The drought may be over but another danger to lawns is waiting

Lawns will be recovering from the ravages of the summer heat and lack of rain but another, even more damaging prospect, lays in wait – birds and animals rotovating the grass in search of the larvae of leatherjackets and, more likely, chafer grubs.

Both pests are a favourite food for animals, particularly birds, badgers and foxes, which turn over the turf and dig down to find them.

Even after this summer’s heat, the majority of the leatherjackets and chafer grubs will still be alive waiting to emerge as adults to start the cycle again. In larvae form they both attack the roots of the grass.

The only effective means of controlling them is to use beneficial nematodes. They are easy to use; simply mix with water and apply via a watering can with a coarse rose, garden hose feeder or sprayer. Once watered on, the microscopic nematodes disperse, hunt down and kill off the targets, denying the birds and animals any reason to rotovate the lawn further. The nematodes, and infected pests, are not harmful to wildlife or pets if eaten.

Nemasys Chafer Grub Killer and Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer are both applied in early autumn, when the larvae are closer to the surface making them easier to control.

Ian Stephens, lawn care expert at Lawn Master, the UK’s leading lawn maintenance and treatment company, comments: "Already this year we have visited a number of lawns that have been ravaged by chafer grubs and we have has great success controlling them using nematodes. If you are unsure how to identify chafer grub or leatherjacket larvae, or the damage is significant, contact your local lawn expert for treatment advice."

Both products are part of BASF’s Nemasys range of biological pest controls, which also includes products for slugs, vine weevil, ants and common fruit and vegetable pests, and are available to purchase via online stockists.

BASF is the only nematode producer to supply fresh nematodes, rather than dehydrated, and is passionate about doing so as this ensures the quality of the product remains high and consistently effective.

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