Author: Adam Fitzhenry Date Posted:20 April 2021
Are lawn grubs, citrus leaf miners or caterpillars bugging you? Our latest blog looks at some of the most common pests found in the yard and how to help get rid of them!
Although the weather is finally starting to cool down here in South East Queensland, the high levels of recent rain and unseasonably warm weather have enabled garden and lawn pests to run rampant.
Below we’ve detailed the most common pests here in the South East, how to spot them and how to get rid of them.
The most common lawn pest – lawn grub
Lawn grub is very common in South East Queensland from November to May, and there are a few different varieties of grub that could be ruining your lawn.
If you’re starting to notice your usually lush lawn dying in patches, then you could have a problem with lawn grub.
Another good sign you may have lawn grub is birds – if you start to see a lot of birds visiting your backyard, it’s a good indicator of a lawn grub infestation.
A multitude of moths on twilight is another telling point and if you start to notice this, check around the eaves of your house for furry-looking brown patches – these are the moth eggs waiting to hatch.
To make sure the problem you’re experiencing is indeed lawn grub, lay a wet towel or wet hessian bag on your lawn overnight. In the morning, check underneath to see if any grubs have come to the surface - If they have, you’ve got lawn grub!
Getting rid of lawn grub isn’t difficult but it does require some patience to be rid of both the live lawn grub and the eggs waiting to hatch.
It’s ideal to spray your lawn with an insecticide like our Sharp Shooter product, which is a complete lawn grub and beetle killer, but is also environmentally friendly, safe for people, pets and the environment.
Spray Sharp Shooter according to the instructions in the late afternoon, when the grubs are active. You also need to break the lifecycle of the lawn grub by respraying within the next 7 to 10 days.
It’s important to note that you should not treat your lawn grub if there’s rain forecast, as this will just wash the product away. Pick a dry few days for ideal results. It’s also key to put preventive measures in place to stop lawn grub arriving in the first place.
Regularly check the eaves of your house for eggs and brush them away with a broom if you see any eggs. It’s also ideal to use a preventative product on your lawn to control the lawn grub.
There are a few different products on the market for this but we’ve experienced good results using our Neem Fertiliser Granules as a preventative measure, which also has the added bonus of fertilising your lawn.
Customers have also experienced good results with lawn grub and armyworm using our Need Granules preventatively. Now that we’ve covered off on the most common lawn pests, it’s time to focus on the garden, where unfortunately a few more pests can lurk.
Citrus leaf miner
Citrus leaf miner is a common pest for citrus trees – particular mandarin and lemon trees.
These small moths are a night flying species but it’s their larvae that really does the damage, which tunnel into the leaves causing squiggly silvery trails.
Citrus leaf miner won’t kill your trees but they will stunt their growth and cause them to be unhealthy. Treating leaf miner is easy but requires constant maintenance.
Ideally, once a week you should check your citrus tree all over and snip off any affected leaves. Following the removal of leaves, spraying your plant all over (both sides of the leaf) with neem oil should help.
This will deter moths from laying new eggs, but won’t remove the larvae, which is why it’s important to remove the affected leaves first.
Removing leaves and spraying once weekly will help keep on top of citrus leaf miner and ensure your citrus trees stay healthy. Leaf miner tends to attack new growth, so focus on these leaves first.
Aphids feed on vegetables, fruits and ornamentals. There are numerous different aphid species and most are considered pests. To identify an aphid infestation in your garden, look out for curling leaves, unusual leaf dropping, browning and stunted growth.
Aphids can be easily identified by their pear-shaped bodies and are often found on the underside of leaves. Aphids attack the soft new growth on plants.
Their numbers can be reduced by crushing the bug, but this is rather time consuming.
Another option is to blast the affected plant with cold water, although this can damage delicate plants. A homemade spray solution of soap and water can be affective.
Mix a few tablespoons of liquid castile soap in a small bucket of water and add to a spray bottle. Apply liberally to the affected plant. Another option is to apply a neem oil solution made from our Neem Rich Plant Spray Oil Concentrate.
Caterpillars, the larvae of the cabbage white butterfly, are a common garden pest. They are most active in autumn and spring, but can do a lot of damage in winter as well.
As the name suggests, they like plants from the Brassicaceae family, such as broccoli, kale and cabbage. The caterpillars leave large holes in the leaves of these plants and cause discolouration of the heads of cauliflower and broccoli.
It’s a good idea to net your veggies to reduce the risk of being infested with the mature butterflies. You can also pick the caterpillars by hand - and feed them to your chooks if you have any.
These butterflies are also territorial so some people leave cubes of Styrofoam or large segments of eggshell lying around to trick the butterflies into thinking your veggie patch is already occupied.
The key to managing lawn and garden pests is regular maintenance and keeping on top of checking your plants.
This will ensure a plague of pests doesn’t pop up overnight and keep your lawn and vegetable garden healthy and thriving so you can reap the benefits.
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