AntsAnts do not damage grass. In fact, their below surface excavations can be beneficial to the soil structure. Unfortunately Ant Hills (mini mole hills) are a nuisance and can cause the grass to be `scalped` as the mower moves over them.
Ant hills can be removed in dry weather with a spade and stiff brush. Most of the time Ant populations do not cause significant issues or make their presence known. However, if you have colonies you cannot tolerate there are some DIY solutions available. An internet search for `Ant Nematodes` and `Ant Gel` will give you the main options, for what it is worth, we think the Ant Gel type products offer a more reliable solution.
Chafer Grubs: Probably the worst single problem to have in a lawn.What are they? The Larvae of the `Chafer Beetle`
How do they damage Lawns? They eat the roots of the grass
Is the damage serious? Yes, extremely.
How do I know I have a Chafer Grub infestation? The initial damage of the young grubs eating the grass roots often goes unnoticed. The damage is light and perhaps the lawn is not looking its best anyway during the height of the summer when variations in condition are quite common. Alarm starts to grow when Areas of the lawn fail to recover colour as Summer ends, and perhaps predators start to feed on the grubs, causing obvious damage to the grass.
How can I get rid of the Grubs
We are very sorry to say, that since 2016 EU & UK legislation on the use of pesticides, there is no commercially viable or reliably effective treatment on the market.
On occasions an organic remedy such as Nematodes (Nemasys G), may be effective on very young grubs providing the application is carried out during August through to September and that the soil conditions are very damp. These organic treatments work well in controlled environments like poly tunnels. In the uncontrolled environment of a garden, getting them to work is very difficult indeed, simply ensuring that the soil is wet enough is extremely problematic at best and often quite impossible.
There are no effective treatments for mature grubs over one year old, and because all available treatments are largely ineffective, we do not offer them as a solution.
So far, the only useful product that has come to our attention is the Chafer Beetle trap. If you are in an area known to have an active breeding population acquiring a few of these would seem like a good idea. Here is an example https://www.harrodhorticultural.com/garden-chafer-beetle-trap-pid8235.html we have no affiliation to the seller, nor have we tested the product!
Repair If you are unlucky enough to have suffered the destruction of a significant Chafer infestation in your lawn, there is probably no way to save it. Neither is there much point in trying to repair or reinstate the lawn while living Grubs remain. The following course of action would seem necessary.
- Kill off the Lawn with Glyphosate – this will remove the food that is sustaining the Grubs.
- Rotovate the entire area – further exposing the Grubs to predators.
- Leave the area for several months so that all the grubs die or are eaten.
- Prepare the ground for turf or seeding. This could be the ideal opportunity to add soil improvers or soil conditioners if your soil is lacking organic matter.
The larvae of the `Daddy Long Legs` or `Cranefly`. In theory a serious infestation of these can be very damaging to a lawn but happily such eventualities seem to be extremely rare, we have very seldom seen much if any damage caused by these bugs.
There is no longer any chemical control legally available for use in the UK. Many organisations recommend the use of natural remedies such as Nematodes. As with the variety of Nematode that allegedly controls Chafer Grubs we are unable to offer this for Leather Jackets in the uncontrolled environment of a customer’s lawn. The chances of success are FAR too low!
If you are extremely unlucky, and your lawn suffers some Leather Jacket damage, Lawn Aeration, Scarification and some overseeding will produce an effective repair.