En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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


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


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

Problems with Purple Heart in Raleigh, NC
December 24, 2014 - I was hoping you could help me with an indoor/outdoor houseplant issue. I have a purple heart, that lives outside in the summers and indoors in the winters. I brought it in a few weeks ago and am no...
view the full question and answer

Problems with yaupon from San Angelo TX
April 08, 2012 - We have a 3-yr-old yaupon holly entering its 3rd summer. We have put store-bought wood-chips under the tree several times since it was planted. A plant has grown under the tree, possibly out of the ...
view the full question and answer

Small oak tree with powdery mildew in San Antonio, TX.
May 09, 2012 - I have a small oak tree with powdery mildew. Is there anything I can do about? Will it kill the tree?
view the full question and answer

Something eating holes in Texas Betony from Austin
June 06, 2012 - What pest is eating holes in the leaves of my Texas Betonys? They look healthy but almost all leaves have various sizes of round holes in them. What is the best cure for this? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Vacccinum corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
June 28, 2007 - Blueberry plants - We planted Northland and Blue Crop, 2 of each. All 4 plants have some leaves that are turning brown. This starts at the tip of the leaf, eventually encompasses the entire leaf, a...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center