Preventative black beetle control in lawns.

Author: Stefan Palm   Date Posted: 22 August 2023 

Maintaining a lush, healthy lawn is a goal cherished by homeowners all over the country. This vision, however, can be quickly spoilt by the presence of an elusive yet formidable foe: the black beetle.

These little insects have a voracious appetite for lawns, causing unsightly damage and thinning out, especially when they occur in large numbers.

Black beetles, scientifically known as Heteronychus arator, are a common menace in turfgrass management. Their larvae, also known as curl grubs, feed on grassroots, disrupting the plants' essential water and nutrient supply. This leads to visible signs of distress, including wilting, browning, and thinning of the turf. Additionally, the damage acts as an open invitation to other pests, diseases, and weeds, further deteriorating the turf's quality. 

Timing is everything.

The typical response for most homeowners is to make a trip out to the hardware store to get some beetle killer once they notice brown patches starting to appear. This typically starts to happen in late Spring, brought on by the merging of warmer weather with the hatching cycle of the larvae.

You'd call this reactive maintenance, which isn't the best response, for several reasons. By the time your lawn starts to die, the beetle larvae have already done their damage, and at this point, the beetle larvae are often too large to be affected by insecticides.

For effective beetle larvae control, timing is crucial. The best time to get on top of beetle larvae is shortly after they hatch, which is usually mid to late September, depending on the soil temperature. You'd have to be a beetle whisperer to time that well, so the answer lies in preventative maintenance. By applying an insecticide now (late August – Early September), it will be ready to go to work at the point of hatch, and in that way, you will have solved the problem before it even occurs, avoiding those brown patches that we all dislike!

What's the best product to use?

I'm not one to recommend needlessly applying chemicals on lawns for the sake of it; however, there is an insecticide called Acelepryn, which is renowned for its potent yet environmentally friendly properties.

Acelepryn Insecticide:

  • Controls a wide range of turf-damaging pests with a single application that lasts for up to 6 months. This is enough time to cover the entire lawn beetle season, meaning one application is enough for the whole year.
  • Is classified as an unscheduled poison by Australian regulatory authorities. This means there is no PPE requirement and no re-entry period restrictions after application.
  • Has a low environmental impact - extremely low toxicity to most non-target animals, including dogs, cats, birds, fish and bees. This allows for pest control without posing unnecessary risks

For home garden use, Id use:

For larger or commercial areas, I'd use:

How do you use it?

Both these products are available as a granule. You can apply it by itself, or mix it with fertiliser, then water it in thoroughly after application.

When it comes to maintaining a vibrant and healthy turf, the menace of black beetles is a challenge that must be met with an effective and sustainable solution. Acelepryn has emerged as the ultimate answer, combining cutting-edge technology with environmental consciousness. Its long-lasting control, safety profile, ease of use, and consistent performance have earned it a prime spot in the arsenal of homeowners striving to achieve beautiful lawns.

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