, when I went inside to get dinner ready. Bless his heart. He’ll get some nice tomatoes out of the deal! I’m going to mulch around my tomato plants with newspaper, hoping that will keep down the grubs, along with the nematodes. Oh ick. Ick, ick, ick.

A chicken or two will help with those grubs :wink:

Chickens = coyote bait. And, chickens = chicken feed = rodents. So, no chickens for me, sadly. We have a very, very large coyote population here. I have coyotes trolling my back fence 2 to 4 times a day. Plus, our HOA does not allow chickens. I would dearly love to have Araucanas, and would even petition to change our CC&R’s, but the coyotes and rats prevent the option, here :frowning:

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Closed minded HOA :slightly_smiling: its a shame your HOA has a open policy on rats and coyotes. Those blue egg chickens are freaky, strange critters.


That is the cutest little pest control I have ever seen.

Gotta train my grandkids to take up the skill.


Well, we’re a very small HOA (23 homeowners), and most likely, if we wanted, we could easily amend our CC&R’s, but I haven’t bothered, because I really don’t want to have to build a coyote-proof/weasel-proof/bobcat-proof, mountain lion-proof 6 sided chicken coop and run. It would be a major endeavor, and I don’t really have a good spot for a coop and run of that size in my yard. And, I struggle to keep my rodent population down as it is, so putting out chicken feed would be insanity for me, sadly. I have chicken coop envy every time I see puglover’s awesome coop, have to say.

You’d change your mind if you saw mine. Damaged a knee this fall and couldn’t clean out the coop, I think I have most of my years’ fertilizer stored in there, I have 50+ birds so, well you know…
We had a mouse problem until I put a small night light in the coop. The girls took care of the mice in a couple days. Nothing worse for a chicken than mouse burps :smile:


I did not know a chicken would eat a mouse.

You would not want to loose consciousness and fall in a chicken coop. Just like hogs, not as quick :frowning:


I kept a small flock of bantams for ten years, mostly they free ranged and I would shut them up at night. i never saw one eat a mouse but I did see about every type of predator try and eat them :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Mine are production RI reds, bigger birds and are semi aggresive hunters. Mice would be easy supper. My Buff Orpington is bigger and more aggresive than the RI’s. She’ll hurt you if you reach under her!

I know this is an older thread and I doubt it will be much help to Patty, but I just had the most amazing discovery and just had to share it.

The last few days the June Bugs have REALLY figured out how much they like figs and have started eating them just about the time they get ripe. They are so good at it that I haven’t had a fresh fig for almost a week now…all the brown ones get completely covered by June bugs and devoured before they are ripe enough to eat.

Out of sheer frustration, I decided to just sprinkle a liberal dose of Sevin Dust all over the plant and the figs, and quite a bit of it fell on the ground under the plants. I know I shouldn’t/couldn’t eat the figs with all that dust on them, but I just had to fight back and not let the bugs have free reign. Well, that was 3 days ago and today I looked at the 3 plants I dusted and was blown away by what I saw! First, there are dead June Bugs everywhere. That isn’t such a shock since they clearly continued to eat the figs- dust and all. But what BLEW MY MIND is that all of a sudden, HUNDREDS (I’m not exaggerating) of June Bug Grubs dug themselves out of the ground and then died!!! The area under these figs (and ONLY the ones I dusted, so I’m sure that is what did it since I have the exact same kind of figs, same dirt, same everything on several figs near by that I didn’t dust and which don’t have dead bugs or grubs) is absolutely covered with little holes and then dead grubs either near the holes or- in some cases- about half in and half out…died before they could dig out. Others crawled a few inches. SOme died in their holes.

Now, what is so amazing about this is that we haven’t had any rain since the dust hit the ground. SO for the life of me I cannot figure out how the dust made it the 1-3 inches of depth required to affect the grubs and make them crawl out and die. We get major dew so that could do it I suppose?

Anyone ever seen or heard anything like this? Here is a very close-up shot of a random 4 square inch area. The entire area under the figs looks like this, so imagine multiplying this little square into the 10 square feet or so under my plants and you can imagine the magnitude of the deaths!!! WOW!