Grub problems in lawns can be solved in many ways.
You have the option of choosing what works best for your situation or what serves your needs best. This article focuses on one of such options available to you; the use of beneficial nematodes for grub control.
If you’re fascinated by the use of natural methods for grub control, this read on nematodes for lawn should be interesting.
We’ve gone the extra steps to show you what this is all about and how to apply this environmentally-friendly treatment to your lawn to save it from further damage.
Grubs Aren’t Entirely Bad
This may sound surprising but is true.
When it comes to the presence of grubs in your lawn or yard, they aren’t entirely bad as they help in aerating and loosening the soil. Plus, a healthy lawn will support a limited grub population.
However, the problem arises when there’s an upward shoot in the grub population.
This presents an infestation problem that needs to be tackled fast before your lawn gets ruined. The acceptable number of grubs per square foot starts from 0 to 5.
Anything more than this requires urgent control strategies implemented.
When it comes to environmental safety concerns, the use of nematodes is listed among the top grub treatment measures. Chemical pesticides cause a lot of damage to other beneficial bacteria and soil organisms.
Although grubs are killed in the process, it doesn’t provide a clean job. Hence it is considered unsuitable.
What Are Beneficial Nematodes?
To understand how beneficial nematodes help in grub control, it’s necessary to first explain what they are. These are microscopic and non-segmented roundworms that are useful in several pest control scenarios.
They are parasitic to a variety of pests including grubs and several other insects.
When released, beneficial nematodes find their way through all available openings including the body walls. When they find their way in, they feed by excreting digestive bacteria.
The secreted digestive bacterium quickly multiplies and poisons, thus leading to the death of such pests.
As they feed on pests, they increase in number and find more hosts (in this case grubs) to feed on. The benefits are clearly seen here as such nematodes help in resolving your grub infestation problems.
Knowing The Beneficial Nematode Variety To Use
Beneficial nematodes come in different varieties.
These are designed or engineered to achieve specific purposes and for different pest issues. There are beneficial nematodes for specific pest issues such as for iris borer control, large pine weevil, German roach, fruit flies, gall midge, flea beetle, and fungus gnat control just to mention a few.
For grub control, a specific variety of these beneficial nematodes is used.
These are coded as the Sr and Hb varieties. This doesn’t mean such varieties won’t be effective of select pests. It only means grubs can also be controlled using them.
Other pests issues that can be treated using the Sr and Hb beneficial nematode varieties include Japanese beetles, May/June beetles, and the Citrus root weevil.
Application Rate For Beneficial Nematodes
To properly use beneficial nematodes for grub control, you’ll need to know the application rate or volume to be applied. First, there’s an application frequency which is then followed by the application rate.
When dealing with a grub infestation, beneficial nematodes should be applied every 7 to 10 days. This should continue until such infestation subsides. Now, for the application rate, it largely depends on the size of your lawn or garden.
To better understand what the coverage area is per treat, 5 million treats about 1,600 sq ft of lawn or infested area. 10 million beneficial nematodes will cover about 3,600 sq. ft while 50 million nematodes will treat about an acre.
If the area to be covered is quite large, you may want to apply about 250 million to 500 million beneficial nematodes which treat around 5 acres to 10 acres respectively.
The number of beneficial nematodes you buy will depend on the size of your yard or garden.
Is There an Ideal Time for Applying Beneficial Nematodes?
For beneficial nematodes, it’s best to apply when soil temperatures moderate. Such times include mornings and evenings.
During this time, soil temperatures range from 42 degrees F to 95 degrees F.
These are known to be tolerable for beneficial nematode activity. Temperatures beyond this range do not favor their activity. When you apply in the afternoons when temperatures are quite high, beneficial nematodes won’t parasitize on grub.
However, it’s best to refer to the use of instructions accompanying this product. More often than not, you tend to get better results by sticking to such use instructions.
How Are Beneficial Nematodes Applied For Grub Control?
Most beneficial nematodes are effectively applied to grub-infested areas using water. Now, there are several ways by which such water can be applied. These range from the use of hose-end sprayers, sprinklers, or pump sprayers, etc.
You’ll first need to mix nematodes in such water and gradually agitate. Now, the mix rate will largely depend on water pressure differences. Different water application equipment has varying pressures.
What more? Your walking speed will also contribute to determining the mix rate of nematodes. During the application, you may be walking fast or slow. In any case, different movement speeds will require specific mix rates.
As earlier stated, you’ll need to refer to the use of instruction of beneficial nematodes. These offer a better guide on how to go about the application process.
Visible Results When Using Nematodes For Lawn
One of the first things people ask about beneficial nematodes is how soon after applications do results begin to show.
This is a good question. Due to the nature of these beneficial organisms, it takes as much as 2 weeks after the initial application to begin to see visible results.
The stress on your lawn initially observed before the application begins to disappear with greener lawns resulting after this time period.
The use of beneficial nematodes for grub control has proven very useful over the years. This is a reliable and safe way to take back control of your lawn.