Does Grub-X kill earthworms?

michimanMay 28, 2008

When we bought our house the previous owner said he'd had a running problem with grubs and had used Grub-X several years in a row. I have noticed that I never see an earthworm on the property--not even after a hard rain. A few worms in the planting beds but not in the lawn. If so, that seems like a serious side-effect of the product.

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paulinct

Hi Michiman,

I have been trying to figure this out myself, since I have had serious grub problems in the past and just installed a new lawn which, though I would like to care for more or less organically, I do not want to lose to grubs.

I've read that the active ingredient in Grub-X is both "acutely toxic" to earthworms, and that, used as a preventative, it is less dangerous to them than the sorts of controls you need to put down once the grubs are more mature and the damage has started to show. I am guessing that both of those things are true, and so that the Grub-X will kill some earthworms, but fewer than some of the alternatives if used as recommended, when the grubs are young and easier to kill.

Tough call whether to use it IMHO. I myself have decided to, mostly because I have some bitter experience with past grub damage and I am willing to take the risk of losing some earthworms to avoid total catastrophe.

If some combination of milky spore and beneficial nematodes could guarantee me the same or even a close level of protection I would use that instead. But from reading around on those things I gather that it takes some time for them to become effective, and even then not all types of lawn damaging grubs can be controlled.

Curious to hear what others think.

Paul

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 4:58PM
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paulinct

Hi Michiman,

I have been trying to figure this out myself, since I have had serious grub problems in the past and just installed a new lawn which, though I would like to care for more or less organically, I do not want to lose to grubs.

I've read that the active ingredient in Grub-X is both "acutely toxic" to earthworms, and that, used as a preventative, it is less dangerous to them than the sorts of controls you need to put down once the grubs are more mature and the damage has started to show. I am guessing that both of those things are true, and so that the Grub-X will kill some earthworms, but fewer than some of the alternatives if used as recommended, when the grubs are young and easier to kill.

Tough call whether to use it IMHO. I myself have decided to, mostly because I have some bitter experience with past grub damage and I am willing to take the risk of losing some earthworms to avoid total catastrophe.

If some combination of milky spore and beneficial nematodes could guarantee me the same or even a close level of protection I would use that instead. But from reading around on those things I gather that it takes some time for them to become effective, and even then not all types of lawn damaging grubs can be controlled.

Curious to hear what others think.

Paul

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 5:01PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

If not all, most pesticides will kill earthworms to a degree. I don't know how toxic grub-ex is though. Having a few grubs per square foot is fine. I forget the number where you start to get worried. Hmmm is it 9 or 15? Anyway, I use beneficial nematodes to keep them under control. Is it working? No idea. Milky Spores is another one for colder area. I'm not sure where your area would classify though.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 5:26PM
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auteck

Milky spore ONLY controls Japanese Beetle Grubs, the May and June Beetles are equaly destructive.

GrubX and Bayer Grub Control are about the best 2 in retail package for the control of all white grubs.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 9:36AM
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stardog235_pleasantlaneapiary_com

I am a beekeeper and would suggest that the use of materials like Grub-X is being investigated in connection CCD (colony collapse disorder). We switched to milky spore and some other alternatives a long, long time ago.

I've linked to a recent article in Bee Culture magazine about a study in Connecticut. The results are rather stunning. Bee pollen is the material fed to the young larvae in the hive.

I am also a gardener and I appreciate the damage grubs can do. But, without honey bees and other pollinators, we will have more to worry about, I think.

Thanks for allowing me to share my concerns.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 1:50PM
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