Mid-American Gardener

Slugs, Grubs, and All Things Bugs!


It’s warming up outside, and with warmer temperatures comes new growth but also the creepy crawlies. You might be finding new insects in your yard already, and Phil is visiting us this week to teach us how to manage pests in our yards and gardens. 

Grubs are very common, and they feed on dead organic matter. While they hatch in early August and eat the roots of grass if it is dry, they will overwinter and come back in the spring. Grubs do not move very far or spread, staying contained to a three to five feet area. Phil says that if you did not find grass or root damage in the fall when it was dry (so they would have been most active), your grass should be safe from grub damage this spring. 

May Beetles are also emerging. They come out at night between 9:30pm and 1:30am to attack tree leaves, mostly those of crabapples, apples, and oak trees. If you have an infestation of May Beetles, Phil has a few recommendations of both organic and non-organic remedies to try. 

As many of you may have noticed, some plants and buds got damaged from the cold snaps this spring. Phil brought in a mulberry branch to demonstrate that our plants are a lot more resilient than we might initially think. The first set of leaves did blacken and die, but there’s plenty of new growth that is starting to leaf out. While this will affect the growth of the tree this season, since a lot of energy was expended in sending out new leaves, as long as this second round of growth is protected, they will catch up in the next year. If you have a cold snap damaged tree, Phil says to just “watch it.” If you can leave it alone the next few weeks, even with damaged leaves, he says nature should run its course and regenerate. If it does well, you won’t even know the damage happened. 

We also discuss the temperatures that start to awaken both plant and insect development and emergence, as well as home remedies to control slugs while protecting your plants.

If you’ve got any questions for our panelists or suggestions for gardens or greenhouses that we should visit, please send us an email at yourgarden@gmail.com com, or you can find us on Facebook and Instagram.

Air Dates and Times

Channel Day Time
WILL-TV, Urbana Thursday 7 pm (live)
  Saturday 11 am (repeat)
WTVP-TV, Peoria Saturday 11:30 am
WEIU-TV, Charleston Sunday 1:30 pm
WSEC-TV, Springfield Saturday 11 am
WQEC-TV, Quincy Saturday 11 am
WMEC-TV, Macomb Saturday 11 am
Lakeshore PBS, Chicago/Northwest Indiana Friday 1 pm

Featured Entry

Spring has sprung!

There's finally things to do outside, as the Mid-American Gardener crew prep their gardens for the season!