How to Eliminate Grubs in Your Lawn or Garden without Pesticide

Alright, this is John Kohler with
Today, we have another exciting episode for you. And in this episode, we’re gonna answer
a viewer’s question. So I got actually a message from my good friend, Paul, over Facebook,
that said “John, man, help my buddy out, dude. He has a question for you.” So because
it’s my friend that asked me this favor, I thought I’d answer the question in a video
for you guys to share this with you guys, because I know many of you guys may have had
this challenge yourself. So in any case, without further ado, let’s go into this video and
see the viewer’s question. Hey, welcome to An American Homestead. This
video is for John Kohler at He often times takes questions in video responses,
and so I’m submitting this question to him on his channel. John, we have a great garden
here. It’s our first year garden, we incorporated a lot of the techniques and things that you
have promoted on your channel into this garden. Things like rock dust, worm castings, and
some of the Boogie Brew products. Our garden has taken off. We are very excited about the
growth we’re seeing in our garden, and we attribute a lot of that success to you.
We do have one problem though… Let me go show you what I got.
Okay, so here’s what I got, take a look at this. When you move the dirt around, after
you’ve been digging in it, there are just grubs everywhere. You see that one there.
Move some more dirt around, here’s another one there. They’re just everywhere in my
garden and I just don’t know what to do about all of these grubs. Here’s another
one. All of these grubs are just everywhere, all over the ground. And so…I mean, in fact,
I lost a few cabbage plants early in the season. I noticed I put my cabbage starts inside the
ground, and they just got chewed down right at the base. I even caught a grub once chewing
on my cabbage plants early in the morning. And so there’s my issue… Grubs. What do
I do about those? So basically, we have grubs. What natural
defense do we use against these? I don’t want to use chemicals and I know if I go to
the store that there’s vast array of chemicals that I can purchase to use on my garden, but
I don’t want to do that. So what would you recommend?
Alright, Zachary—wow, man, that bell pepper. That thing looks huge! Glad you’re using
the rock dust, the worm casting, compost teas, and other things that I recommend. The stuff
that I recommend, you guys saw it in Zachary’s video. It does work and I’m sure countless
of you guys out there that have been using some of the similar techniques are having
the best gardening season yet. And if you’re not, that’s alright. Life and your garden
is a continual learning experience. You’re learning as you grow and I always end my episodes
with “Keep on growing.” But in any case, I know, Zachary, you have
some challenges and let’s go ahead and dive right in. so besides just saying “Oh, do
this,” I really want to teach you guys the concepts that my head goes through when I
see a problem in my garden. I think WWND—What Would Nature Do? What would nature do if there’s
an overpopulation of these grub things in your yard? Maybe nature would send some animals
or something to eat all those grubs that love to eat grubs. I mean, I think ducks would
probably love to eat grubs or chickens would love to eat the grubs but I don’t know that
they’d actually know where to peck them out and find them. So nature would have some
natural checks and balances like the governments supposed to have some checks and balances,
but I don’t think the government’s got their checks and balances worked out properly.
But I’m glad that in most cases, nature does unless man’s starting to get involved.
We’re getting involved in so many things and we’re imbalancing nature in my opinion,
so always try to think What Would Nature Do. So, I’ll tell you, I actually had a grub
problem in my garden, and the solution I had at that time was I was digging up my raised
bed from last year’s tomato plants, I found some grubs, I’m like “Oh, crap, there’s
grubs!” and I don’t want to play my new collard greens and kale and brassica family
plants in there with all these grubs in there. And I’m like “Okay…” You guys always
know I do, number one, manual control. Some of you guys might be laughing. But literally
what I did was I took the grubs, I basically took out each scoopful of soil, put it through
a sifter, sifted it out, found the grubs. I basically hand removed them. And yes, this
took some hours to do and this was on one of my trips—before I left on one of my trips,
I took out all the soil in one of my raised beds and then got all the grubs out and put
it back in so now it was grub free. But what could happen the next year is more grubs could
lay their eggs or whatever and then I could have more in there, so this was a temporary
solution. So I don’t necessarily recommend you guys do this to your soil—I mean, in
a raised bed or small container, you could do this, but in a big garden, you’re not
