If you have a beautiful lawn or garden that is being attacked by grubs it is tempting to reach for the most immediate fix available, namely a big bottle of killing chemicals. Pesticides may provide a quick fix for grub infestation, but stay your hand and think a moment before you make the decision to put poisons on your lawn.
Research shows that chemical pesticides present major problems, both for human health and natural ecosystems. Also, pesticides are often the root cause of pest outbreaks. Nature’s balance is not a thing easily tampered with. When farmers and gardeners wipe out pests through chemical means, those insects build a resistance. They also reproduce at a more rapid rate, so in the long run you end up with tougher pests in greater numbers.
When you spread pesticides, you kill not only the grubs but the beneficial insects and birds that feed on those grubs. If you know something about the pest/predator ratio, you understand that ‘vegetarian bugs’ reproduce much more rapidly than the kind of insects that prey upon other insects. So what you have effectively done by spraying poisons is kill the natural predators that balance your pest population out, while encouraging grubs to reproduce at an enormous rate. This approach is not beneficial to anybody.
The problems don’t end there. Chemicals absorbed into the ground do not disappear. They get carried down to the water table overtime, and become a part of the water we drink. You see what pesticides do to bugs and the birds that eat infected insects, how safe do you think those chemicals are for human consumption?
This doesn’t mean you have to abandon your lawn to the mercy of the pest population. There are some new, natural lawn protectives that have been introduced in recent years that do not rely upon chemicals. These substances are more biodegradable, and repel insects rather than killing them. If your lawn doesn’t taste good, the grubs won’t eat it. This is one avenue to explore, another very effective means is to introduce beneficial insects to your yard’s ecosystem.
Ladybugs and praying mantis pods have long been used by farmers and gardeners to protect tender vegetation. But there are a wide variety of beneficial bugs that can cut back the pest population in your lawn as well. Beneficial nematodes target grubs that commonly attack lawns. Decollate snails consume the small brown snails that make a pest of themselves in grass and gardens. Understanding your pest will help you best choose a predator to provide bio-control for your beautiful, emerald lawn.