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The Bugs of Summer

The Bugs of Summer

Now that July is getting into its warm days and humid nights we are starting to see the troubles that this type of weather brings to our yards.

With the exception of the odd June Beetle Chafer, living out its first of two years in the soil, there is very little going on in the soil right now. There is one exception and it’s another new one to the list of foreign invaders. It’s called European Crane Fly. I’ll explain later.


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Chinch Bugs are the primary villain causing trouble right now. They look like small chubby ants and they feed like aphids, sucking the juice out of the crowns of grass plants. The resulting damage is often confused with draught – the big difference is this will not recover with simply watering. More and more eggs hatch over a period of weeks and the population often grows to the point where the damage spreads in an ever expanding patch. Give us a call if you are having trouble with these guys – we can help.
The really big trouble, though, is just around the corner. White Grubs will be hatching shortly and those guys aren’t just a little sucking insect like the chinch bugs are. These guys eat the roots right off the grass plants causing quite a bit of damage as they grow from a small little guy to a meaty centimetre C-shaped grub. They are the offspring of the June Beetle, European Chafer and the Japanese Beetle.

A healthy lawn can withstand up to 5 of these grubs per square foot if it is being watered and fed properly. Any more than that and they will cause significant damage to your lawn. As they grow they also become a food source to Crows and Starlings during the day and to Skunks and racoons at night. Your lawn can come under assault 24-7 and the damage from a single night of foraging can look like a rototiller went through your place.

The only control for white grubs in Ontario is nematodes. These parasitic roundworms carry bacteria with them that infect and destroy the larvae. It is upwards of 70% effective and can reduce an infestation to levels that won’t damage your turf and with a little luck this lower population won’t attract the animals that feed on them too.

Nematodes are a biological control and so manufacturers need a bit of lead time to produce enough for their clients. If you haven’t booked your grub treatment – or made plans to deal with them you should start thinking about that now so there are enough supplies available to handle you needs.

As for that European Crane Fly – their larvae eat the grass plants as well – and those guys are large enough to be considered a food source to many animals as well. They will soon be turning into their adult stage and flying around mating. They look exactly like a mosquito – only about 100 times as large. If you see these on your lawn as you walk along then you may need to book a nematode application as well.

If you have something that “Bugs” you or your lawn then give us a call @  613-744-7336. We can help.

January 2018
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Green Unlimited
3-2709 Stevenage Drive
Ottawa, ON
K1G 3N2

Phone: 613.744.7336