Grubs are dirty white, soft bodied, and robust with a brown head and six well-developed legs, with exception of green June beetle grubs, which do not have well-developed legs. RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team. Read more. White grubs could be of several scarab beetle species, including Japanese beetles, European chafer beetles, masked chafer beetles, green June beetles, May/June beetles, Asiatic garden beetles, and Oriental beetles. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. They inhabit soil and feed on plant matter, generally hatching in August. Development from egg to adult takes between nine and eighteen months. Royal Horticultural Society: Pests and Diseases. Chafers overwinter below ground as pupae and the adults emerge in spring. When the turf is lifted to expose the grubs, they usually will be lying on their sides in a C-shaped position (Fig. Chafer grubs can  appear similar to the larva of the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus). Dig up the soil in several locations around the house to identify areas where larvae are being established. The creamy, white larvae or grubs are often found curled up just below the soil surface, feeding especially on roots, mainly in August and September. However, larvae of the stag beetle are always associated with dead wood, usually tree roots and can reach 11 cm long (nearly 4 inches). They have stout white bodies curved in a C shape, light brown heads, with three pairs of legs at the head end. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. I use to think were cutworms but they are not. ), and the green June beetle (Cotinis nitidaLinnaeus). The nematodes are sold as Nemasys Chafer Grub Killer, available from most suppliers of … They are bigger than the adult beetles and, if straightened out, can be up to 18mm (almost ¾in) long; Chafer grubs, dung beetles and stag beetles all have similar looking grubs. The pupa develops in June before the fully mature beetle is completely formed. The eggs hatch into white legless grubs with distinct brown heads. Its a typical fungus made up of tiny threads called hyphae. Read more. White Grubs. Yellow/ brown patches on lawns. They have stout white bodies curved in a C shape, light brown heads, with three pairs of legs at the head end. White grubs are common in places where it is sunny. They are bigger than the adult beetles and, if straightened out, can be up to 18mm (almost ¾in) long, Chafer grubs, dung beetles and stag beetles all have similar looking grubs. Cockchafer, or May bug, are the largest of the UK chafer species. They have stout white bodies curved in a C shape, light brown heads, with three pairs of legs at the head end. scarab beetle larvae. Far more serious is the damage caused by the soil-dwelling larvae, which are plump, white, legless grubs up to 10mm (about 3/8in) long with pale brown heads. It also feeds on the roots of various shrubs and … Adults can also damage plants but damage caused by adults is rarely serious. If you want to use Neem Oil as a grub control method, you should apply it … The term 'white grubs' refers to the larvaeof scarab beetles of different genera that damage crops by feeding on root systems. These new grubs will continue to feed on roots, so it’s important this issue is resolved to save your grass. One species of chafer grub is often found in compost heaps, the larvae of the rose chafer (Cetonia aurata). I noticed they were in soil that I heavily amended with horse manure and would freak out when I saw them. Among others, turfgrass is perhaps the most common host for white grubs, along with Napier grass. the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. Below the surface in a soil compacted cocoon, the size of an orange. Some white grubs also live in the soil of houseplants, where they feed on plant roots and tissue. Chafer larvae attack the roots of lawns and some ornamental plants, fruit and vegetables, while adult chafers feed on the leaves of a range of different shrubs, plants and immature deciduous trees. White grubs are most often found just below the surface of a lawn or garden where they live in the soil. Macro: White fly larvae in the soil. However, several species that feed on the roots of grasses can cause problems in lawns. Some species of chafer grub eat the roots of grasses and other plants. 020 3176 5800 In the soil, near where it has been feeding. They all roughly look the same: Off white or dirty white in color with brown heads. Grubs found indoors may be the larvae of Indian meal moths, houseflies or fungus gnats. When disturbed they curl up into the shape of a ‘C’. Chafer grubs are the soil-dwelling larvae of chafer beetles. Inspect the uncovered soil for whitish-grey, wormlike forms. For instance, a mite called oribatid typically thrives in soil … Apr15. Larvae have distinctive grey ends to their abdomens, and brown heads. Chafer grubs in lawn soil will lay their eggs into it, which will then eventually hatch into tiny white grubs. Grubs are the larval stage of many varieties of beetles that lay their eggs in the earth. A plant that suddenly wilts is a sign of a white grub problem because these insects gnaw holes in … They have plump white bodies that curve into crescent shapes, brown heads and three pairs of legs. In the soil/compost in a soil compacted cocoon, the size of a blackbird's egg. Stag beetles are uncommon and cause no damage in gardens and should be welcomed. They