Gerry's Blog



Grub protection time is coming soon. Order Now.

Grubs will be hatching soon. When they do, they have a tendency to do a lot of damage to lawns. Here in Ontario, Merit is no longer a legal product (even though the granular Merit that we once used is less poisonous than table salt).

Nematodes are now the only choice in Ontario. Nematodes are microscopic worms that find their way into the grubs. Once inside, they multiply and produce a toxin that knocks the grubs off the scene.

Nematodes are living organisms and need special treatment and care. They require lots of moisture to prevent them from drying and dying. Ideally, applications done during a rainfall are the best. Unfortunately, there aren't enough rainy days during the August-September time period for everyone to get a nematode treatment. The folks with sprinklers are lucky - set the sprinkler system to manual and give the lawn a watering. This will get the nematodes off the lawn and down into the soil.

Please order your Grub Protection Now. There are indications that Nematodes may be in short supply.


If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care - get The KING OF GREEN – The Lawn Care Experts

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Steve sent an email asking, "What will you be using this year for white grubs?"

I replied, "I was thinking of hiring trained skunks and raccoons to go out onto
the lawns. They will be trained to remove the grubs and eat them. Most
importantly, they will be trained to put the grass back down, green
side up, and stomp it down with their paws.

The only other legal treatment is to use beneficial nematodes.
We used to use granular Merit, now a banned pesticide. Incidentally, granular Merit incidentally is less poisonous than table salt.

btw, any skunk trainers out there??

Here is a recent article from Turf and Recreation Magazine about Nematodes

The value of entomophathogenic nematodes in lawn pest control
By Lily Darold
Marketing Communications Manager
Becker Underwood Inc.

The recently enacted ban on cosmetic pesticide use in Ontario has lawn care specialists wondering which biopesticides offer the best results and are a safe alternative.

Entomopathogenic nematodes are an effective alternative to conventional insecticides. Now, more than ever, these nematodes are gaining acceptance and use as an important tool in controlling turfgrass insect pests.
"Entomopathogenic nematodes are remarkably versatile and useful against many soil and cryptic insect pests in diverse cropping systems, yet nematodes are clearly underutilized," states Randy Gaugler, Department of Entomology at Rutgers University. 

Nematodes are simple, microscopic roundworms - colourless, unsegmented and lacking appendages.
Certain plant parasitic nematodes are associated with crop damage. These harmful organisms include cyst, sting, lance and root knot nematodes. The beneficial nematodes, Entomopathogenic, have proven highly effective in controlling insect pests and reducing the damage they can cause. Entomopathogenic nematodes belong to the Steinernema and Heterorabditis nematode families.

Beneficial nematodes attack larvae by entering their natural body openings. Once inside, they release symbiotic bacteria that quickly kill the insect. Reproduction inside the insect releases a new generation of hungry, infective juveniles that disperse in search of further prey.

What makes these nematodes useful as a bio-insecticide is that applications are safe for the environment. There is no need for protective masks or safety equipment. While they are lethal to insect pests, they have no harmful effect on plants or animals. Groundwater contamination and pollution are not concerns.

In addition, nematodes can be applied with standard agrochemical equipment and sprayers, and kill the target insect within 24 to 48 hours.

Additional benefits of using nematodes include:

*   Quickly controls pest larvae at the time of application
*   Controls the problem before it appears
*   No re-entry restrictions
*   No pest resistance problems
*   Natural product that is safe for users, consumers and the environment
*   Compatible with other biological/IPM systems
*   Non-toxic with no requirement for protective clothing
*   No disposal restrictions

Choosing the appropriate nematode product for a specific target pest is crucial, as each species carries different bacteria, uses different hunting tactics and has different temperature activity ranges.
Several different strains of beneficial nematodes are currently marketed for controlling insect pests in the turf industry:

* Steinernema carpocapsae searches out, enters and controls Armyworm, Billbug, Sod Webworm, Annual Bluegrass Weevil, Cutworms, Fleas, Cinch Bugs
* Brands: Millenium, BioNem C, Guardian, NemAttack
* Steinernema feltiae controls Leatherjacket
* Brand names: Nemasys, Gnat Patrol
* Heterorhabditis bacteriophora is effective against European Chafer Grub, Oriental Beetle Grub, Masked Chafer Grub, Japanese Beetle Grub and Black Vine Weevil
* Brand names: Nemasys G, NemaSeek
* Steinernema scapterisci targets Mole Crickets
* Brand names: Nematac S

A study completed by the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries showed that H. bacteriophora was the most effective non-chemical product for control of second-instar European Chafer larvae, causing 100 per cent chafer mortality relative to the control, only 48 hours after treatment.
Just like any other pest control, the implementation of nematodes requires users to be knowledgeable about how to use them effectively.

