Gerry's Blog



Good Morning Gerry:
We have noticed a great increase in apparent raccoon digging in both our front and back yards. And having dug in the gardens & lawn, we note that we have seen (and swished) many grubs.
So our question is: have grubs developed an immunity to the current nematode application, or the converse, has the nematode application changed or weakened in any way?
If the nematode application isn't working, is its recipe being changed to make it more effective?
Craig & Sue
Grubs are hard to control in lawns
Hi Craig Sue
Thanks for asking
Nematodes are the only product available. and they haven't changed nor do I think the grubs have changed
It consists of 2 varieties of nematodes that are known to infect grubs
Tests at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute show nematodes to be 50% effective against grubs. 
Given that in "laboratory" conditions- they are getting 50%- in home lawn under less than ideal conditions- results may be less.
The applications put literally millions of them on the lawn.
But you are dealing with a microscopic worm- a living organism that need moisture to survive and to move in the soil to its target.
Since there are no other alternatives- the choice is do something - knowing that it is not as effective as we may like or do nothing and take your chances.
Currently there are no indications that a higher rate or applying more often (both of which would substantially increase the cost) are going to increase the % effectiveness.
I know they are continuing to test various scenarios, but there are no other lawn care recommendations at this time.
Turf King recommends treating for grubs with Nematodes as part of your comprehensive lawn care program/package

Imagine my surprise to see this mugho pine with sections of branches with needles missing.

But as you move closer, all of a sudden the pine seems to move. The sawfly larva (not really  true caterpillars) are clustered together on the tips of the pine, although usually not right at the tip. When they are disturbed, they seem to rear up on their leggs. But they do this in unison - like a wave at the hockey arena.

These little creatures can chew off many needles from Austrian and Mugho pines in a short time if they are not treated with an insecticide.

Pine sawfly larva Damage

a closer look at the larva

Pine sawfly larva

Video of Larvae doing the wave




Turf King Lawn Care Professionals

This weekend, was at the Lilac Festival at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton. Not all the Lilacs were not in full bloom yet, but there were many beautiful blossoms.

Noticed an army of Caterpillars on the trunk of an Oak tree. These are Gypsy Moth Caterpillars. These can be a destructive force - eating the leaves and defoliating many trees. Their populations tends to go in cycles. For several years there may be minimal populations, but then over a few years, the numbers seem to increase until one year there are so many that large mature trees can be defoliated. And there can be many trees in an area that will be affected.

Gypsy Moth Caterpillars

No indications so far if there is any problems in this area but a search on Google news did reveal some spraying was planned in various communities across North America.


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