gonna be able to do this. So what I want you guys to do is do what nature
would do. So in nature, there are predators to the grubs, things that eat the grubs. Like
if aliens came down, they might start shooting us with their laser guns. Hopefully not…
Hopefully they’re nice aliens. But there’s things, actually, that you can put in the
soil that’ll kick ass and beat up the grubs and make them disappear or minimally greatly
control their populations. So the two things you might want to look into,
number one, is called Milky Spore. Milky spore, there’s a company, I think Gabriel Organics,
that basically makes a milky spore—it’s basically a bacteria that you would put in
the soil that basically attacks the grubs, kicks their ass, and then they’re gone.
And so the milky spore is good only for certain kind of grubs, like the Japanese grubs, and
if you don’t have the Japanese grubs… They don’t like the other….white people
grubs, or the Mexican grubs… That was a joke. But, yeah, they only go for the Japanese
grub. So better way, if you don’t know what kind of grubs you have, to do it is to use
these other things called beneficial nematodes. So to think basically—what is a nematode?
A nematode is basically a little small worm that are supposedly microscopic. So you might
think they’re a scam, like I did, when I originally bought some beneficial nematodes
and I got this pack, opened it up—I didn’t see nothing! It’s just said “Mix this
packet in water” then it’s gonna work, or some crap. And I’m like “Okay….”
And the stuff actually worked! But you really gotta be sure that you get your beneficial
nematodes from a good, reputable reseller, because the nematodes, they do need to be
refrigerated or else they can lose their lives. So if you go to a place that’s not sending
them in a refrigerated packet with like little chill packs or something, you might want to
be wary. So deal with a reputable supplier, which I don’t have any recommendations for
you guys at this time. Hopefully I’ll be able to find one for you guys.
But yeah, you want to find a reputable supplier of nematodes, and specifically nematodes that
are good for grubs. Because there are all different kinds of nematodes that work in
your soil and if you get the wrong type of nematode, it may not work and if you get the
nematodes that maybe got too hot because you shipped them in the middle of summer and they’re
not being cooled down, then they might go inactive and then they might not work either.
And then you’ll say “Oh, that John’s full of shit!” Well, no, if you get the
proper nematodes, they will take care of the challenge. And you might have to experiment.
You might have to do more than one round of the nematodes, and if you do, I would encourage
you to get them from different suppliers because one supplier’s stuff may be good and the
other supplier’s stuff may be bad and I have no way to check this.
So, yeah, what would nature do? Nature would have controls to control nature. If things
get out of balance, then the predators come. Like if there’s too many rats, then the
cat population will increase because there’s more rats for the cats to eat, they’ll be
healthier because they’ll be eating more and guess what they’ll reproduce more. Have
more cats, eat all the rats. And that’s basically my premise of my whole philosophy
on how I garden. What would nature do? I try to think about. Not what would John do—maybe
you could think what John do would because John would do what nature would do… WWJD—What
Would John Do. What Would Nature Do? So that you can think about “Oh, no, this plant’s
getting eaten by bugs!” or whatever. What would nature do? Well, then nature would have
a predatory bug. So if you’re getting aphids, you could set free some ladybugs that would
eat the bugs or you could use some praying mantises. There’s all different kinds on
natural biologic controls when these problems crop up.
And I want to encourage you guys to think, really think, What Would Nature Do? Hopefully
this answered your question, Zachary, you could have a bountiful garden and grow even
more food for you and your family so you guys could get healthier and, once again, get out
of the industrial agriculture system as much as you can.
Hopefully you’re also gonna spread this news, spread your passion—because I can
see you’re quite passionate about gardening—with others as I do because it’s really this
is what we need. All you gardeners out there, to make a difference in the world is for one
person just to tell another person and get somebody else fired up about gardening like
I’ve done so that we can change this world, and we have a whole world and country of gardeners
taking responsibility for themselves, growing food, getting them one step out of that standard
system that we’re involved with and we can make this world a better place one person
at a time. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode. Once
again, my name is John Kohler with We’ll see you next time, and remember, keep
on growing.

