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#1123324 - 28/08/2012 09:36 The dreaded lawn grubs
ant Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2002
Posts: 9063
Loc: Overlooking ACT at 848m
I've lost my largest lawn and half the next one to lawn grubs, aka curl grubs. They were planted up with rizomatous tall fescue, which is what the local ag supplier sells as a good rural lawn grass, and had popup sprinklers running off the bore.

There were some dead patches opening up and I attributed that to various things, top-dressed it and sowed some Dryland Mix. Didn't make the connection when the local magpies began holding morning parties on the lawn, putting their beaks in. When I started seeing large dug-up areas it looked like feral pigs had moved in! Puzzle was solved when the local fox was sprung with his face stuffed into the lawn, furiously gobbling witchety grubs. Excavation revealed the entire lawn was riddled with white grubs of various sizes.

So, we've ploughed it all up, and then used the rotary hoe on the Kubota at high revs to grind up the dirt and grass, which worked rather well. It's settling now, ready for a few kilos of dryland mix (rizomatous tall fescue, Chewings Fescue, Perennial Rye and clover). When these hard night frosts ease off, the seed is going on (there's a good covering of Number 17 already on).

I also have some liquid confidor which the ag people reckoned goes on about Xmas/early January.

I figure the unusually wet season was to blame... got to blame something. I'm hoping this new dryland mix will need less water, as I've got it going well in new landscaped areas that don't get anything except rain. The rye grass seems to be moderately winter-active, so it stays green which is also nice.

Anyone having similar battles with those rotten grubs?

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#1123325 - 28/08/2012 09:41 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: ant]
bundybear Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/12/2010
Posts: 2005
Loc: Between Bundy and Gladstone
I use cheap washing powder. Sprinkle it on the lawn, water well.

Non toxic to the birdlife as well.

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#1123360 - 28/08/2012 12:46 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: bundybear]
ant Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2002
Posts: 9063
Loc: Overlooking ACT at 848m
Ah! I hadn't heard that one. How often do you do it, Xmas when the grubs are very small, or at intervals through the year?

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#1123362 - 28/08/2012 12:56 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: ant]
bundybear Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/12/2010
Posts: 2005
Loc: Between Bundy and Gladstone
I do it when I notice my grass dying off in patches.

I find out if I have grubs by laying a door mat or such on the grass where I suspect they are. The rotters come up under the mat and you can find them easily to verify it is them.

Or toss a bucket of soapy water where you think they are. They come to the surface quickly and you can see them so know you need to get rid of them. The magpies and such are quick to polish them off when they come up.

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#1123418 - 28/08/2012 16:11 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: bundybear]
Tom1234 Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 08/04/2011
Posts: 1709
Loc: Port Stephens
I have had trouble with army grubs, but usually hit in mid Autumn. Sounds like you are having trouble with black beetle and curl grubs. I just hit the lawn a few times with an insecticide when i notice abnormally slow growth in patches.

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#1123466 - 28/08/2012 19:59 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: Tom1234]
ant Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2002
Posts: 9063
Loc: Overlooking ACT at 848m
I've read accounts of that door mat trick on the official sites, they use an old wet sack. It's good to hear from people what really works though. And all those sites are so coy about WHEN you can set about murdering them!

Large areas of lawn were badly infested, but with no die-off. The RTF had formed a thick mat, and seemed to be sustaining itself. Until the fox started digging it up. The die-off bits I'd re-sown were looking great. If it wasn't for the fox, I'd still have a lawn.

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#1123561 - 29/08/2012 13:05 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: ant]
Adam Ant Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/10/2003
Posts: 1006
Loc: West Toowoomba
The dreaded scarab beetle...they are tricky to get rid of in large areas. The eggs would have been laid last spring and the small larvae would have been slowly growing. Its not until they get to their 3rd instar that you start to notice the damage, at this stage they are particularly voracious feeders. They will keep feeding till this summer and then emerge as beetles in spring 2013. Quite a long lifecycle.

