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I've been de-potting and planting things up in ground a lot lately, pretty much all cacti. Had some loads of soil delivered too for the landscaping.
I've noticed a lot of curl grubs in some of my pots as I depot them and am teasing out the roots....   I bin the soil and grubs when I find them.

Seeing small numbers of grubs in the fresh delivered soil also worries me a bit. Google tells me they are the larvae of the Christmas beetle...  We get Christmas beetle here prolifically in summer.
Apparantly they don't like deep moist soil, dry top layer is where they lay there eggs. Google says they fuck sections of lawn easily, and can devastate pot plants.

I haven't noticed any huge reduction of growth or damage as a result (not that I'm hugely experienced). They shit me none the less...

Any stories of curl grubs from any SABers? are they a terrible menace, or relatively harmless?
Any decent organic methods of getting rid of them?   Or even chemical methods that aren't too harmful to the cacti etc?

 

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I don't kill em but throw them to the back of my garden. They would probably eat a root or two if desperate 

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They can do a lot of damage if in big numbers. Drench the soil in a neem or tea tree solution.

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Thanks for your opinions,
I might de-pot and check soil quality and re-pot-up any decent propagation stumps at the end of summer each year from now on, just to see if there is many grubs in there.
The things that are in ground I cant do much about,  maybe just neem the soil toplayer at the start and end of summer to fuck any larvae off, each year maybe.

Annoying...

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Mate these things do eat roots in their final stage before they become adult. You would think bitter cactus would be right, but if their in your pots, what else can they be eating? Neem oiling all those beautiful beds your building wont be cheep. Mulching with neem leaf would be more effective anyway. Molasses deters them and is a great fertiliser. 

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AH im not the only one i have found a crap load to in the last few days i emptied out a pot that had a dead raspberry plant in it full of the fuckers.

 

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I lost a 10 foot courtii in a pot due to these. Had over 40 in the pot. ECO NEEM is cheap and it works for your pot plants. There are loads of product at bunnings that will do the job.  Save you pulling up your plants every year to check.

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I'm not a fan. They've been smashing all my Acacia tubes this summer. I've lost three batches.

 

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Use them as bait and go fishing. I get shit loads of them up here.... Has anyone tried eating them? They seem like a fair bush-tucker....

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2 hours ago, MountainGoat said:

Use them as bait and go fishing. I get shit loads of them up here.... Has anyone tried eating them? They seem like a fair bush-tucker....

I'd want to be pretty hungry!

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Thumbs up on the eco-neem 5ml to a 1 liter did 500ml to a pot and dumped the soil out later in the day to check it out and had dead body's :)

 

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They are one of the drivers in eucalyptus tree decline down here, good freshwater fishing bait.

 

Never considered eating them... Hmm... They'd be gritty I reckon

 

Kill on sight in pots.... Squishy squish

Edited by waterboy 2.0
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i usually just chuck em aside & let the legion of birds that follow me around whenever i'm digging sort em out

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There not even native, larvae of the african scarab beetle aka the Christmas Beetle....  Mongrels.
I think witchety grubs are totally different, and a native species. Curl grubs would be shit eating I'd imagine, smaller than the witchetys too...

So I've got neem oil, basically says in the instructions 10ml per 1 litre of water for a lawn/potplant drench to rid the curlgrub pest, MUCH less needed for fungas gnat issues etc...
Fucking ridiculous $21 for 100 ml fills a single watering can to drench all our pots!?!?  I need like half a liter of the shit at least. I'm not proud to say but I just dack the 100ml bottles when I'm in there shopping for other shit... Outrageous.

So I've been mixing it at a ratio of about 1/3 or 1/4 the strength recommended...  bout 30ml per 9litre watering can vs 100ml per 10litre can.

Questions:
- Will this neem oil strip the glaucus (the blue waxy beautiful look) off various trichos like WHITE OIL (petroleum based) does? The water goes milky white when mixed.
- AND, is this fucking 10ml per litre strength far too much as says the instructions for potplants, will my 30ml per 90 litre be effective, or even too much? Seems excessive looking at the volumes needed to control other pests...
- Curlgrub must be a mongrel to eradicate, I get the feeling from everything I read best way to fuck them is by a neem drenching at the RIGHT time of the year (egg laying period). Othertimes requires just toxic(?) amounts of oil n shit once they are developed etc which is now for me. I guess I'll bite the bullet and dose my pot plants up on this white muck, I just hope I'm not going to do anything any damage?
- Also are these bastards really THAT damaging to established plants?
- Wondering if they are deep soil pests or just shallow? from what I hear the chrissie beetle need drier soil to lay eggs (top layer), and the grubs feast roots a bit till they hatch into the Christmas Beetle and go about the cycle again, they aren't eating CONSTANTLY but for a period they cerrtainly are. 
- Are established in ground Trichos shooting deep roots basically resilient to these annual pests? Is it more your pot plants you should neem? Are they surface layer/shallow pests only, or will a grub dig deep and fuck your life up?


