Deal naturally to lawn pests
... being two natural oils I cannot see any health concerns, as long as any harvested food is thoroughly washed.
Thanks to a bowling club green-keeper, there is now ‘Wallys 3 in 1 for Lawns’.
A natural lawn pest insecticide, lawn food and wetting agent, this Australian product now packaged in New Zealand, consists of eucalyptus oil, tea-tree oil and natural plant foods in the form of manures and seaweed/fish extracts.
I was introduced to this by the greenkeeper who said it controlled grass grubs, black beetles, root nematodes and porina caterpillars. It can even give the hurry-up to eel worm, centipedes, root mealy bugs, earwigs and slaters.
The green-keeper had been using various chemical poisons which left residues on the greens that not only found their way onto bowlers’ footwear but also onto bowling balls. Among these was the now banned diazinon, sold as Soil Insect Control.
This natural alternative used at the recommended rate, provided complete control of the porina after one application.
Once applied, preferably in the early morning or late afternoon, lightly water with the hose or sprinkler to wash the oils down into the top 6 – 10cm of the lawn where it does its job.
The product also knocks out any garden slugs that emerge out of the soil and thatch to invade gardens.
Worms will happily live underneath the oil layer in the topsoil without any known adverse effects. Those near the surface however, may not fare so well.
Gardeners may find in this product a tool to assist in the control of pests such as wire worm by treating the area a few weeks before planting new season potatoes.
Mixed at 10mls to 250mls of water in a trigger sprayer, I have successfully experimented with it on leaf pests such as whitefly, caterpillars and leafhoppers, with the oils acting as an irritant.
However, the product is only recommended for lawn use and should only be used for the control of lawn pests. But being two natural oils I cannot see any health concerns, as long as any harvested food is thoroughly washed.
As an oil-based product, it can of course burn foliage and grass if sprayed in sunlight.
Eucalyptus oil is toxic, but in weak solutions is used medically with warnings of possible toxic effects. Tea Tree oil should not be taken orally as it can also be toxic.
The product’s label warns: ‘‘Do not feed grass clippings to animals and birds’’, and that would apply to the first or second mowing after application to a lawn area.
If the oils are washed down into the soil, any possible harm to pets and birds should be minimal.
The wetting agent aspect will assist in the prevention of dry or brown spot in lawns.
This is the right time of the year to treat for grass grub as the soil is more moist and the grubs are nearer to the surface.
If you have had grass grub problems in previous years, you are likely to have a recurrence without further treatment.
It’s the time of year to deal to lawn pests, preferably by not using toxic chemicals.