En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - March 09, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Grubworms in Austin Flower Bed
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

How do I get rid of grubworms in my flower beds?

ANSWER:

Hi Ladies!   Mr Smarty Plants is happy to hear from you!

   Grubworms seems to be the topic of the moment around here.   I was listening to the weekend gardening radio shows and I think each of the hosts had a question about burgeoning populations of grub worms.

  My favorite answers that I heard were to dig them up and feed them to the chickens and/or use them for fish bait!

   More seriously, Mr Smarty Plants has a good prior answer to this question.  It can be found here.  In that, they recommend the City of Austin publication "Earth-wise Guide to Lawn Problems". I also found two  A&M references, one to their fieldguide website and another to an excellent publication.  I also found two good discussions on the web, one from life123.com and one at gardeningknowhow.

   Of course, we have a go-natural bent.  All of these publications have treatment with beneficial nematodes as a preferred treatment.  Follow the application directions given, but be aware that these living creatures need careful treatment.  At the store they should be kept in a refrigerator to extend their effective lifetime.  When you apply them, the flower bed should already be watered [1/4-1/2”] and the nematodes should be applied in the late afternoon to evening so they aren’t cooked by the sun before they get into your soil.  Once there though they make life difficult for the grubworms!  Two other recommended natural treatments are a bacteria called “Milky Spore Disease” and applying Neem oil.

Good Luck getting rid of those grub worms!

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Yellowing of leaves in Texas Mountain Laurel from Austin
June 25, 2012 - I planted a Texas Mountain Laurel in my Austin, TX yard this January. The tree was good sized (about 5 feet tall) when I planted it. Recently the leaves of the tree have started to turn yellow alon...
view the full question and answer

Leaves turning brown in Fredonia KS
June 16, 2009 - Leaves turning brown.
view the full question and answer

Esperanza with rust spots in Corpus Christi, TX
November 30, 2009 - I have a young esperanza plant and the leaves have what looks like rust spots all over them. What is the cause of this and what can I do for it? My other larger and older esperanza does not have this....
view the full question and answer

Mice eating seeds put out for birds
June 02, 2008 - I love feeding the wild birds and put out seed in our backyard. Now, I have a family of mice eating the seed and they are living in the trunk of our elm tree! How can I get rid of them without killi...
view the full question and answer

Willow woes in Philadelphia, NY
August 22, 2010 - I have a 2 yr old willow; it is August and it looks like the tree has gone dormant, is this normal?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center