Monday, April 23, 2012

The Hangover III - with Grub Galifianakis

Here we are a full three years after the pesticide bylaw came in to effect for Ontario and suffering from what I like to call the Merit hangover.

Except this hangover is much harder to watch and has me wanting to walk out of the theatre before the end.

Merit was what we used to use to control white grub back before the Province decided to remove it from the shelves and leave us to fend off our root feeding foes with nematodes and a prayer.

Perhaps you have noticed how much damage there is from skunks and raccoons digging the living be-jesus out of your turf this spring on their quest for the white grub.

Yet, this isn't an adventure, nor is it a fantasy led by a wise wizard. This time you can't get rid of that pesky ring by casting it into Mount Doom. In fact, there isn't much you can do to combat these dark forces at this time of the year. could get an aeration at least. Open up the soil for Hitchcock's birds to take over, but remember this isn't a thriller that gets resolved easily.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there that would have you believe nematodes will work this early in the season...they don't!

They'll quote Steinernema glaseri as the nematode of choice to throw you off track and separate you from those funky new plastic c-notes, but this isn't a mystery filled with intrigue and red herrings either.

By the time you figure out who-done-it?...your money will be gone and so will the lawn company, but you'll still be left with your grubs.

The truth is, even in ideal conditions when all the parameters have been met and the nematodes sent into battle in brooding cloud and rain somewhere in mid-August, you can expect maybe....80-85% control, so this isn't much of a war film either for these band of brothers.

Many times this spring I have been left to ponder all this senseless destruction and in staggered bursts, whisper, the horror...the horror. It's actually the closest genre to what is happening out there.

The saddest thing is, it isn't my fault, nor is it the home owners, yet we are shelling out the shekels only to witness another sequel to the grubs hunger games.

Almost everyone I talk to is fed up with the lack of alternatives and contemplating replacing the lawn with rock gardens and artificial turf. This is a threat opening up a whole new set of problems if enough people get on board that Titanic. As stated yesterday, the grass is responsible for filtering a lot of crap out of our air and if that changes...I don't want to think of the potential consequences.

But, what can be done while lobbyists and enviro-fear mongers rule the roost?

I'm open to suggestions and I share your frustration.

One thing for sure with this sure isn't a comedy. Because the only ones laughing are the grubs.

Contact your local provincial representative and push for modifications to the pesticide act. Trash politics and return to the health and safety approved scientific approach. Put chemicals, that were approved by Health Canada and the PMRA back in the hands of the licenced professional...let us do our jobs effectively.

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