I know everyone likes to be chemical free but sometimes naturals options just dont cut it. I would incorporate some granular insectide before you plant your new grass, that is the best way to treat them. Spraying them from the surface doesnt get as good of a kill.

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#1123566 - 29/08/2012 13:34 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: Adam Ant]
ant Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2002
Posts: 9063
Loc: Overlooking ACT at 848m
Oh, that is interesting. I have some granular insect-killer I was going to use on the grubs, starts with a C but have a mental block about the name (not Confidor). But the ag people said Confidor was the one to use on grubs so I got some of that.

I might add the granular stuff to the soil, we're doing final levelling this weekend before sowing and netting. The grubs we found during the last lot of soil grinding were small to medium size, none were at the giant fat stage yet.

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#1123693 - 30/08/2012 08:18 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: ant]
Tom1234 Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 08/04/2011
Posts: 1709
Loc: Port Stephens
Chlorpyrifos ?

I use it in a granular form on my lawn, gets a real good kill.

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#1123704 - 30/08/2012 09:01 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: Tom1234]
Adam Ant Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/10/2003
Posts: 1006
Loc: West Toowoomba
Yes good old granular chlorpyrifos. Its not the nicest of chemicals but it does the best job. I think richgrow sell a home garden line of it. You can also buy a granular bifenthrin which would work well. Sounds like you got the grubs at a ideal time, once they get to the final instar they are very hard to kill

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#1123731 - 30/08/2012 11:21 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: Adam Ant]
ant Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2002
Posts: 9063
Loc: Overlooking ACT at 848m
Argh, so annoying, I think of the name and then it goes again. My mother's an applegrower and has a nice variety of nasty chemicals and this is her favourite. There's a C, and a y in there, but it's not chlorpyrifos.

The ag people said the same thing, when the grubs are fat, they have a big layer of fat that is hard to get through. Well, their doom is upon them either way.

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#1123732 - 30/08/2012 11:23 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: ant]
ant Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2002
Posts: 9063
Loc: Overlooking ACT at 848m
Ah ha! Carbaryl! That's the one.

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#1123803 - 30/08/2012 16:04 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: Adam Ant]
Tom1234 Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 08/04/2011
Posts: 1709
Loc: Port Stephens
Originally Posted By: Adam Ant
Yes good old granular chlorpyrifos. Its not the nicest of chemicals but it does the best job. I think richgrow sell a home garden line of it. You can also buy a granular bifenthrin which would work well. Sounds like you got the grubs at a ideal time, once they get to the final instar they are very hard to kill


Yeah not something you want to be breathing in. If i was rich i'd use Dupont Acelepryn smile

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#1124010 - 31/08/2012 10:39 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: Tom1234]
ant Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2002
Posts: 9063
Loc: Overlooking ACT at 848m
Hmm. I might put a mask on when sprinkling the Carbaryl on the ground, hopefully it's not windy on Sunday when we level the dirt and put the seed on. Brother has a laser level he's having fun with...

this is a chance to remedy some of the small errors made when this lawn was first done. There was a sunken bit in the middle that won't be there this time around.

We've incorporated a few loads (tons) of mushroom compost, as the original dirt was very sandy and didn't hold water as well as it could-have. I also put through a few large bucketsful of wood ash from the fire to even up the acidity a bit. All of this got ground through when the rotary hoe did its high-revs runs.

I've been watching the popups to see if there's areas missing out, and coverage seems to be good. The bit that was most affected by the grubs, where die-off happened about a year ago, is the spot that gets the most water as it turns out. My brother was convinced the die-off was due to lack of water. Turns out it was the opposite.

Using the Dryland Mix will result in a more frugal lawn, I'm hoping. The RTF is a bit thirsty, and it doesn't like the full hard sun of summer. A mix should give a more consistent result year-round.

