Mark Cullen on getting rid of spring garden bugs
Canada AM gardening expert Mark Cullen
Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012 7:35AM EDT
Climate change is best measured in events that are near and familiar to us. For gardeners this can mean dealing with bugs in our yard and garden that we did not see 10 or 25 years ago.
This is the case where Japanese Beetles are concerned. Some years ago they were something that you read about in American gardening magazines. Today they are a prevalent pest in Southern Ontario, parts of Quebec and the Maritimes. These bugs are best controlled with pheromone traps.
Grubs of the white and grey varieties are also prevalent across the country and account for the No. 1 question on my web site these days. They are the larvae of the June beetle and the European Chafer. While I cannot say that climate change has been a reason for their dramatic increase in population, we know for certain that they have increased in numbers over recent years in a very big way.
The solution to controlling grubs is "nematodes," or roundworms. When applied on the lawn while dormant and watered in, they will control the grubs providing that the soil is above 10°C.
Bed bugs, one could argue, have also arrived in recent years -- possibly due to climate change. The controls for this problem are varied. I use a sticky "trap" that attracts them and holds them until they die.
Ants also seem to be growing in numbers. There are several options for ant control depending on the severity of the problem and whether it is indoors or out.