Stop Merit applications?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by treemonkey, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. treemonkey

    treemonkey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    I have managed 3 acres of mostly non-irrigated lawns at my workplace for over 20 years. Three years ago we had our first ever devastating grub attack that took out about 1/4 of the area. I imagine the conditions were just right for the population explosion.

    I've brought the lawns back and have been applying Merit for the past three years with success.

    When, if ever, can I stop these applications? How can I develop my crystal ball to determine the risk of grub infestation again?

    Does it make sense to apply every other year to keep the populations under control? Or, have you guys experienced population explosions with no good indicators.

    If adequate moisture continues this summer, it might be a good year to try going without it.

    Any opinions are appreciated. Thank you.
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    You can't. the only thing you can count on is that the June bug and Japanese beetle populations have exploded in the last recent years. Whole areas are being devastated by these insects and their larvae.
  3. treemonkey

    treemonkey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    You don't think it is cyclic and/or could vary between Flint and, lets say, Lansing?
  4. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    The risk is always there. Grubs typically re-infest in the same locations year after year. When you weigh the cost of the preventative application compared to the cost of repairing the damage caused by the grubs the preventative wins every time. You have to ask yourself do you feel lucky! :nono:
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    You probably have bluegrass turf in your situation, I would imagine.

    Grubworms, being the larvae form of whatever aforementioned beetle, generally consider bluegrass roots the 'steak dinner' option....vs those of the courser turf type tall fescues and forage fescues (like KY 31 fescue), which they still do eat, but probably would consider your everyday run-of-the mill 'hamburger' of a food option.

    With that in mind, and of course considering the fact that one out of every 4 or 5 years (it seems) alot of non-irrigated bluegrass turf around here tends to get destroyed by extended drought and/or vicious attacks by diseases such as dollar spot, a boatload of contractors and homeowners around here...(and all the way north as far as Columbus and Mansfield, for sure)...have been gradually making strides the last 2 to 3 decades to switch over from the traditional bluegrass seed / sod, and more toward blends and mixes that contain the generally much hardier t.t.t. fescues.

    And granted, although these fescues certainly aren't exempt from being attacked by various grub species, they certainly show more resilience than blues in that they, again, generally aren't as attractive for them to eat, as well as their better resilience in their overall better recovery chances, once the active grub infestation has been addressed.

    How many folks up your way seed with blends of t.t.t. fescues...either by themselves or with a small % of p. rye and/or blue ?
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Oh, there is no question that there are variables and masses that move in different directions...much like clouds. But what I was referring to is the overall population increases. It isn't just Michigan, it is like a regional thing, spanning clear over to (or should I say FROM) Minnesota. I had a webpage that showed some real cool research and maps with different shades to show past years, movement, and density of population, but I'll be darned if I can find it. I know we have areas around here - whole neighborhoods and cities that are just being annihilated by grubs. A guy could make a LIVING just cruising the city of Flushing doing grub control, and going through again with a trailer load of seed, a slitseeder, and some starter fert and Dylox for those that missed the boat.
  7. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    Its like buying earthquake or flood insurance, you only need when theres an event. Must do grub protection every year.
  8. Fert33

    Fert33 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Central Pa
    Messages: 133

    I would use it every year, like others have said a curative is far more expensive then a preventitive. Not to mention the cost of re-seeding after you take care of the problem. I personally wouldn't set foot on a property if they did not get grub control. Image is everything, if it's your trucks in front of a property, and their is a grub problem, it looks like you don't know what you are doing. That's just not good for business.
  9. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    Japanese beetles have been slowly moving westward from the East Coast for decades. Michigan has experienced heavy populations for the past decade. Japanese beetle grubs favor irrigated turf or any turf when there is frequent rainfall.

    I recall an entomologist from MA or CT giving a talk, about Jap beetles, in Lansing a few years ago. She (or he I don't remember) said that Jap Beetle grubs are no longer a big problem out east because there was a healthy population of a fungus or bacteria that kept the grubs in check. They predicted that it would eventually move west and start to control grubs here, in 30 years or so.

    So, yes you need to keep applying Merit.
  10. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    Start selling Milky Spore treatments (Bacillus popillae) if it really is Japanese beetle. It doesn't keep the beetles from eating plants, but it sells like a mofo.:cool2:

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