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Pests and Warm Weather


With the warmer weather we are experiencing, you may also start to see the emergence of pests that can wreak havoc across your lovely lawn. 

The two most common lawn pests are Chafer Grubs and Leatherjackets. 

Chafer Grubs 
Scientific Name: Phyllopertha horticola

Chafer Grubs are soil-dwelling larvae of various chafer beetles. They feed on plant roots, especially those of grasses.

Optimal treatment time: Between mid-July to October. 

From mid-July to October, we can apply our Pest Management Treatment to help manage the lawn with Chafer Grubs. This is the optimal treatment period as they’re likely to be at their smallest.

How to tell if Chafer Grubs are a problem in your garden:

  • Patches of the lawn may become slightly yellow.
  • Birds, particularly of the crow family (i.e., jays, magpies, rooks, and crows), badgers and foxes feed on the grubs, tearing up the loosened turf in the process.
  • Damaging infestations can be highly localised and sporadic in occurrence.
  • Chafer Grubs can be found in the soil under the loose turf. They have stout white bodies curved in a C shape, light brown heads, with three pairs of legs at the head end. They are bigger than an adult beetle and, if straightened out, would be up to 18mm (almost 3/4in) long species dependent.
  • Root damage in lawns means that the turf is easily rolled back, and the grubs will be visibly seen.

Scientific Name: Tipula paludosa.

When Daddy Longlegs (crane fly) lays eggs in your lawn, the resultant larvae, called Leatherjackets, feast on the roots and young shoots, causing significant damage.

Optimal treatment time: Between mid-September to October. 

From mid-September to October we can apply our Pest Management Treatment to help manage Leatherjackets. 

How to tell if Leatherjackets are a problem in your garden:

  • Lawns develop patches where the grass turns a yellowish brown and dies. This can be distinguished from similar effects, caused by lawn diseases or adverse growing conditions, by lifting the affected turf and finding Leatherjackets in the surface layers of the soil.
  • Crows, magpies, rooks, and starlings will search for Leatherjackets in the turf. These birds will scratch the surface to bring the Leatherjackets up.
  • Leatherjackets have elongated tubular bodies, up to 30mm long, and are greyish brown. They have no legs or obvious head.

You should start to see the effects quite quickly from our Pest Management Treatment. Your lawn will look greener as a result, the effects will improve over a month as less damage is visible and your lawn has had time to recover. 

We recommend that you give your lawn a good watering before we apply this treatment, followed by another water the next day for around 10-15 minutes; this will help the treatment be most effective.

Our Pest Management Treatment is included in our Ultimate Programme but is also available as a separate treatment to any of our customers on our Standard or Basic Programmes. If you think you may have an infestation, call your local GreenThumb branch today: www.greenthumb.co.uk/branch


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