Lawn Grubs

Lawn Grubs – Don’t Panic

Areas of Queensland have recently experienced lawn grubs in large numbers; the key is not to panic. Lawn grubs are larvae of an adult moth for which there are three types- armyworm, sod webworm and the cutworm. Your first reaction maybe to reach for the nearest pesticide which will work in the short term but it will also kill all the good microbes in you soil effecting soil fertility in the long term.  

When Should I Spray For Lawn Grubs – Never, Never, Never. Nature is a wonderful thing, for every pest there is a predator and when chemicals are used to spray, the mini eco system in the soil gets wiped out, leaving the lawn or pastures vulnerable and unbalanced. A lot of people spray when they see the red wasp. Wrong. at this stage the grub has turned into a chrysalis and the wasp stings this and lays its eggs breaking the grub cycle. Lawn grubs will not kill your lawn, your lawn will recover, by helping it along with natural fertilizers such as diluting seaweed solution and also try things like melting some sugar with a little bit of hot water and adding it to the diluted seaweed (making sure the solution is cold), put this in a backpack and spray onto the lawn or pasture, this will begin the process of replacing nutrients the grubs have eaten away. Experiment!  If the grubs are still bothering you then by  using a natural fertiliser such as ‘Organic Plus’ fertiliser with Neem and this will control the grubs but will not harm the predators.

Why Is the Lawn Grub so prevalent this Year-

Every full moon we receive a fresh impulse of growth.  If moisture abounds in the soil the Earth is able to receive into herself these forces of growth and reproduction

This year we have had a fair amount of rain during the full moon periods.  This high moisture along with full moon forces were right conditions for increased insect activity.  The eggs can be dormant in the soil for a period of time waiting for favourable conditions to start their growth.  As a result the grass looks dead, it is not dead just the top leaf has died.  Unfortunately weeds take over in areas until the soil and grass can recover and balance itself again.  

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) suggests control methods are most effective when insect activity is monitored. One way of doing this is to moisten a hessian bag and place it on the lawn overnight. In the morning the adults can be collected and disposed of.

Also a bucket of soapy water made with biodegradable detergent can be poured onto affected areas encouraging the larvae and grubs to move to the surface where they can be eaten by native birds or poultry.

[1] Betwixt Heaven Earth – Brian Keats

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