Lawn Pests
Lawn damage caused by pests

Lawn Pests

There are two specific pests that cause large issues on lawns in the UK, Leatherjackets and Chafer Grubs; some pests can cause minor issues such as worms and ants. The treatment we use for controlling Leatherjackets and Chafer Grubs is the biological control - Nematodes. The treatment we use for worms is an irritant that reduces the surface activity and this lessens the amount of casts produced. At the time of writing we have no specific control for ants however, we would advise using a spade, slicing into the lawn where the activity is and applying ant powder into the nest, pull out the spade and restore the crevice.

Worms are generally good for the lawn; there are 25 species however, there are only 3 that cause casts in the lawn. The process worms have by moving through the soil is good for microbial activity and aeration. The cast that they return to the surface can look ugly and be a good seed bed for weeds.

The liquid spray we apply acts like sand, which irritates the worms and by removing them from the surface; generally it does not kill them. This spray will need to be applied twice per year, once in the autumn and again in the spring when activity is at its height.


Leatherjackets

Leatherjackets are the larvae stage of what is commonly known as Daddy Longlegs (Crane Fly).

Their life cycle begins when the female lays her eggs into the lawn, approximately in September; these hatch through the month of October. When the weather is wet and warm over the winter these larvae start to feed on the top part of the rooting system; through the winter months the damage is not normally seen, because at this time the size of the Leatherjackets will be very small. When we get into the months of February, March they are generally a lot bigger and the damage is more extensive.

To control Leatherjackets, we now apply a biological control - Nematodes. They work by entering the grubs via any orifice and, once inside, they release a bacteria which kills the grubs over 3-5 days.

N.B. The Nematodes need water to swim to the target. For best results, they need regular watering for up to 14 days after application if there is insufficient natural rainfall.

Chafer Grub

Chafer grubs are the larvae stage of the Chafer beetle (May bug or May beetle). Their life cycle can be different for each species: there is the Garden Chafer, the Welsh Chafer and the Rose Chafer, these are the dominant species with a three year life cycle.

The females after mating, lay their eggs back into the lawn and after hatching they move down through the soil profile to start feeding off the root systems, over the next couple of years. When they first hatch they are at their most vulnerable and are very small, hence the reason for the downward movement and over the next couple of years they feed off the grass roots.

When they reach just below the surface, the grass plant at this stage will become very weak and can be pulled back, similar to rolling a carpet up. Birds badgers and a number of other animals enjoy eating these grub so damage to the lawn can be extensive.

To control Chafer grubs, we now apply a biological control - Nematodes. They work by entering the grubs via any orifice and, once inside, they release a bacteria which kills the grubs over 3-5 days. The grub turns red when it is dead.

N.B. The Nematodes need water to swim to the target. For best results, they need regular watering for up to 14 days after application if there is insufficient natural rainfall.

Find your nearest GreenThumb lawn care provider

Locate Your Branch

Find Your Local Lawn Care Specialists
  •  "I am a relatively new customer but I wish to thank you for the great job you have done on my lawns. In six months they have gone from green/yellow to a lush green appearance with few weeds and moss. Well done GreenThumb from a very satisfied customer."

  • "We've now had two treatments from your service. Already we have noticed a difference in the quaility of the lawn and the greenness. Really pleased. Also, the young men who have visited have been charming - very polite and pleasant, thank you."

  • "When we moved into our house five years ago, the whole garden was very overgrown and the lawns were in a dreadful state. After only two years our front and back lawns have been dramatically transformed, I would highly recommend GreenThumb to anyone."

  • "We bought a new property and the land had previously been used as a pig farm so lots of strong weeds. We are now a year in from the start of your team's treatment and the improvement is 200%. The team in Norwich always arrive on time, are courteous and are very well informed."

  • "The grass is lush, thick, green and plentiful. Even the front which was an eye sore has received compliments. We are delighted with what has already been achieved and only wish I had known about this service sooner. I could have saved myself a lot of time and effort."