Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Ladies and gentlemen....THE BEETLES!
I'm not sure which of these is George, but let's hope this year they are both the quiet one.
Suffice it to say, this is not your parent's Ed Sullivan performance and the only screaming I've heard in recent years is that of the home owner crying to the heavens as their lawn slowly became a grub buffet.
Last year lawns disappeared faster than political approval ratings.
The good news? With the cooler weather this year, insect development is a month behind schedule. However, vigilance is key and you should be on the lookout for excessive night flights by the European Chafer and Japanese Beetle as they prepare to mate and lay eggs...yes, in your lawn.
Now, four grubs per square foot is no big deal and damage will not be evident until you hit the 10 psf threshold. At that point treatment is highly recommended.
Although there are new controls on the horizon, currently your only defense are nematodes and believe me, I'm not happy about it either.
As stated in previous posts, mid August to the end of September is your best window of opportunity to allow second generation nematodes to do their thing and hopefully eradicate up to 70% of the larvae before they can over-winter in your soil.
But you must remember timing isn't everything in this case. UV, expiration dates, proper storage until use and water, water, water must be taken into strong consideration when applying.
As far as damage is concerned, you should see it come August. Look for circular bled patches of grass that do not respond to watering. In time, these patches will snake outward and the grass will lift quite easily like a carpet.
The best advice I can give you, if you see this damage don't Let it Be, otherwise your turf will have a Long and Winding Road to recovery.