While you are considering the use of beneficial nematodes in your operation, keep these five tips in mind:

1. Take the 'tool box' approach. Think of beneficial nematodes as another tool in your integrated pest management tool box. When used along with beneficial insects, crop scouting and other cultural practices, beneficial nematodes provide another valuable tool for controlling crop pests.

2. Buy quality and know what you are getting. Not all nematodes are created equally. Since nematodes are a living organism, they require special handling to ensure that they will be effective when applied. Be sure that the nematodes you purchase have been shipped and stored in a way that does this. Most nematode suppliers ship directly to the grower using next day or second day air freight along with ice packs to keep the nematodes cool. There are several quality manufacturers and marketers of nematodes in North America, many of whom are members of ANBP. For a listing of members see the ANBP website at

3. Read and follow label directions. The formulation of nematodes varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. As a result, the mixing and handling instructions may differ, depending on the manufacturer. Be sure to read the directions for use provided with the nematodes. Pay special attention to the storage guidelines and expiration date information. Most nematodes need to be refrigerated but not frozen. Detailed storage instructions should be provided by the supplier. Removal of screens from spray nozzles may also be recommended.

4. Know the pest's life cycle. While few of us are entomologists, having a good understanding of the life cycle of the pest being controlled is still needed. Nematodes are primarily effective on the insect's larva stage and not on adults. The nematode will enter the larvae and release a lethal bacterium. So being able to recognize and anticipate the life cycle of the pest will help you in timing the nematode application to maximize its effectiveness.

5. Resource the industry contacts. Since nematodes are very specific and selective in the pests they control, having the assistance and input of others knowledgeable in the use of nematodes will be helpful. Reach out to your industry contacts for further help and assistance. Some university researchers and extension professionals specialize in the study and use of nematodes. Other growers and producers may be able to provide information about their experiences in using nematodes. Your distributor sales representatives and the nematode manufacturer are also important resources for providing assistance and recommending the right nematode and rate to use in controlling the target pest.

By using these five easy steps, you can begin to use nematodes as a part of your integrated pest management program.

To learn more about these products, contact a reputable distributor of your choice. They can provide detailed cost, use and application information.

Becker Underwood creates and produces specialty bio-agronomic and colorant products for turf management, agriculture, seed treatment, wood recycling, aquaculture, vegetation management, forestry, structural pest control and many other industries. All products are developed and manufactured under strict ISO 9001 standards. Quality is monitored at every step, from raw materials through packaging. This same quality is reflected in customer-focused field support staff. For more information, visit .

Skunks- thank you for eating the grubs in my lawn

If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care - get The KING OF GREEN – The Lawn Care Experts

Turf King Home

Click here to Request a Quote Online -

or call us at 905.318.6677 or 1.888.TURFKING (887.3546)

If you would like more information, please Contact us

Follow us on Twitter

Join our Facebook page

Copyright 2010 Turf King-Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.





April is National Lawn Care Month

In recognition of spring, the Professional Lawn Care Association of America (PLCAA) has designated April as National Lawn Care Month.

As spring arrives, 30 million acres of turf across the nation is turning green and growing. PLANET (Professional Landcare Network) observes the importance of lawns and their aesthetic and environmental benefits during National Lawn Care Month each April. Please share these facts !

  • Well cared for lawns can significantly increase property values.
  • A healthy lawn is of utmost importance to our environment.  A 50–foot by 50–foot lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four.
  • Lawns cool the atmosphere.  Eight healthy front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning, which is enough for 16 average homes.
  • Grass converts carbon dioxide into oxygen, a process that helps clear the air.
  • Dense, healthy grass slows water runoff, removies contaminants and traps soil. Fresh, filtered water returns to the underground water supply.

 Be proactive in April and use a lawn care program that will ensure both a healthy and beautiful lawn throughout the year.


The Benefits of a Well-Maintained Lawn and Landscape.

A well-maintained lawn and landscape can be environmentally-friendly and provide substantial ecological and community benefits in the following ways:

  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a valuable green space in the urban environment.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a cleanser of dust and other air  pollutants.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a contributor in solving so-called climate change.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a cushion that minimizes injuries if someone falls.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a filter for pollutants originating from rain water.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a habitat for thousands of species of birds and other wildlife.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a heat-dissipater for cooling the atmosphere, just like an air conditioner.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as an offsetter of carbon emissions.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a preventer of soil and water run-off.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a recharger of moisture in the atmosphere.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a recreational site for children and adults alike.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a reducer of noise and sun glare.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a regulator of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can act as a stabilizer for preventing soil erosion and flooding.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can be used to reclaim and restore environmentally-damaged sites, such as landfills.
  • A well-maintained lawn and landscape can significantly contribute to property value improvement.

 If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care- get The KING OF GREEN:

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or call us at 905.318.6677 or 1.888.TURFKING (887.3546)

 If you would like more information, please Contact us

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Join our Facebook page  

Copyright 2012 Turf King-Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

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