Treat Chafer Grubs & Leatherjackets With Nematodes This Summer
Turf pests such as Chafer Grubs and Leatherjackets can be successfully treated with nematodes from the mid-to-late summer. The eggs laid by Chafer beetles in May and June will develop into larvae or grubs by about the end of July. The grubs will feed on grass roots until the autumn. When soil temperatures start to drop, the grubs will stop feeding and sink lower down into the soil structure, where they will overwinter. The best time to treat Chafer grubs with nematodes is when they are quite small from July to September. The grubs are more vulnerable to nematodes when they are smaller and the soil temperatures at this time of year are also high enough for effective nematode activity. The same process applies to Leatherjacket larvae, which can appear slightly later in the soil from mid-to-late August through until the autumn.
The best time to treat turf pests, such as Chafer grubs, with nematodes will be from July to September when the grubs are smaller.
How Best To Apply Nematodes Against Turf Pests
When applying nematodes there are some important guidelines that should be followed to maximise the success of your treatment.
The most important factor is water and irrigation. Nematodes are not able to operate in very dry soils. They need to be able to penetrate through the grass thatch and move into the soil beneath. If there is too little water they will sit in the grass and never reach the soil. The soil must also be irrigated, if it is rock hard, or too dry, the nematodes will not be able to move through it. The grass area should also be irrigated, or watered, after application. This enables the nematodes to continue moving through the soil seeking out grubs to infect and kill. It is good practice to keep the soil moist for a minimum of 7-10 days after the application of nematodes.
Nematodes require plenty of moisture to be active. Ensure to water and irrigate your soil before, and after, application.
For larger areas, the addition of a soil penetrant, or spreader, will also aid the infiltration of the soil by nematodes. Dragonfli supply a nematode friendly carrier product called Nemaflo, which is added to the spray solution. This aids the penetration of the soil by the nematodes.
The application of Nemaflo will aid the movement of your nematodes throughout the soil and assist them in reaching turf pests.
Nematodes can be applied with watering cans, sprayers, or hose end feeders such as our Nema Super Sprayer. This sprayer is simply attached to the end of a hose pipe and will then proceed to speed up the process of applying nematodes over surface areas.
Our Nema Super Sprayer is ideal when applying nematodes over lawns and surface areas of up to 100sqm at a time.
Other factors to remember to help maximise the effectiveness of your nematode treatment:
- Try not to apply on bright days. as the nematodes are U.V. sensitive
- Store nematodes in a fridge prior to application
- Apply all opened nematode packs, they will not store after opening
- Repeat applications of nematodes may be required for severe turf infestations