Racoons digging for grubs.

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Organic a go go, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. Organic a go go

    Organic a go go LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    Got a customer who has had major grub issues in the past and lots of racoons digging the yard to find them. This year she has very few grubs, far less than I would normally treat, but she still has racoons digging.

    Im thinking of some predator urine or bloodmeal to deter the coons. Anybody else have a suggestion? I'd go with some pepper spray but they have a dog as well and that wont work.
  2. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    we use milorganite for deer and armdiolos, they hate the stuff, dont know about rocky, maybe some pee will be a good way...........
  3. cudaclan

    cudaclan LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Messages: 152

    Next season, beneficial nemotodes.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    Black lab works well
  5. Turbozcs2003

    Turbozcs2003 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Treeing Walker Coonhound works even better :)
  6. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    here doggy, mmm tastes like chicken

  7. That's the way to go. Nematodes are part of the answer.

    You wont get rid of the racoons unless you reduce their food source. Pee all you want!

    Grubs LOVE sick soils which are low in organic matter, so compost top dressing is a good start.

    You guys get some serious cold in Chicago, so if you apply the 'Grub Guard' (Steinernema and Heterorhabditis species) type nematodes from North Country Organics, they will die for sure from the cold. These can be applied as a soil drench under the right conditions. If it were earlier in the season, I would give them a try.

    Clarkus nematode's are quite robust when it comes to cold hardiness if I recall. These are native species.

    You can make compost tea with compost which has documented high numbers of these nematodes and apply to your soils. You don't want a long brew cycle because the little guys can drown. We have a lot of these nematodes in our compost. (but I don't fully understand exactly what is causing the high numbers).

    Even better to buy compost which has lot's of predatory nematodes and top dress, but that can be an expensive and labor intensive proposition.

  8. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    where do you get your info from??? dont most nematodes like water and live in it, aren't not nematodes from the ocean floor????

    Entomopathogenic nematodes in the genera Steinernema and Heterorhabditis are small round worms that are used as environmentally friendly bioinsecticides. These nematodes kill insects with the aid of mutualistic bacteria that are kept inside the nematode gut until host entry. The nematodes can be mass-produced using in vivo or in vitro (solid and liquid fermentation) methods. In vivo production yields depend on the host insect, inoculation parameters, and environmental conditions. In vivo production is costly due to labor and insect cost, but may be improved through automation or direct application of infected hosts. Liquid fermentation is currently the most prominent method of production. Succesful liquid production depends on maintaining sterile conditions, control of bioreactor parameters and maximizing nematode recovery.

    we grow ours in an aquarium with barley straw and WATER, some times feeding them with magot slurry.

    and with 8 cfm in a 200 gal. brewer there is going to be very little air to keep them
  9. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    Pete, I also have to ask how and if you have established the type or spec. of the ones in your compost, is there some specific way you like????
  10. My goal was to offer some advice in understandable terms, and offered an alternative to the scope of your recommendation to urinate on the offenders.

    I agree that nematodes live in the water, and also salt water (most likely evolved from there), but are these the indigenous nematodes that we are trying to grow in most of our soils (as in the organic turf variety) that will survive in a sustainable fashion.

    My goal was to offer an alternative to Steinernema and Heterorhabditis which are not cold hardy in zone 5.

    But, I will not offer any retaliatory or defensive remarks aside from the independent data that is posted on my website (which isn't copied and pasted from elsewhere).

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