Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Lawn Grubs

We get lawn grub in our area and they really make a mess of the lawn, leaving large brown patches as they go along munching the roots of the grass and therefore killing it off.  They seem to be in plentiful supply at the moment as they love the warmer months.

Army Worm (photo borrowed from www.coastalturf.com.au)
They were named 'Army Worms' because of the way they start at one point in your lawn and eat progressively across it like an army marching in battle.


Army Worm damage to my lawn

Knowing the life cycle of these little pests can give you insight into how to control them naturally.  First  the adult moth lives for 4 (or so) days and during that time it lays little clumps of eggs which hatch after just 2 - 5 days.  At this stage you can eliminate most of the problem by getting rid of the eggs.  They lay them around the outside of your home in places protected by the weather.

Moth eggs from Army Worms found under our house eaves

Some of the more common places to look are, up under the eaves and window ledges, along clothes lines, along the underneath of gutters and downpipes.  A quick brush with the broom or high pressure hose down will get rid of these but you need to keep this up every week throughout the warmer months to be really effective.

Pupae of Army Worm

After the eggs hatch you get the Army worm stage where they devastate your lawn resulting in ugly brown patches.  If you have chickens this is probably a good time to let them roam on the lawn and do some pest control for you.  The worm will live for about 3 weeks and after this they enter the pupae stage.  To eliminate them in this stage you would need to pick them out of the soil when gardening and dispose of them.  It is pretty obvious that to control these pests naturally the best time to get them is at the egg stage where they are fairly easily seen.


Adult Army Worm - Moth (Photo borrowed from www.brisbaneinsects.com)
You may also see wasps hovering over your lawn during this time.  They are a natural predator to the Army worm as they lay their eggs in them.  Lady beetles are another natural predator so encouraging these insects to your garden will also help control them.

Time for me to get back out there with the broom.

Chez

2 comments:

  1. Lady beetls are a predator?? How funny... but they are so cute! lol

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes lady beetles will feed on the moth eggs. They are also bred to control aphids on plants. You can buy them out at Mundubbera in Queensland to control the pests in your garden or on your farm.

    ReplyDelete

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