Lawn grub can devastate even the most health of lawns but lawn grub can be controlled organically by encouraging its natural preditor the Ichneumon Wasp.
These stingless insects are Mother Nature’s natural pest control for your garden.
Ichneumon wasps are around 12mm in length and have bright markings. They are easy to spot flying around your garden looking for suitable hosts to lay their eggs in.
That’s right Ichneumon wasps are parasitoids, meaning they lay their eggs inside a host insect. The wasp larvae then hatch and feed on the insect, killing their host in the process.
How can I attract them to my yard?
There are several things you can do to attract them to your back yard.
1. Plant native flowers
You may have seen these wasps trying to mate with your orchids, that’s because the flowers of the Hammer Orchids Drakaea and Flying Duck Paracaleana in southwest Australia and Caleana in southeast Australia have developed flowers that attract an inexperienced male and dust him with pollen.
In temperate areas of Australia, the native Slipper Orchids Cryptostylis even mimic the perfume of the female wasp and lure the male with pheromones.
The adult wasps feed on the nectar, and the more they eat, the more eggs they will lay. Add these plants to your garden to create a naturally attract.
2. Don’t use insecticides
Be sure not to use insecticides as a poisoned host will also kill the wasp larvae.
If you’re still finding the lawn grub to be overtaking then try flooding the affected areas. The grub will come to the surface and allow the wasps and birds to feast.
If you do have to use insecticides then do so selectively and treat specific plants that are being attacked. Try to avoid spraying during the day as this is when the wasps will be active.
3. Choose pesticides carefully
Look for natural pesticides that break down rapidly after application. Choose those that specifically target the pest you wish to eliminate so as to not accidentally harm the beneficial wasps.
4. Introduce water into your garden
Create a safe space for insects to have a drink. Something like a birdbath or shallow pond. Avoid steep slopes that can trap insects.
References & ATTRIBUTEs
By Bruce Marlin – Own work https://www.cirrusimage.com/hymenoptera-megarhyssa.htm, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2636356