Large C Shaped Grubs In Compost Pile

Monte(6-NE NJ)January 1, 2013

Large C Shaped Grubs In Compost Pile

New composters are often shocked to find these in their piles and are naturally concerned and/or repulsed by them.

No need to fear. Often times what you have are the grubs of the Green Fruit Beetle.

A quick web search using Google or one of the other search engines, using either of those terms will bring up a lot of good info that I will summerize here.

Green fruit beetles are, for the most part, good guys. They prefer to feed on decomposing organic material as grubs and overripe or rotting fruit as adults. If you have them in the compost pile they are working hard to break it down for you along with the redworms and other members of your "microherd".

You can identify them from other more destructive types of grubs fairly easily. They are an off white color changing to a dark grey at the tail end with a reddish brown head. They are considerably larger than most grubs, up to 2" in some cases. Say the size of a small shrimp. If you expose them they will crawl on their backs, legs in the air, to try and rebury themselves. This "upside down" mode of locomotion is specific to this species.

It has been noted that, unlike other types, this species will come to the surface at night and move about, and in doing so, serve to aereate the compost piles for you.

If you sift your compost before use you may wind up with quite a few of them at one time. They make good fishbait. You can also place them in a shallow pan or tray and lay them out as food for the birds.

There are many other more destructive species and of course if you find that is what you have you need to take measures to remidiate the situation.

Milky spore or benificial nematodes are some recommended methods that are low impact. Limiting heavy chemical use will allow for natural processes to keep things in check for the most part.

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