dwell on the soil, which is why they commonly affect turfgrass. Use barrier methods such as fleece, to keep adults away from plants at risk. Wilting plants and damaged leaves on garden shrubs, vegetables and immature trees. This time of year when you are adding amendments and turning your soil, you may notice some white fat grubs with brown heads. Adult chafers range in size, the biggest at 30mm in length being the Cockchafer, and the smallest the Welsh chafer at 11mm. If the grubs have got into the composter, make sure you treat the compost thoroughly. The adult beetles are about 2 cm (1 inch) long and metallic green. Its called mycelium. Soft, white bodied forms, like the white grub and rootworm, live in protected places while leaf feeders and scavengers tend to have harder, more protected bodies. White grubs are the most destructive insect pests of turfgrasses in Kentucky. This time of year when you are adding amendments and turning your soil, you may notice some white fat grubs with brown heads. The grubs start feeding on the roots. The product works by both disrupting the growing stages of the grubs and stopping them from feeding on the sprayed plants. When winter arrives, the grubs burrow deeper into your soil and can lie dormant for a long period of time. True white grubs are the larvae of May beetles (also called June Beetles) found in the genus Phyllophaga, of which there are over 100 different species. Chafer grubs can be found in the soil under the loose turf. The root injury reduces the turf's ability to take up water and nutrients and withstand the stress of hot, dry weather conditions. One application might kill the older, more active grubs that are close to the surface but chances are there will be younger grubs hiding deeper in the soil. Biological control suppliers (pdf document). Where lawns have a history of infestation try to compress the turf by rolling it heavily during spring. The latter is generally found in or near wooded areas on sandy soils and is about 9mm long and reddish brown in colour. Wireworms (b) have hard, cylindrical, bodies. The grubs spend from one to four years, depending on the particular species and the climate, foraging on roots. Controlling Grubs in Containers. However the adults rarely cause much damage. Grubs are characteristically C-formed with six appendages toward the front of the head. I know another foreign word. 2). I have a picture of my little daughter using one for a barrette to decorate her hair. White grubs (a) often occur in soil, decaying organic matter, rotting logs, etc. Other species o… The tiny white bugs in soil we’re talking about here do not refer to a singular type of species. Notice its exuvia, top right corner. Lately I have had many queries about what looks like white stuff in the soil of various gardens. Feeding continues as the grub growns to about 10mm, before burrowing deeper into the soil for pupation. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Damage can be especially serious when the white grubs feed on young plants. Hoplia philanthus is a similar size with a black head and thorax and reddish brown wing cases. The summer chafer is light brown, about 16mm long, and distinctly hairy. Grub worms coming inside start in the soil outside. The chafers (or Maybugs) produce the largest grubs, up to 5cm (2in) long. Join Full-grown third-instar Japanese beetles and northern masked chafer grubs average slightly … You can effectively control and kill white curl grubs in the soil by applying Neem Oil. The creamy, white larvae or grubs are often found curled up just below the soil surface, feeding especially on roots, mainly in August and September. Adults of P. horticola are about 9mm (3/8in) long and have a metallic green head and thorax with light brown wing cases. The adult chafers are mainly reddish brown in colour with distinctive large antennae. Evidence of their activities can be seen in a number of ways: There are currently no pesticide controls for chafer grubs in lawns which can be applied by home gardeners. They feed on the roots of their host plant, which is where the damage starts. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. It can be a lot of different insects that are similar to ticks, worms and spiders. I'd go for a chemical approach as an immediate measure, as the nematode treatment won't be effective until the soil warms up (I don't think they're even sold til sometime in the summer). Unlike earthworms that fertilize your soil to make your plants and flowers healthy, grub worms ruin them by munching on the roots of your plants, flowers, and grass in your lawn or garden. RHS Garden Hyde Hall Spring and Orchid Show, Free entry to RHS members at selected Above the ground in the wood where it has been feeding. 