Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Film growing on prickly pear from Austin
September 28, 2012 - We've just xeriscaped our front & back yards. Two of the spineless prickly pear cacti have a beige film growing on the paddles. The film is now moving further up the cactus, and one of the upper pad...
view the full question and answer

Carolina buckthorn and Neem Oil Spray Damage
April 27, 2015 - It's April, I have a Carolina buckthorn that seemed to be doing well, about 8 feet tall, about 2 years old in part shade. It was putting out new leaves about a month ago and seemed to have infestati...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Japanese privet from Glendale AZ
December 26, 2012 - We have Japanese privet shrub and they seem to be suffering from a disease, need help.
view the full question and answer

Problems with Fantex ash in Pahrump NV
April 08, 2010 - We planted a Fantex Ash tree over 3 years ago and it was thriving until recently. This year when the temperature began to warm up, it blossomed and then suddenly stopped growing. All the other trees...
view the full question and answer

Unknown ailment of Turk's cap in northeast Texas
July 01, 2013 - I just moved from the Dallas area to Emory in the north east part. I brought two young Turk's cap plants in pots. I had to leave the mother plant behind. The tops have a very curled and shrunken a...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.