Why is it that organic lawns generally don’t have grub damage in the Spring and Fall?
Every season lawn care providers apply pesticides to kill grubs. They do it at least twice a year. One time in the Spring, and again in the Fall. Grubs can do a great deal of damage to our lawn. In my 12 years providing organic lawn care services there were just two instances that I had problems dealing with grubs because of sandy soil. I fixed it using beneficial nematodes and compost. It took me a couple of years but I have never had any problems after that.
Why Organic Prevents Grub Damage
Nematodes are Nature’s pest control. If you use organic products, and you maintain your garden with a holistic approach, you are taking care of the soil. The soil, in return takes care of the pests.
In order to understand why by avoiding pesticides alone, you will not have grub damage on your property. This is the Japanese beetle’s growing cycle:
They lay eggs around your property during the summer months. Eggs develop into grubs which feed on the grass roots during late Summer and early Fall. It is now when skunks are digging in the soil looking for those grubs. So you have damage done by the grubs, and also skunks digging. Then, during the cold months of Fall and Winter, those grubs go down deep in the soil until early Spring when they come up to the surface to feed on the roots of the grass. Again, more damage done both my skunks and grubs.
The Organic Approach To Grub Damage
Healthy soil means healthy plants which contains a huge amount of diverse microbiology. In that soil you can find Nematodes. They are a group of thread worms that can cause dead to insects. They infect many type of insects that live in the soil. In this case they infect those Japanese beetle grubs.
Here is a good place to buy Nematodes . The great thing about this organic approach is that the nematode population will survive in the soil, and will have a yearly supply of food every Spring and Fall feeding on those grubs. To me, the investment in buying and spraying them is worth the price, since you typically do it once and you will fix the problem for ever until you spray chemical pesticides, or use chemical fertilizers. If you start an organic program and you follow a few steps you will defeat those little grubs in as little as one season. No grubs, no skunk damage. No unnecessary use of dangerous pesticides.
The Chemical Approach To Grub Damage
When using chemical pesticides and fertilizers you do not have a healthy soil. And you will not have a healthy population of nematodes. So without them, you have to use chemicals like Neonicotinoids, Pyrethroids, Carbamates and Organophosphates.
Organophosphates and Carbamates are generally banned on school grounds.
Neonicotinoids will not work if the product is applied too late. In 2015, EPA proposed to prohibit the use of pesticides that are toxic to bees, including neonicotinoids.
The choice is yours. You can either apply nematodes once, and let your kids run and play around the yard. Or, you can spray Neonicotinoids, Pyrethroids, Carbamates and Organophosphates every year and expose your kids to these harmful chemicals.
Have you ever used nematodes? Share your experience!