If you have been searching for a natural alternative for treating lawn pests such as lawn grubs and black beetle larvae, nematodes may just be it!
With positive research outcomes from the CSIRO and usage by commercial growers for a while now, nematodes are now readily available for domestic users wanting a chemical-free approach to keeping the lawns lush, green and most importantly, pest free.
All lawns can be subjected to a lawn pest infestation, particularly as the South East Queensland weather warms up and the rainy season begins, so a decision on how to treat will invariably need to be made at some point.
What are nematodes?
Entomopathogenic nematodes (ENs) are the living organism that feed on insects and are even known as ‘insect killers’. Unlike other types of nematodes such as round worms or heart worms which are harmful to pets and eel worms which destroy crops, ENs are only a threat to insects so they make for a great, natural insect infestation treatment option.
How do they work?
Once in the soil the ENs seek out areas with high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) which usually signifies insect activity. They take over the insects by entering the body through an orifice or directly through the skin membrane and release a bacteria; this causes the insect to die and break down into food. The ENs now use food to mature while also breeding within the remains.
Usually delivered in an esky (with a chill brick) to protect them from temperature fluctuations in transport, the ENs arrive in a dormant state. Simply water them in your lawn and away they go; ridding your lawn of the infestation.
The benefits of ENs:
- Safe for pets and humans
- The population is self-regulating
- Easy to apply and no need for re-application
Research shows that the nematodes may also be an option for controlling fleas and termite populations. If commercial green keepers use them as a natural, chemical-free lawn pest treatment then it may be worth a look for your lawn.