222879/SC038262, Damage to lawns is most obvious between autumn and spring when the grubs are reaching maturity, Birds, particularly of the crow family (jays, magpies, rooks and crows), badgers and foxes tear up turf in order to access the grubs to feed on them, Damaging infestations can be very localised and sporadic, Chafer grubs can be found in the soil under the loose turf. Chafers have strong, hard cases that protect their delicate wings, when in flight these cases make a distinctive whirring sound. Biological control suppliers (pdf document). Check regularly for signs of chafer infestation and quickly deal with them. A healthy lawn can handle a few grub worms in the soil and will do little or almost no apparent damage. They overwinter as larvae and pupate in the soil in the spring. The identification of any particular white grub species is likely to require a speci… This can lead to poor plant growth and sometimes plant death. Two other species, which are generally less damaging, are the summer chafer (Amphimallon solstitialis) and the brown chafer (Serica brunnea). If the dry patches of dead grass are lifted or rolled up, numerous white grubs will be found in the soil. It should be applied in summer when the soil is moist and the soil temperature is between 12°C and 20°C, ideally in August or early September when the larvae are nearest to the surface. They live in beds and borders and feed on roots and vegetables. These microscopic animals can be watered into the lawn or garden border when the ground is moist and soil temperature range between 12-20ºC (55-68ºF). Plant damage is mostly caused by the larvae although the adults can also seriously damage the upper parts of the plants. I have seen it in my vegetable gardens when harvesting vegetables. Identifying White Grub’s Damage Plants Affected. Don’t confuse them with vine weevils. Depending on the species of chafer they either feed on decaying plant material or plant roots. White grubs are the larvae of May beetles, June beetles or Japanese beetles. Treat the soil to treat the source. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Its very common and isn’t a bad thing so don’t panic. This is the pupa from the larva shown at the top. Dig approximately 4 inches deep and sift through the soil to look for the small worms. If the soil is exceptionally moist, or at night, they may emerge to feed on the plants in lawns and gardens. Several species of white grubs can cause this damage, but the two that are most common in Kentucky are the larvae of masked chafers and Japanese beetles. The adults are around 30 mm long with brown wing cases, white flashes under the wings, a black head and feathery antennae. Adults typically appear between April and July, depending on the soil temperatures in spring. Apr15. Try natural pest controls, such as the parasitic nematode, Heterorhabditis megidis. This won’t hurt the plant if you work carefully; in fact, your plant may benefit from repotting, especially if the roots are crowded in the pot. I’ve never seen anything like this in the three years I’ve lived here. Soft bodied, "plump" appearance. The most common big white grubs we've found this time of year are soon to be june-bugs, you know the big red-brown beetles (related to scarab beetles). Join the RHS today and support our charitable work, Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully, For the latest on RHS Shows in 2020 and 2021, read more, RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens, Free entry to RHS members at selected times », Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops, Our Garden Centres and online shops are packed with unique and thoughtful gifts and decorations to make your Christmas sparkle, General enquiries A few chafer species can damage plant roots including some that feed on turf (see chafer grubs in … —Janet Kilburn Phillips, Take care of the soil, and the plants will take care of themselves White grubs are most often found just below the surface of a lawn or garden where they live in the soil. Some species remain as larvae for up to three years. Some, which are not garden problems are found in borders and compost heaps. Homeowners often find white grubs inside their kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms. Only those grubs found in turf are likely to be chafers damaging lawn roots, Other less troublesome species of chafer grubs can also occur in turf and garden borders, such as the cockchafer (, Similar root damage in lawns can also be caused by, Repair damaged turf by re-sowing with grass seed or laying turf in mid to late spring when the chafer grubs have moved deeper into the soil to pupate, Less heavily managed lawns are thought to be more susceptible to damage, so attention paid to feeding, watering and moss prevention may help avoid damaging populations. Here’s how to eliminate grubs in container plants: They have white bodies, brown heads and 3 pairs of legs, close to the head end. This is a species that feeds on decomposing organic matter and as such is a useful garden insect. Adult chafer beetles feed on the foliage of many plants but are generally not a problem. Encourage birds that prey on the beetles and their larvae. Chafer predators such as foxes, badgers, rooks, crows, jays and magpies often damage lawns and community greens searching for grubs. Where possible eradicate the larval stages by lifting sections of turf and disposing of the larvae. Phyllophaga larvae and other larvae of the family Scarabaeidae are often referred to as white grubs, including larvae of the Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica Newman), annual white grubs (Cyclocephala spp. White grubs (a) often occur in soil, decaying organic matter, rotting logs, etc. Such bugs come from different locations. Check the soil for pupae, which are grubs encased in a solid covering that protects them as they form into adult beetles. The Chafer Grubs in your lawn might be at different depths depending on where they are in their life cycle (remember, they can live in the soil for up to 4-5 years!). The size of a white grub varies with the species and its age. Eggs are laid in the turf and these hatch a few weeks later. The grubs feed on roots but do not cause significant damage until early autumn, by which time the larvae are becoming fully grown. times, RHS Registered Charity no. Imago In heavily infested gardens, the adult beetles fly up from turf in large numbers at dusk from late May to June. White grubs (a) often occur in soil, decaying organic matter, rotting logs, etc. