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Harmful Bugs And Your Autumn Lawn

Author : Callum Asterman

Many plants and shrubs in the garden are susceptible to harm from insects and other pests but fortunately lawns are fairly resilient. But there are a handful of garden critters that can make your lawn look worse for wear. Autumn lawn care should always include a careful check for the presence of any these harmful creatures before they take hold.

The main problem creature is known as the leatherjacket. This main problem pest for autumn lawns is the larva of the Crane fly or Daddy Long Legs. The Leatherjacket larva live just below the surface of the lawn and slowly eat away at the roots of your lawn grasses. If left unchecked and a serious infestation takes hold, it can result in ugly brown patches on the lawn surface where the grass has died off. One way of working out if the leatherjackets have moved in is to look for areas where birds are frequently eating on your lawn. Use the activity of the birds to guide you to the areas that may need to be treated –the birds will be busy scratching away at the lawn surface to get to the larva just below.

Chafer Grubs can be another problem for autumn lawns. The chafer grub is the larvae of the Cockchafer beetle. Like Leatherjackets, they also live just below the surface of your lawn, but are not quite as harmful, nor are they as prolific as their cousins. However, if left unchecked they can become a nuisance as they also damage the root system of your grass. Look for the same telltale signs as Leatherjacket damage.

Ants may not be an obvious threat to a lawn, however ant colonies can be vast, underground networks, although most ants stick to the fringes of lawns for their colonies rather than in the centre. Treating your lawn for ants is quite simple with various products available, but they can be quite determined, especially is the colony is large, so repeat treatments may be neccessary. The old wives tale of pouring boiling water into the nest does work to an extent, but is unlikely to kill off the colony completely. With ants, it is a matter of striking a balance as a few ants on your lawn can be quite helpful in terms of lawn aeration, in, taking organic matter deeper into the lawn and attracting other beneficial animals to your garden.

Mention moles and most gardeners with a lawn will frown with fear. Moles are well known as the bane of all lawn lovers. These burrowing mammals can be a huge problem, excavating underneath the lawn as they hunt for grubs and worms below the surface. Moles can inflict long term damage and are often difficult to get ride of. All kinds of techniques, advice and gadgets have been suggested, but many simply do not work. If you have a mole problem, part of your autumn lawn care may be to call in a pest controller who will have specialist equipment to deal with the problem.

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Mark writes home and garden articles for a living and suggests that autumn lawn care is a productive task that rewards the thorough gardener.

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Tags:   gardening, lawn, grass

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Submitted : 2010-10-04    Word Count : 585    Times Viewed: 680