Organic lawn grub control
How to Organically Control Lawn Grubs.
Lawn grubs can become a real problem for some lawn owners, but often the chemical cures can be worse than the problem, when looked at from an environmental perspective. So lets take a look at how to deal with lawn grubs from an organic and environmentally friendly perspective.
This article discusses larval lawn grubs from lawn beetles, as well as caterpillars such as Armyworm and Sod Webworm which are often also referred to as lawn grubs.
Naturally Reducing Infestations
This is always step one in all organic lawn care - reducing the possibility of problems occurring - before we have to find treatments for problems.
Mow lawns higher. Both beetles and moths love laying their eggs as close to the soil as possible. Having a lovely long and healthy sward is the best defence against lawn grub infestations, as well as reducing our water usage and keeping our lawns healthier in Summer and reducing weeds.
Lawn grubs thrive in a moist environment. Now while water is of course vital for our lawns, our lawn soil does not need to be constantly moist - which is actually bad for lawns anyway. Only water lawns as and when necessary, and only when the grass is showing signs of heat stress and deterioration, and only ever water deeply. This encourages a water-wise lawn which is far more drought tolerant, as well as creating an environment which is leas friendly to lawn grubs.
Regular lawn aeration using the lawn coring or garden fork methods will greatly aid in creating a healthy strong lawn, but most importantly - aeration will encourage deeper, stronger roots which are far more resilient to lawn grub attack. Aeration is best done using lawn coring which will also help to control thatch build up. Alternatively, a garden fork can be dug into the soil to help aerate the soil.
Many wasps lay their eggs inside beetle larvae, which kills the beetle in turn. While having a few wasps in the yard is not for everyone, it's something to keep in mind if we do have them, wasps can be a good friend to the lawn and garden owner. Wasps will also kill other garden pests such as cabbage moth on our vegetables.
Birds not only bring our homes and gardens to life, but they also love to eat many different lawn and garden pests, including all lawn grubs, as well as caterpillars and many other insects.
Encourage birds into your yard to naturally control many different lawn pests by planting trees and bushes which are most native to your region, instal a bird bath and keep it filled with clean water.
Best Methods Of Organic Control of Lawn Grubs
If all the above methods have not worked in reducing an infestation of lawn grubs, and you still have the need to apply a pesticide control, then the best option in Australia is actually a Bacterial Control called Bacillus thuringiensis.
This is a proven and accepted method of controlling caterpillars and lawn grubs and is readily available. The solution is applied to the lawn, or other plants, and is then ingested by the lawn pests, which will die within a few days.
Bacillus thuringiensis is safe for bees, fish, birds and pets, and can be applied to vegetables, fruits and other plants. It contains no poisons.
Yates make a product called Yates Nature’s Way Dipel Caterpillar Killer, and can be found on the Yates website here.
Other well known but more difficult products to find for organic control of caterpillars and lawn grubs are Milky Spore and Parasitic Nematodes, both of which may be extremely difficult to source in Australia.