Nature always finds a way and when it comes to insects in your garden did you know that not all of them are pests?
Pest Management and identification is important because there are many insects that help to support the soil ecosystem and the health of your lawn. But, some are grass pests and they do cause damage.
This is why we recommend booking a FREE analysis with us before going ahead with any pest treatments.
At So Green our approach to dealing with lawn pests is to first assess the grass to ascertain whether there is any damage and then to identify which pest is causing it.
The most common and prevalent of the grass pests are Leatherjackets, the larvae of the Crane Fly, commonly known as ‘Daddy Long Legs’. Then there’s the larvae of the Cockchafer Beetle, so called Chafer Grubs.
The Crane Flies will lay hundreds of eggs during autumn which take just weeks to hatch. The Leatherjackets, when hatched, then live in the soil and feed on the grass roots, stems and sometimes leaves, if they’re left on the lawn. It might not be entirely obvious that there is an infestation so keep a lookout for brown, dry patches of grass, usually around January. Another sign is disruption to the soil and grass by other animals that are digging to feed on the Leatherjackets.
The Chafer Grubs are most active in the soil from mid July to October, but sometimes for longer periods. Again, a pest infestation can be difficult to notice if you don’t know what to look for. If you suspect you have Chafer Grubs, you can look for the grubs themselves, they have large curled white bodies and you will find them on the soil at the root of the grass, or you can pull at the suspected area of lawn, if it lifts easily it can be a sign of a more severe pest problem.
These pests damage your lawn because they feed on grass roots as well as essential nutrients and water within the soil, so depriving the grass. Whilst just their presence alone brings further damage as it encourages larger animals to dig in the soil to feed on them, causing even more havoc to your beautifully green maintained lawn.
Although there are no methods to completely eradicate these grubs from your garden, there are different ways to manage and reduce the impact of them. As there are no pesticides available to treat them, physical and biological means work best.
The physical treatment is simply the regular maintenance of your lawn with essential Annual Treatments such as Scarification and Aeration, because they support a healthy lawn and soil which in turn helps to prevent, not just grass pests, but other lawn-related issues such as disease, weeds and moss. Additionally, if carried out in autumn, such physical pest treatments can also work to disrupt the feeding habits of pests such as the Chafer Grub and offer even more prevention.
Sometimes working with nature rather than against can also be the key. In certain cases we call upon a biological treatment to manage pests, in the form of Nematodes – micro worms which invade the pests with a fatal fungal infection. They require ideal conditions however; temperatures above 12 degrees and plenty of moisture for success, so treating with this method at the optimal time of year is vital.
How it works
Biological treatment – For best results the lawn should be spiked before the application of the Nematodes. Your Lawn Manager will select specific Nematodes based on the type of pest infestation and add them to water in their knapsack sprayer before evenly distributing them around the lawn and then watering again to ensure the micro-worms find their way into the soil and problem areas.
What to expect
Pest management treatments rely highly on optimal conditions to be most effective. You will not see the Nematodes because they will be at work in the soil finding the pests. Rest assured if the micro worms are successful you can expect the grubs to die over a 6 week period, after which we will visit to reassess the problem areas as well as to overseed and spot-treat any damaged areas of lawn to restore a beautifully green, thick sward.
How to prepare
Yes, this treatment is completely safe for people and pets alike. The Nematodes are naturally grown micro-worms which feed only on specific pests, in this case Leatherjackets and Chafer Grubs.
Nature will always try to find a way but there are ways to prevent these pests from taking over. The number one preventative for all lawn problems is having a healthy, strong lawn, which is supported by an effective annual lawn care programme and regular maintenance, which includes mowing and watering which are extremely important for a healthy lawn.
There is no need to carry out thorough checks too often but rather to understand pest behaviour and signs of infestations so when you are out in the garden you can be vigilant and know what to look for.
– August – October
– Prevent infestation and further lawn damage
– Restore healthy soil ecosystem
– Maintain a green, healthy lawn
– Physical Treatments
– Biological Treatment
Request your Free Lawn Analysis
Before treating your lawn we will assess your lawn using our 12 Point Lawn Analysis. We will discuss the results with you and create a tailored lawn care programme that suits your lawn so you can make the most of your garden and leave the hard work to us.