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Frankie Flowers: How to take care of grubs!

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

What are grubs?

Grubs are the larvae stage of a beetle and or chafer. In Ontario most likely a June or Japanese beetle!!

Are they harmful?

Grubs are not harmful to humans but they do destroy our lawns by eating the fibrous roots of grass type plants during the growing season. Damage is more noticeable later on during summer months during dry periods when lawns slow and growth and struggle to survive. At this time you may notice brown patches.

The adult stage of grubs…beetles and chafers are harmful to gardens as they eat almost everything in sight including trees, flowering shrubs, annuals, perennials and vegetables.

Skunks, Raccoons, Moles tearing up your lawn?

The most common way people discover they have grubs is in early spring when rodents, and fuzz friends tear up lawns in search of them. Grubs are a rich source of protein for or furry friends including skunks, raccoons, moles and feathered friends too! In fact these guys are taking care of your grub population but the problem is they are destroying your lawn at the same time!

How do you stop the digging and tunneling??

You need to discourage them! By smell…apply bloodmeal (Garden Care) to areas …skunks, raccoons, and moles hate the smell. Bloodmeal needs to be reapplied after rain. For permanent control you need to get rid of the grubs!!

Controlling Grubs:

Ontario’s Cosmetic Pesticide limits options for grub control. Previous to the ban a chemical product called Merit was used but now Nematodes are one of the only options. Nematodes are microscopic organisms that are naturally occurring and present in the soil. They are harmless to wildlife, pets and humans so you may use your lawn immediately after applying. Nematodes die off when the grub population in your soil is reduced.

Nematodes are best used as a preventative application to control newly hatched larvae so the best time to apply them is in late August to early October. They infect grubs within 2 days of application and kill them within 14 days. Nematodes will not kill the entire grub population in your lawn, but will reduce it drastically.

NOTE: NEMATODES NEED TO BE REFRIDGEATED

Nematode application

It is ideal to apply Nematodes from the end of August to October.grubbusters

Nematodes should be applied to very moist soil (the will die if applied to dry soil). It is recommended that you water your lawn well BEFORE applying nematodes. This also drives the grubs closer to the surface which makes it easier for the nematodes to reach them.
Nematodes should not be applied on bright sunny days, as UV light will kill them. It is recommended that you apply them early or late in the day, or on an overcast day. Ideally, apply the Nematodes on a rainy day, as it will aid in the watering in of the Nematodes.
Nematodes should be sprayed into the lawn using a sprayer designed specifically for nematode application. For the nematodes to work effectively, it is essential to water the soil as soon as possible as the water helps them to penetrate further into the soil, where the grubs live.

Note: Having your lawn aerated before applying nematodes will aid in the movement of the grubs into the root zone of your lawn.

YOUR CHECKLIST:

EARLY SPRING:

Monitor for grub damage
Repair damaged areas
Aerate
Level, top-dress with soil and over seed areas damaged by raccoons, skunks or moles.
Keep Moist.

SUMMER:

Apply Nematodes

EARLY FALL:

Apply Nematodes
Overseed

NOTE: I also recommend Early Spring, Summer and Fall Fertilizing of lawn for optimal health. My Fav is CIL GOLFGREEN!!

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