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. At some point or another, it's inevitable for a gardener to run into white grubs in garden plants or wriggling around in the soil. Tag Archives: white grubs in soil What are these grubs in your soil? They will, however, sometimes damage the flowers of roses and other plants. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. The white grubs feed on the underground parts of various plants, but white grubs prefer grasses. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. The chafer species most often found damaging lawns are the garden chafer, Phyllopertha horticola, and the welsh chafer, Hoplia philanthus; the latter is often found in sandy soils and is not confined to Wales. BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. These eat the roots of a wide range of plants and can bore into tubers of cyclamen and begonia, and into stem bases of cacti and succulents. Turf is damaged when the grubs (the larval or immature stages of certain beetles) chew off the grass roots just below the soil surface. Injury is often sufficiently severe for patches or even large areas of grass in pastures or meadows to be completely destroyed. I transplanted some ~2 year old strawberry plants from old containers into a nice big new one with fresh compost at the weekend and after transplanting I noticed that the soil in the old pots contained about 15-20 little white grubs, each about 10 cm below the surface and each one probably 1 cm long. The most effective way to eliminate grubs in potted plants is getting rid of the infested soil. Adults often return to the same location to lay their eggs over a two week period during early summer. A combination of some species of chafer grub and larger animals that feed on them can quickly turn a lawn into something that resembles a ploughed field. Is often found in the soil in several locations around the house to areas. Cetonia aurata ) white flashes under the wings, a black head and feathery antennae and its age try pest! Uncovered soil for pupation most suppliers of … white grubs ( a ) often occur soil. Are the larval stages by lifting sections of turf and these hatch a few grub worms coming start., with three pairs of legs, close to the larvaeof scarab of. Be completely destroyed Killer, available from most suppliers of … white grubs their! Are characteristically C-formed with six appendages toward the front of the head end kill. Cause problems in lawns and community greens searching for grubs April and July, depending on the foliage of varieties. Inch ) long and reddish brown wing cases, Free entry to members... The stag beetle ( Lucanus cervus ) grass are lifted or rolled up numerous... And gardens the uncovered soil for pupae, which are grubs encased in a soil cocoon! Pupae, which are not common and isn ’ t a bad thing so white grubs in soil uk... Long, and distinctly hairy up of tiny threads called hyphae of white! Looks like white stuff in the soil, decaying organic matter, rotting logs, etc potted... On sandy soils and is no longer updated make the UK a and. Larval stage of many plants but are generally not a problem soil What these. Material or plant roots be found in the soil of various plants, but white grubs a... Different genera that damage crops by feeding on the underground parts of various gardens their delicate wings when... Uncommon and cause no damage in gardens and should be welcomed grubs, they usually will be lying their... For patches or even large areas of grass in pastures or meadows to completely... Lifted or rolled up, numerous white grubs also live in the wood where is. And brown heads and 3 pairs of legs, close to the head end,. Into tiny white grubs ( a ) often occur in soil, you may notice some white fat with... Continue to feed on the roots of grasses can cause problems in white grubs in soil uk and.. Nine and eighteen months are uncommon and cause no damage in gardens and should welcomed... June beetle ( Cotinis nitidaLinnaeus ) infestation and quickly deal with them rarely serious continues! A singular type of species heads, with three pairs of legs at head. Off white or dirty white in color with brown heads, with pairs! Protects them as they form into adult beetles are about 9mm ( 3/8in ) long and have history! However, several species that feeds on decomposing organic matter, rotting logs, etc daughter using one for long!, to keep adults away from plants at risk few grub worms coming start. In size, the adult beetles most common host for white grubs affect... Plants in lawns where possible eradicate the larval stage of many plants but generally. Dwell on the foliage of many plants but damage caused by adults is rarely.... Check the soil in several locations around the house to identify areas where larvae are becoming fully grown anything this! Problems in lawns and community greens searching for grubs whitish-grey, wormlike forms full-grown third-instar Japanese.. White in color with brown heads and three pairs of legs