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What kind of bug is this?
May 2, 2004 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Garden bug question: What are these things (photographs inside; NSFPeople who don't like creepycrawlies)? I dug up at least a dozen of them while tilling my backyard garden.

 
It's obviously the larval state of some insect, but which insect, and should I be concerned?
posted by me3dia to Science & Nature (12 answers total)
 
Do they curl up when touched?

Could be sow bugs or pill bugs, maybe?
posted by trharlan at 2:41 PM on May 2, 2004


They don't look like pill bugs (legs in the wrong spot)... they look like garden-variety (no pun intended) grubs to me. *shrugs*
posted by thebabelfish at 2:46 PM on May 2, 2004


Not sow or Pill bugs. They look like some form of beetle grub. It's tough to tell specifics without dissection, I think.
posted by milovoo at 2:54 PM on May 2, 2004


Or, here. slightly more specific to your locale.
I'm putting my money on a chafer beetle.
posted by milovoo at 2:58 PM on May 2, 2004


These look like the bugs we used to catch as kids...they live in holes in the ground. We'd get a pine straw, stick it in the hole, and if we wiggled the straw just right the grub would latch on and we'd yank em out.

Japanese beetle grubs, perhaps?
posted by konolia at 2:59 PM on May 2, 2004


Milovoo, I'm pretty sure that's the one. Thanks! (They're definitely not pillbugs, these things are a good inch long.)

It looks like I need to hit the garden center for some insecticide. I don't want them tearing up the lawn.
posted by me3dia at 3:07 PM on May 2, 2004


We'd get a pine straw, stick it in the hole, and if we wiggled the straw just right the grub would latch on and we'd yank em out.

That's exactly how the finches do it too, although they eat them afterwards. (You didn't eat them did you?)
posted by milovoo at 3:08 PM on May 2, 2004


Of course not. They were raw.
posted by konolia at 6:43 PM on May 2, 2004


Oh by the way, pillbugs are actually a crustacean, not an insect.
posted by konolia at 6:44 PM on May 2, 2004


If they're bitter-tasting, they're a beetle. If they have a sort of sour tang, they're a pillbug. If they're sweet, I don't know what you've got, maybe a fly grub.

So whatcha got?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:59 PM on May 2, 2004


Don't know what they are called but we used to catch them when I was a kid. Catfish love 'em.
posted by kamikazegopher at 9:47 PM on May 2, 2004


Don't dump poison on your lawn! You may kill the grubs you don't like at the expense of all of the other bugs essential for healthy soil.

Despite what the experts (whose research is underwritten by the likes of DOW Chemical) might say, there is really nothing to worry about with beetle grubs. They do nibble on plant roots, yes, but not enough to do real damage. If you had a plague of biblical proportions, maybe, but otherwise just let 'em be. Your yard will be much better off with a few grubs and no poison.
posted by ewagoner at 8:10 AM on May 3, 2004


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