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Article: Managing bugs in your compost - the good, the bad, and the merely ugly: grubs

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Forum: Article: Managing bugs in your compost - the good, the bad, and the merely uglyReplies: 8, Views: 23
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San Antonio, TX

December 24, 2012
6:45 AM

Post #9365941

C- grubs in your compost pile
are indeed Scarab larvae but
they are not the same species that are the pests!!!
they are beneficial not destroy them
rhinoceros Beetle grubs can get really really big.
they are grossly cool ...don't kill them

Dickinson, TX
(Zone 9b)

December 24, 2012
8:18 AM

Post #9366000

I agree with bugdan. I've attached a photo of an Ox Beetle (Strategus aloeus) larva which I raised a couple of years ago. These are considerably larger than the common June Beetle grubs found in your lawn or flower beds feeding on plant roots.

Thumbnail by chakeswa83
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Municipality of Murr, PA

December 24, 2012
9:51 AM

Post #9366063

Great Article! Thanks!

I have never found one of those giant grubs in my hot compost bin, but I often find the Scarab type, (probably Japanese Beetles). I remove them, cut once with whatever tool I happen to have and place the wounded grub out on the picnic bench or a flat rock and the birds are quick to take advantage of a lot of protein that they didn't have to dig up themselves. Wrens and Robins especially will come and alight for long enough to take the prize, even when I'm less than 8 feet away!

I was also delighted to find in my leaf compost pile, a newly hatched Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia) so you never know who may visit your pile!


Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 24, 2012
3:16 PM

Post #9366225

Hi bugdan, and chakeswa,

I was afraid of this. My gut instinct said that those grubs were not likely the same as Asiatic garden beetle or Japanese beetle which cause so much damage around here. I rarely find white C grubs in my compost but have a huge problem with Asaitic garden beetles. and June beetles. All those June type Scarab beetles can't possibly come from my compost, as I so rarely see them there.

So I emailed my Extension office and asked. They said to kill them. Now, perhaps I should have sought a bug expert to tell me about C grubs in compost. Can either of you enlighten me on what specific type of beetle grubs would prefer to live in compost?

I have read from other gardeners about finding numerous very large grubs in compost. Probably a regional aspect to this issue.


Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 24, 2012
3:18 PM

Post #9366226

Hi SooSirius-
Thanks for reading and commenting!
I had a Catbird at one time who seemed to know I'd be opening up prizes for him when I'd turn the pile. Its kinda nice!
Municipality of Murr, PA

December 28, 2012
8:04 AM

Post #9368980

Hi Sallyg,
I suppose you could take the grubs you find to your local extension office, (put them in a clear jar or zipper bag) and ask for an ID. Failing that, you might have an entomologist available at a local university or science center. If you actually take the grubs with you they are more likely to make an effort at identification than just over the phone or email.
Chakeswa's grub is not white, and much larger than the beetles.

Then, there's this pdf article which might prove useful:

Reading the list of the beetles in the article, you can see that pretty much all of them are destructive - or at least not beneficial.
Good Luck!


Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 28, 2012
8:48 AM

Post #9369002

Thanks for your further exploration of this question. I just might be in the mood to ID my grubs, one of these days. Or do further research into the life cycle of these specific beetles- whether they actually will eat decayed brown composty matter.
Municipality of Murr, PA

December 29, 2012
11:40 AM

Post #9369929

Ha ha Sallyg, that article was probably waaay more information that you wanted!


Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 29, 2012
11:59 AM

Post #9369949

(chuckling) it that it gets pretty "personal" with the grubs !! Just imagine someone who was going for a PhD on that, describing to his peers what he was doing...

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Other Article: Managing bugs in your compost - the good, the bad, and the merely ugly Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
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