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#1124938 - 05/09/2012 12:48 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: ant]
Simmosturf Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 17/03/2008
Posts: 1620
Loc: Wangaratta
Two things for you ant!! Lorsban (chlorpyrophos)liquid form... Works a treat.... And ditch the cool seasons grasses mate? There rubbish... And RTF is expensive... Warm season grasses are much better as they are self repairing.... Hybrid couch or Empire Zoyzia are the best by a mile.... Over-sow in winter with rye and chewings fescue for winter color. Grubs will have a crack at it but youll never know it... You'll use [censored] loads less water and mowing will be cut by half!!!!

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#1124951 - 05/09/2012 13:45 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: Simmosturf]
ant Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2002
Posts: 9063
Loc: Overlooking ACT at 848m
Yeah, I think with the mix I'll be using, there'll be good performance year-round. There is RTF in it, but also Chewings, perennial Rye, and some clover (brother hates clover).

I got some Bermuda Couch from this ag place last season and have been using in on non-lawn areas, so-far so-good, but the family would explode if I tried it on an irrigated official lawn. They are having a bad time with Water Couch at their place (which has amazing river soil and is moist). I've explained many times that my dry, shaley hill won't let anything go mad and take over except Patto's and St Johns but I think they're traumatised by Couch.

The others liked that bug-killer too, so that will get added to the arsenal.

The Dryland Mix I've put on a bare, unwatered area has stayed green and pretty all winter, so it's definitely a winner for the climate and the soil. I'd love to use less water, I've got to pay to pump that stuff!

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#1125013 - 05/09/2012 16:53 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: ant]
Simmosturf Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 17/03/2008
Posts: 1620
Loc: Wangaratta
The water couch you speak of is not actually of the Cynodon family... its actually of the paspallum family. Paspalum distichum... Common name is Knot grass..
Couch craps all over C3 grasses simply because of its easy maintenance. You can cover spray C4 grasses in the middle of winter with roundup in july while they are dormant... No need for expensive broadleaf sprays... Why is it do you think golf courses use them?? They cut much better and are fantastic to use as they handle traffic brilliantly... Dogs only damage it slightly and they self repair... A very easy decision in a turf managers eyes...

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#1125065 - 05/09/2012 21:21 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: Simmosturf]
ant Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2002
Posts: 9063
Loc: Overlooking ACT at 848m
That is interesting about the couch/paspalum. Hate paspalum. This "couch" is very voracious and invasive, with really long leaves. The orchard is riddled with it. The couch (proper couch) I'm sowing here is more restrained and short-leaved.

That Zoyzia stuff you mentioned Simmo, isn't that quite hard to get? I thought that was limited to turf suppliers. I've heard it's good. Buffalo also seems hard to get here in seed. you see all these products to weed and feed it, but not the seed itself.

Here, you can get seed of couch, and kikuyu. Bit reluctant to go the kikuyu. Also, the couch browns right off in winter. I know it'll come back starting about now, but I wouldn't like the whole lawn behaving like that.

I reckon the mix will do a better job than that RTF. And the couch is doing a great job of the non-irrigated ground. I put some around the dam last season, hoping to see some action there.

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#1125068 - 05/09/2012 21:25 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: ant]
ant Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 05/10/2002
Posts: 9063
Loc: Overlooking ACT at 848m
I'm going to quite enjoy informing my mother, who is a horticulturalist, that her dreaded couch is actually paspalum, so she's been demonizing the wrong grass!

I've got shocking "normal" paspalum this season just gone, and suspect that cheapo Brunnings tough grass seed they sell in boxes in the supermarket. It must have come from somewhere.

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#1125079 - 05/09/2012 21:49 Re: The dreaded lawn grubs [Re: ant]
Simmosturf Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 17/03/2008
Posts: 1620
Loc: Wangaratta
Thats paspalum dilatum , Dallis grass. Empire Zoysia is only available vegatively.. They are hybrids. Get them through Abulk turf in Sydney.. Seashore paspalum is used on putting greens in warm climates. its very fine... As i said mate.. oversow for winter colour..Google search

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