Help! Grub worms eating vegetable plants.
I built several raised beds early in the spring and filled them with fresh soil. My yard is mostly weeds and dirt (the whole backyard is a work-in-progress). The garden area is fenced off from the rest of the yard. I noticed what appeared to be dead bees in the beds about two weeks ago, along with eggs. I thought maybe they were spider eggs and would be beneficial, so I left them alone. Big mistake! Those "bees" were beetles and those eggs were the beetles' eggs. Two days ago while weeding I discovered what appears to be hundreds upon hundreds of inch-long grub worms (they are whitish, somewhat see-through) all throughout each bed, although mostly they are taking over the bed with cucumber and pumpkin plants. I did some research and ordered beneficial nematodes from Home Depot two nights ago, but that won't arrive for another few days. This morning one entire cucumber plant is completely gone, except for about a one inch section of the stem. These disgusting grubs are so plentiful it seems there are more of them than there is soil! I can see my plants wiggling while they eat them from the bottom up! It's so gross! This is my first time gardening. I am sure these bugs already existed throughout my weed-ridden backyard (the house was formerly a rental and totally neglected, inside and out). Is there anything I can do to salvage my garden? I'm wondering if I will have to accept that I will have no surviving plants, have my husband spray pesticides throughout, and start again next year. Should I still bother with the nematodes? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I am totally at a loss. Like I said the infestation is so massive the grubs are more plentiful than the dirt. Is my garden even salvageable? Thank you for any advice! This is in Colorado, by the way, if that makes any difference.