Green June Bugs

We getting lots of Green June Bug swarming over our lawn this year. It is their mating time. They aren't eathing anything, just making lots of grubs. Lots and lots of grubs. Is their any non toxic control for the grubs. We have a shallow well and can't use any thing like diazanon.
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A two-prong attack will be a permanent control:
Milky spore (Bacillus popillae) permanently limits the activity of grubs (& if population can be kept always to one to three grubs per square foot, the lawn & garden will be perfectly healthy). Milky spore can thrive &amp remain viable in the soil for a decade or permanently once the population is infected, because each grub that dies releases more milky spore bacteria into the soil for the next batch of grubs to eat. It has the bonus that it does not effect butterfly larvae (as B. theringiensis would).
Steinernema nematodes are also a permanent control which takes two years; by the third year the june beetles will be incapable of a major explosion, the population pretty much permanently infected with the nematodes & never able to recover in any big way. Application of nematodes can be done once or multiple times from about mid-July to to August or September, & that may be enough to last for decades, though sometimes it should be done a second year.
Here's an excellent general introduction to understanding biolgoical control: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/BODY_IN081
Microbial control method works the first year of application so it takes patient avoidance of chemical controls which will retard or eradicate the effectiveness of the biological control. Since you've noticed the adult beetle population BEFORE you've seen the the damage, you already have a one or two year head-start on the grub population. Most people find out about them after lawn & plant damage is obvious, & that rarely occurs in one year, so for you the nematodes & milky spore will probably take down the population before they've done much damage. But one of the best immediate controls people somehow overlook, or people with mulch-mowers may never even think of:
Adult June beetles often appear en masse & mate as a large population most of them in the same week. While they are active over the surface of the lawn, a really good lawn mower set at minimum height, with clipping bag attached, can literally vaccuum up the adults, &amp the clippings double-bagged for municiple pick-up, or fumigated with a vapona strip in each bag for a week or two before composting, or the clippings burned.
Also available as an effective biological control are parastic wasps (Tiphia intermedia), which parasitize beetle grubs as their first choice. Some of the finer independent nurseries will seasonally sell parasitic wasps in early autumn, or they can be obtained from any number of mail order sources.
Pelecinus polyturator is a spectacularly effective june beetle grub hunter, but I don't think obtainable commercially. It's a two-inch big jet-black flying insect, the female having a long spooky ovipositor often mistaken for a stinger of some kind of super-wasp & totally scary to see, but harmless to people & beneficial to the lawn & garden. It won't exist where chemical insecticides have been used, but will annually become an increasingly important control in a balanced organic garden.
Many regular wasps will also hunt grubs so wasps generally should be encouraged &amp left unmolested in the garden, the majority of species being suprisingly docile & of no threat unless one bangs right into a nest. Also, ants feed on June beetle eggs before they even hatch, so if you see a line of ants marching around in the lawn, don't freak out & kill them, ants are your friends.
Starlings are also super-qualified white grub controls, so if the starlings have ever annoyed the bejabbers out of you as garbage-birds, think of them in the future as the white grub police. Robins also do a pretty darned good job of yanking white grubs out of the lawn. Birds in general should be encouraged.
Moles & skunks are the less often welcomed white grub predators. The Olympic mole can be almost undetectible & so a welcome garden inhabitant, but the Townsend mole makes dozens of mole-hills & usually not tolerated because the hills are unsightly though not actually harmful. The skunk arrives by night & leaves a series of cone-shaped holes throughout the lawn, & will continue this activity for as long as there are grubs to be found.
-paghat the ratgirl
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snipped-for-privacy@netscape.net (paghat) wrote:

Purdue University states: If you use the grub control product Milky Spore, be aware that these natural bacteria will only control the grubs of Japanese beetles. In our area, it's highly unlikely that the majority of the grubs in your lawn are all Japanese beetle grubs. Using this product won't control the majority of the insects damaging your lawn; nor will they make a dent in next year's Japanese beetle population.

Michigan state found: Insect parasitic nematodes were inconsistent in grub control tests.

These sound good.

We haven't seem many starlings for a while. The robins will have to do. We have wild turkeys, perhaps they will eat the grub and the ticks.

These are the main reasons I want to get rid of the grubs. When the moles come along the destroy the deep roots and the lawn become very fragile.
Using the lawn mower to reduce their numbers sounds like fun. But I use a mulching rear-discharge mower, so bagging isn't an option.
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Stephen Henning wrote:

You can have some of my starlings.
If your mower is a rear dischage one where does it discharge to?
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The rear. It is a mulching mower which cuts the grass and lets it lie down in place.
It just lets the grass lie underneath where it is cut. I never collect the clippings. Never.
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Stephen Henning wrote:

On 7/7/2005 you said: > Using the lawn mower to reduce their numbers sounds like fun. But

How is bagging not an option?
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Because the grass is lying on the ground when the mower clears. There is not shoot. A sweeper is the only option, but swept Green June Bugs just fly away.
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Stephen Henning wrote:

You said it was a rear discharge.
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I also said mulching. So as the tractor moves forward, the grass is discharged out to the rear, hence rear discharge. You really can't mow much grass if the mower is not moving. Rear discharge mowers are great in that they don't throw grass at people or walkways nearby. You also don't have to decide which way to throw the grass. It just lays back down in place. What a novel concept.
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Stephen Henning wrote:

So you do have the option of bagging but choose not to. That is different than bagging is not an option.
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Absolutely not. How do you bag grass clippings that are lying on the ground. You would need a sweeper or vacuum which is independent of the mower. A rear discharge mulching mower has no discharge. It just lays the grass on the ground. The rear axle is behind the mower.
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Stephen Henning wrote:

If it does not discharge the clippings then it is not a side/rear/or up in the air discharge mower. It would be just a plain old mulching mower.
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Tell that to WheelHorse. They sold it as:
"Wheel Horse 42" Rear Discharge Mower Deck"
A traditional mulching mower can't handle tall grass. This one does. It is much more versatile than "mulching mowers". It only cuts the grass once. Mulching mowers keep chopping it up. It is a completely different concept.
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Stephen Henning wrote:

Loogs like most if not all Toro mowers have a bag attachment.
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Toro doesn't make this one except as a replacement part for the old REAL WheelHorse tractors. The opening is in the back and is 2" high directly in front of my tractor's rear axle. It is a 3 blade mower deck with a bottomless 2"x36" inch rear opening with no provision for attaching anything. I do own a pull-behind sweeper for times when I need clippings for the garden.
You really are obsessed about thinking you know about things you have never seen and calling people jerks.
Have a nice day!
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Our mulch mower has an option of lifting a side-plate & attaching a bag. We never bought the bag attachment but it's nevertheless possible.
-paggers
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paghat wrote:

Our rear discharge/mulching mower can either bag or mulch. That other (don't remember his name) guy said he had a rear discharge/mulching mower with no discharge. I think he was just being a jerk.
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