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100 thoughts on “How to Eliminate Grubs in Your Lawn or Garden without Pesticide

  1. Here in Florida, nature sends the armadillos to eat the grubs, however the armadillos do more damage than the grubs. We don't want to kill them and they're difficult to trap. We've read ammonia repels them, but we don't want ammonia in our soil. Does anyone have suggestions?

  2. hey what about the vine boarer? This thing is a menace down here and wrecked a couple of my up and coming pumpkin plants : (

  3. Those grubs are beetle larvae…I learned the hard way. Beer traps DO attract them (and tge beetles and slugs and snails and earwigs!) Ive caught plenty this way. If you find your brassicas have been nibbled(especially at the base) dig around the base and u will find a big fat grub ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. Beneficial nematodes rock! I spray our yard every Spring to control grubs and therefore moles! It works great. Also, nematodes work better on fire ants, fleas and termites than chemicals! This is what I use

  5. Got grubs? Go fishing! Or get a mole. I have a few come over and catch them and they are free๐Ÿ˜€

  6. I had the same problem, and I learn that with Dawn soap ,damp the area with Dawn, no other brand it Dawn, and let me know I am grub free, also work for mole cricket, good luck.

  7. Nematodes are $30/ application in Ontario and they need to be sprayed/watered in to your lawn in spring and fall in order to work. Manually removing Grubs is not an option when they're under your lawn. The moles have tunnelled all over my lawn and the skunk has ripped it to shreds on the year I skipped the nematodes but at $60 / season it's too pricey for me…!

  8. Interested in the substance of the video, but too much blather & bad language to keep my attention. Quit listening before I got the info I needed.

  9. I find that applying Bacillus thuringiensis to the root base at planting, then spraying the leaves mid and late season kills off most of the adult insects, resulting in a substantially lower grub population the next year.

  10. Nature's balance in some areas dictated that moles will appear to eat the grubs. Then they will eat your veggie roots.

  11. Hi thanks for your info, I have a citrus tree grapefruit will not grow and little yellow leaves, help please thanks

  12. So … I know how everyone feels about rodents … but I wanted to offer up this info:
    I have been caring for mice (it happened on accident found some orphaned mice and couldn't let them just die – all life being precious an all) and I've discovered some pretty amazing things about them the first thing I discovered is that they are amazing gardeners … they take seeds crack them and bury them in soil that they themselves cultivate ..they move roots and plant seeds as close as they can … then they tend to their saplings and the roots as the plants grow.. they also eat grubs and other insects ,… in fact insects are their primary food source… then fruit ..then vegetation..then seeds ..but mostly insects… voles moles and shrews love grubs also skunks and raccoons do too.. but they do a little more damage than the smaller critters. Some people will tell you mice will bring in the ticks.. and I would argue ticks feed on all wild life not just the mice and mice eat those too… so do guinea hens … I think if we learn how to live with all the life in a symbiotic way we will all benefit
    So if you find you have a grub problem … and you're killing off the mice and other small rodents .. perhaps let them live for a bit and see if this takes care of it if the rodents become too overwhelming … get a cat ๐Ÿ™‚ <3

  13. dont grubs help. these grubs are just larvaethat are gonna grow into a beetle and you make there lifes worse!

  14. Biological warfare๐Ÿ“ My grandfather would take beer, bury a cup to soil level, and fill the cup….with beer…snails seemed to love it and fall in and drown…go nematodes! Nope they are NOT imaginary beings

  15. Dear people who eliminate beetle grubs

    Let me introduce myself my name is fikri.although you saw on the top at your left theres a simbol (Y),it refers to my mom.I Am also an animal lover.I was wondering, can you sent me some of the grubs to me at malaysia.
    It is because, my ambition is to be a scientist in the future.Dont panik,i just asking you if you can sent me some of the grubs

    That's all from me a have to pen of now.hope you will agree.bye.

  16. When he mentioned nematodes and bacteria I immediately became concerned. I'm worried that if you put an animal in an area that it does not normally reside in large number it could turn out very bad for your health. I just don't feel good about adding worms to my growing food just to get rid of grubs. What else eats grubs that wont eat the budding plants? Maybe that is a safer option? I will do more research.

