Lawn Grubs

Grub out Lawn Grubs

Australian Lawn Grubs 2 – White Curl Grubs





White Curl Grub

lawn grubs such as White Curl Grubs, also known in some places as Cockchafers are the larvae of beetles that feed on the underground stems and roots of plants. These include the Argentine Scarab, Pruinose Scarab, African Black Beetle and some more species native to Australia. The damage they cause may not be too noticeable if the weather is damp and the infestation is not too severe. When the weather is dry, the damage is more likely to show and even lower numbers of these pests will cause worse damage because the plants they are feeding on will already be under stress and not so able to regenerate or withstand an attack. One way to see if your dried out died off lawn does have below ground feeding pests is to see if the grass moves at your touch. A law suffering drought will remain solid but one that has an infestation will slide and shift about where the attack has occurred.

White curl grubs are reasonably well protected by the soil as thy live underground. If you do see them, they can be recognised by the fact that they have three pairs of legs and tend to be shaped like the letter ‘C’. They can grow as long as 2.5cm just before they pupate. The adult beetle is a little smaller being in the region of 1.5cm in length. One way that grubs may be indicated is the behaviour of other animals. If you see meat eating birds such as wood duck, crows and magpies, as well as some other animals like bandicoots. Another method of detection is to put something damp on the grass over night. An old piece of carpet, sacking or something else that will retain moisture. In the morning you will find adult beetles hiding there. There numbers will give an indication of how many eggs have been laid and how serious the problem may be or get. These checks should be done between springtime and summer when egg laying is most likely to be going on.


Having located the pests, we will now move on to getting rid of them. There are some simple measure that may just help. One is to pour some biodegradable soapy water on to the affected area. The lava and beetles are then more likely to rise to the surface where they can be picked off by your garden birds or other grub and bug eating visitors. The beetles are attracted to light, so, turning off outdoor lights when not actually in use may just prevent some of them from coming to your garden.

Another method that is ecologically more sound is to introduce nematodes that are specifically targeted at the insects infecting your grass or crops. These entomopathogenic nematodes usually arrive in a dormant state and have to be moistened so as to reinvigorate them. Be aware though that just adding water will probably not be enough. The mixture will have to be stirred well enough to ensure that they nematodes are distributed equally thought the liquid. Another point to bear in mind is that the area you are going to treat should be doused prior to application. Once again this is to bring the nests closer to the surface so that the nematodes will not have to go so far to find them. One should also put the cure down as it is getting dark because the little helpers may be susceptible to bright sunlight. Once they are applied, the nematodes seek out their hosts and make their way inside through any available orifice. Once inside they disseminate bacteria that create the right conditions for themselves and the nematodes to reproduce until the grub dies. When that happens all the nematodes move away looking for another host to live off.

One can also use chemicals in order to control the numbers of insects. This method is best used on newly hatched grubs because as they get older, their body fat will help them to resist the treatment. Once again you should give the area to be treated a good watering to bring the pests closer to the surface and allow the chemicals easier access to them. Do not forget, if the grubs can not be reached, the cure will not work. Please read and comply  with all warnings and instructions as some of the chemicals authorised for lawn beetles in how lawns can be deadly to humans too. We suggest that you do read all the labels whilst in the store so that you will not buy something that will not suit your purposes, or even worse, do you harm.


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