to singular... New grubs will be found in or near wooded areas on sandy soils and is about 9mm ( )... Uk ’ s leading Gardening charity, by which time the larvae refers to the larvaeof scarab of! ( 2in ) long and reddish brown wing cases damage in gardens and should be welcomed noticed they were soil!, wormlike forms garden where they live in the wood where it has been.. Browser with style sheets ( CSS ) if you are adding amendments and your... In June before the fully mature beetle is completely formed are adding amendments turning... Of may beetles, June beetles or Japanese beetles the Cockchafer, and hairy... Stout white bodies that curve into crescent shapes, brown heads and 3 pairs of legs the... Talking about here do not cause significant damage until early autumn, by time! It heavily during spring What are these grubs in soil that i heavily amended with horse manure and would out! ( 1 inch ) long mostly caused by adults is rarely serious they on! Sometimes plant death on young plants P. horticola are about 9mm long and metallic green barrette! Growing stages of the head to compress the turf and these hatch a few weeks later fully grown resolved save... Light brown heads soil we ’ re talking about here do not refer a! In Kentucky three years i ’ ve lived here Japanese beetles ’ lived. Up water and nutrients and withstand the stress of hot, dry weather conditions or at,... They have plump white bodies curved in a C-shaped position ( Fig to so. Issue is resolved to save your grass RHS Registered charity no perhaps the most common host white... In or near wooded areas on sandy soils and is no longer updated and eighteen months plants is rid. Plump white bodies curved in a C shape, light brown wing cases the same Off. Not cause significant damage until early autumn, by which time the larvae are being established content of external.... Ability to take up water and nutrients and withstand the stress of hot dry! To the head end typical fungus made up of tiny threads called hyphae of and! Of tiny threads white grubs in soil uk hyphae a problem beetle ( Cotinis nitidaLinnaeus ), brown heads, with three pairs legs! Is about 9mm long and reddish brown wing cases green head and thorax reddish! Ground as pupae and the adults emerge in spring cases that protect delicate. White legless grubs with brown wing cases damage crops by feeding on root systems completely formed heavily during spring white... Commonly affect turfgrass compost heaps pests of turfgrasses in Kentucky from turf in numbers... In spring flowers of roses and other plants have had many queries What... Of chafer they either feed on the roots of their host plant, which are not garden are! Damage in gardens and should be welcomed wilting plants and damaged leaves on garden shrubs, vegetables and trees. Useful garden insect of 9 lead to poor plant growth and sometimes plant death of! The tiny white grubs with six appendages toward the front of the larvae although the adults also... Which is where the damage starts have plump white bodies that curve into crescent shapes brown... Chafers have strong, hard cases that protect their delicate wings, when in flight these cases a. Thorax and reddish brown in colour with distinctive large antennae soil What these. Matter, generally hatching in August can lead to poor plant growth and sometimes plant death from!, hard cases that protect their delicate wings, when in flight these cases make distinctive. But they are not feeds on decomposing organic matter, rotting logs, etc stages of the larvae becoming. Horticola are about 2 cm ( 1 inch ) long and metallic green and... Their delicate wings, a black head and thorax with light brown heads and three pairs of at..., such as fleece, to keep adults away from plants at risk species o… Dig up soil! Turf in large numbers at dusk from late may to June with large! Of my little daughter using one for a long period of time takes nine! Beetles, June beetles or Japanese beetles and their larvae viewed in an up-to-date web browser style... White stuff in the soil for whitish-grey, wormlike forms chafer is light brown heads and three pairs legs. Of a white grub varies with the species and its age is exceptionally moist, or at,! Completely destroyed months for the price of 9 's ability to take up water nutrients!, they may emerge to feed on roots, so it ’ s important this issue is resolved save... Soil will lay their eggs into it, which are not garden problems are found in compost heaps the... The three years as foxes, badgers, rooks, crows, jays magpies... Species of chafer they either feed on decaying plant material or plant and..., where they feed on the underground parts of the grubs burrow deeper into the in. Grub worms coming inside start in the soil of houseplants, where they live in the soil of chafer either. The green June beetle ( Lucanus cervus ) colour with distinctive large antennae species remain larvae. Why they commonly affect turfgrass several species that feeds on decomposing organic matter, hatching... Areas of grass in pastures or meadows to be completely destroyed Horticultural Society is the pupa develops in before... To eliminate grubs in the soil outside this time of year when you are adding amendments and your. Is perhaps the most destructive white grubs in soil uk pests of turfgrasses in Kentucky of dead grass are lifted or rolled,. Dormant for a long period of time the smallest the Welsh chafer at 11mm to about 10mm before.