Christmas beetle cunts...

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Just now, Skellum said:


- Will this neem oil strip the glaucus (the blue waxy beautiful look) off various trichos like WHITE OIL (petroleum based) does? The water goes milky white when mixed.

^ This is my most pertinent question of the lot though....
I'm ready to apply, and just wanna know if I should be real careful and JUST hit the soil, or if it splashes or even washes the columns down will this neem strip them of the wax (glaucus blue look)

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My in-ground garden (paddock, that is) is full of Christmas beetles, most holes I dig have em in larvae (curl grub) stage. they are about 6 inches deep in the shitty, dry sandy topsoil, sometimes in the clay. IME they are harmless but your situation is much different if you have them living in pots. If it rains at around Christmas time, they dig out of the ground while it's soft and fly around in the 1000s for a night or two. We have a lot of eucs planted but never noticed a problem. I like the nights when they are flying around. Except when you step on them.

 

Where did you get the information they are introduced? The christmas beetles I have are definitely native and see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_beetle and here (note that their numbers are in the decline): http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/wildlife/2016/11/australias-christmas-beetles

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3 hours ago, smithy said:

https://www.searlesgardening.com.au/control-lawn-grub-treatment

 

The non hippie way..[above]  easy as.  otherway is eco neem the soil not the plant.  

I have some other toxic shit that i can sprinkle and water in too if need be.  I'll sus it.

 

 

3 hours ago, Micromegas said:

Where did you get the information they are introduced? The christmas beetles I have are definitely native and see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_beetle and here (note that their numbers are in the decline): http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/wildlife/2016/11/australias-christmas-beetles

It seems curl grubs are the larvae of a few black beetles, christmas beetles might be a native version...  the 'african scarab beetle' common in nsw, which is i guess mistaken for christmas beetles and a pest in NSW and many other states are another layer of curlgrub eggs, along with a few others

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4 hours ago, Micromegas said:

Where did you get the information they are introduced? The christmas beetles I have are definitely native

I really honestly dont know if what I have are introduced black scarab or native christmas beetles or any of the others, so you're right I'm talking our my arse when I make out like I know. They fuck me right offff none the less man. 

I read on that website that any more than 10 grubs per square meter is a problem...   Fuck there would be some times close to that number or half that in some pots (23-27cm) I knock off and inspect.
I'm just going to go heavy on that neem muck when I can, at the right times of year, and NOW till i knock them on the head.

Please does ANYONE know if NEEM strips the glaucus off cacti epidermis like petroleum based oils do? 
Gonna be a fiddly task doing it without showering them,  but some are so blue and good looking,  I will take my time. Going to go ahead tomorrow (later today) with the fiddly route if anyone doesn't confirm safety of direct neem to epidermis application without loss of aesthetics prior.  (this question probably belongs in the cactus thread not here - I'm a jelly head).

Cheers for everyone's advice, this grub seems to be a common mongrel pest for lots of peeps...

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They eat dead roots, and decomposing organic matter, but will certainly if a plant is in good health, chew on its lovely root systems. I don't get too many problems with my cacti, but they belt my citrus around every year in pots. 10+ per square meter is a good rule of thumb for them, and the same recommendation for when to attack them chemically when they are present in your lawn.

The normal evil bifenthrin ,chlorpyrifos or nicotine mimicking imidacloprid based products work best, but neem is the nicest (all be it the most expensive) way to deal with with em. 

I just make sure i give all my plants a good watering the night evening before, then the next morning, they will all be hanging within the top 6 inches of soil, where i can normally just dig around like a turkey, and hand remove enough to get them down to bearable numbers.

From NSW DPI  https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/110213/scarab-grubs-in-northern-tableland-pastures.pdf   <---  Some Real good stuff in there
"The larvae of the small brownish cockchafers, Sericesthis spp., which have one-year life cycles, are the most important scarab pests of pastures. Larvae of species that have two-year life cycles, including the Christmas beetles, Anoplognathus spp., the large brownish cockchafers, Antitrogus spp. and Rhopaea spp., and the black and greyish brown coloured black soil scarab, Othnonius batesi, are only of occasional concern. Species with two-year life cycles have overlapping generations of larvae, so that larvae can be found in the soil all year round."

 

All I can say is dam those cockchafers!

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