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Japanese Beetles

A healthy lawn, while being the neighbour's envy, often requires a homeowners dedication and effort.

During the summer months, it is possible that your grass turns brown and patchy. There are various beetles that attack the roots of grass causing damage to lawns. Depending on where you live, the May beetle, June Beetle and European chafers are some beetles that cause harm to lawns. To determine the cause, you can conduct this simple test: Cut one square foot of grass and roll it over. If you find white grubs underneath, the damage to your lawn has been caused by the Japanese Beetle.

The Japanese Beetle is native to Japan and was first found in the United States in 1916, in New Jersey. It measures about 1.5 cm long and 1cm wide.It has shiny copper colored wings and a shiny green thorax and head.It is during the larval stage that the beetle feeds on the roots of grass.Today, it ranks as one of the most widely spread turf pests in the United States.

The Japanese Beetle begins its activity in the summertime, when the female beetle starts laying eggs. She lays them at intervals, upto a total of 40-60 eggs. These hatch in the middle of August, when the white grubs emerge, to begin feasting on the roots of the grass.This causes browning of the grass, leaving large brown patches on your lawn.The grubs continue to forage on the roots of the grass till late October, when they burrow deep into the ground, emerging again only in the month of April. During the months of June and July, the adult beetle flies away to mate, often in flowers such as the Hollyhock and Rose.The life cycle of the Beetle is typically one year.

While the Beetle itself does not harm man, precautions need to be taken when pesticide is being used to get rid of it. You should make sure that the treated lawn will be kept clear of all human traffic. Pets should be kept indoors.Trampling on the pesticide and subsequent inhalation of the chemicals by humans or animals can cause illness. Today,there are many different pesticides in the market, to choose from. Some of the ones that we recommend are:

Merit:
The test results for this new-to-the-market pesticide have been favorable.It kills grubs, is safer than other products. Though it takes time to work, the effects are long lasting.

Milky Spore Disease:
This is a chemical pesticide that is safer than most others. It contains bT chemical which effectively destroys both the grub as well as the caterpillar. Downside – Limited to working only in places where the weather is warm.

Nematodes
These are tiny worms that destroy the grubs.If you have a local store where you can purchase these, it is probably the best choice. The nematodes require certain bacteria to thrive. Also, shipping and handling are other factors that need to be considered.
It should be noted that if you have to use chemicals, talk to your local nursery to make sure that your selection is safe and approved.

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