Scotts has launched Nemasys G, an innovative biological control product which is a proven solution to the problem of chafer grubs and can be used as part of an Integrated Pest Control Programme.
Chafer grubs are larvae of the garden chafer (Phyllopertha horticola), the most abundant chafer species in the UK. They grow to around 18mm in length and cause extensive damage to amenity turf such as golf courses, sports pitches and landscaped areas as they feed on grass roots. Secondary turf damage often occurs as birds and small mammals such as moles and badgers turn over the weakened turf to feed off the grubs.
Developed by Becker Underwood, Nemasys G contains the beneficial insect parasitic nematode Heterorhabditis megidis - a microscopic worm which does not feed on plant material. Nematodes are proven to be very successful in controlling a wide range of pest species in horticultural situations. Once the nematodes have been applied to the infected area they actively seek out and enter chafer grubs in the soil, killing the pest. The nematodes then reproduce inside the dead grub and release a new generation of hungry nematodes which disperse and seek out more pests.
Scotts' marketing manager, Dave Steward, commented: "Recent investment by Becker Underwood in production and formulation improvements for Nemasys G means the product's potential has significantly increased. We are delighted to have formed a partnership with the company to supply Nemasys G to the very important professional turf market.
"Nemasys G is the ideal solution for the control of chafer grubs. The product is natural, safe, easy to use and very effective at all larval stages. This means it can be used when the grub is actively feeding and secondary damage risk is highest. We are confident that turf managers will find the product a very effective weapon against these pests."
Nemasys G stops chafer grubs feeding within three days of application, which means roots are able to start recovering. Grubs die within 10-14 days, after which re-establishment work on the turf, such as re-seeding, can start. Secondary damage also stops as predators are no longer feeding off the grubs.
The product should be applied between September and October when chafer grubs are active, young and close to the soil surface. In late autumn and winter the grubs move deeper into the rootzone making them more difficult to target.
Nemasys G is easy to apply by mixing with water and spraying onto the infected area. There is no need for any specialised application equipment or applicator certification, and pets or people need not be excluded from the area during or after application. There is also no restriction for the use of Nemasys G close to water courses or other environmentally sensitive areas.
Each pack contains 250 million nematodes and enough product to treat 500m2 of turf. After application soil should be kept moist to help the nematodes move through the soil to reach their pest target.