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Lawn Beetle
Lawn Beetle

A Different Perspective On African Lawn Beetles

We usually refer to African Black Beetles as Lawn Beetles, and place all sorts of blame onto them for the ills of our lawns health, but is this a true belief, or an urban myth? And is it necessary to kill lawn beetles?

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The Problem With Lawn Beetles

Through the larva stage of their life cycle, the Lawn Beetle will chew away at the roots of our lawns as its primary food supply. With its roots being attacked, the natural assumption for us is often to believe this is a bad thing, that without roots our lawns will surely die. So we may believe that the Lawn Beetle must be a real pest.

Perhaps not so.


Lets Look Further At Lawn Beetles

While the larvae most definitely feeds on the roots of lawns, they generally keep moving throughout the soil, rarely concentrating on a single small area. Having a feed here and there, and never doing enough damage to a single area of the lawn root system to cause it to kill the lawn area it is supporting.

In turn, the lawn’s response is to replace its lost roots with new, younger and more vigorous roots, and this is very good for the lawn.


Another Factor To Consider

Lawn Beetle activity increases as temperature increases.

This is exactly the same as the growth and health patterns in lawns, so as beetle activity increases, so does the ability of the lawn to repair itself. In fact, a lawn would have to be severely infested before the damage from beetles could ever outpace the lawns ability to repair and regrow from any damage caused. And as lawns become dormant during the Winter, so do the beetles.


Another Lawn Beetle Benefit

Yes, there is still one more benefit to having Lawn beetles in our lawns.

As the beetles and larvae burrow throughout our lawns, they leave behind them masses of tiny trails and tunnels.

This has the effect of naturally aerating the soil beneath the lawn, allowing vital oxygen to circulate into the soil for the roots of the lawn to be able to take up.

So the Lawn Beetle could be referred to as nature’s little lawn coring machines.


When Beetles Become A Problem

When lawns are suffering from poor health due to lack of care, lack of nutrients, or lack of water or sunlight, the damage factor of the beetles can outpace the repair abilities of the lawn. But this will only be if lawn beetle numbers begin to increase significantly.

Though beetles can rarely gather to great enough numbers to outpace the lawns ability to repair itself.

In these cases of large lawn beetle numbers, treatment to control and kill lawn beetles should be considered. But for most of us, treatment to control lawn beetle will most often be unnecessary.


Lawn Beetle Treatment

In the rare case that control of African Lawn Beetle may need to be sought, simple pesticide dusts are available in most nurseries for a few dollars. Once applied to the lawn, the dust is then watered in, and dead beetles will continue to appear on the lawn surface for up to a month later.





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