  17. I have heard that apple cider vinegar works as a fertilizer and as a repellent for most pests but I have no clue if it works for grubs. You would think that the acid in it would be strong enough to get rid of them but at the same time if it is able to hurt the grubs it can also hurt earth worms that you want in your soil. There are pesticides that are formulated to not harm the worms, I don't know for sure it that is just a marketing scheme or not, but I can not be in direct contact with any pesticides as I will be working with young children. I can't get a chicken without a permit because I will be living within the city limits and livestock animals are not deemed acceptable in that area for public health reasons. I'm really at a loss. I am really counting on growing food in my backyard with the kiddies and using that food to supplement my groceries to feed them. This is really important to me and is imperative that I get it right.

  18. I made a 2 min concise video on How to Get Rid of Grubs. Basically you can use Milky Spores or Corn Meal. Here is the video, hope you like the video and subscribe if you do ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Collect the grubs and feed them to the birds win you win, I just kill them at night while I'm killing slugs and the birds eat them in the morning.

  20. Basically if you want to kill grubs simply put this video on in the yard and the grubs will kill themselves from being bored to death.

  21. This guy does way too much cocaine. Just spray bifenthryn everywhere. Itโ€™ll kill every bug and grub for miles !

  22. Chickens ! Free eggs , chicken soup, Meat to go with the veggies. Beware, chickens do eat some veggies, which is OK too, as there is either too much of something or not enough. Ahhhh, happy eggs taste better. The only way to get them is to have happy chickens. Chickens that chase and catch bugs are happy, happy., One or two happy chickens is plenty of chickens for most gardens.

  23. Dude, that John is full of shit! LoL j/k Your videos are really good man, dare I say, even a little funny.

  24. Blah blah blah. Get to the point. Your not auditioning for a movie role in Hollyweed. Start using a respirator from now on when applying herbicides and pesticides. It's better for your organic brain matter.

  25. harvest imo's(indigenous microbial organisms)nylon stocking filled with rice-bury under stump or healthy hardwood tree,10 -12 inches deep,,,then grow imo/1 imo/2 imo/3….this will bring in nemotodes,,,also,i here charcoal ,with its millions of micro' holes provides residence and moisture for them(natural lump only)…i used charcoal for ant and termite repellent,,work pretty well,,just learning microbes though.i'll let you know,,,,,,,,NPK UNIVERSITIES,HARLEY SMITH,,,DR ELAINE INGHAM,BUILDING SOIL….HARVESTING MICROBES ?,,,good luck,,…..,,,NATURE IS AWESOME

  26. OMG! You killed me and the grubs got away Scott free. A little intro is fine but you went on way too long.

  27. for those that visit this page. get a railroad pick, they are large and have long picks on both ends. they are easy to get in hard ground deep with enough leverage to pop up huge areas of hard clay and the grubs are every where, mostly shallow. but the pick by far is the best tool to have in gardening, then no matter how worthless or harmless some claim these grubs are, it's essential to pass along this good fortune to the birds. by a clay pot bottom just put the grubs in there and the nesting birds will swarm the thing, my cats thank me too. screw these slugs or grubs, all they want to do is dine on my farm, not on my watch. they look tasty.

  28. Dude, get to to the point! Your videos would be so much better of you didn't blab so much before you finally get to the information that matters!

  29. Grubs, ouch. Lizards feast on them. I lost a few chili plants to cut worms, then saw a lizard digging and it came up with a cut worm. Chickens listen and can hear them. Beneficial nematodes are not cheap, but I am ๐Ÿ™‚ Birds and lizards work better anyway, in our heat. BTW, the only place grubs are a problem is where sorghum and sweet corn grew last year.

  30. Summary:
    1) Milky Sporeย 
    2) Beneficial nematodes*

    *For best results, buy from a reputable vendor that will ship your nematodes in a temperature controlled container.

  31. The grubs are most likely beetle grubs. I let my ducks clear them out. They remove grubbs and barely disturb the ground. Gentle on the garden too.They also eat the adults resulting in fewer grubs.

  32. it's July in Ohio. I am so sick of these June bugs. Can I use nematodes now or would it be too late. I've been hearing about neem oil also and have that on hand. Thank you!!

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