Posted by Frank Gapinski over 8 years ago
You may have noticed that over the last few months up here in Queensland we've had a fair bit of rain between floods and cyclones.
What happens after a big flood is that grass starts growing very strongly. After all that grass, there's generally a rise in the populations of insects.
Well the suburban street where I live has some of the most luxuriant homes with wide expansive green lawns that are proudly groomed, perfectly manicured, edged and fertilized with generous amount of chemicals and associated sprays at regular intervals.
The problem is that my neighbors who spend a lot of money maintaining their beautiful lawns have been struck by a plague of epic proportions.
These insects are like a marauding army of underground locusts that can turn a green lawn into a patchy mess of dead grass.
Last year the Sunshine Coast region ran out of chemicals to kill the grubs. People were in panic and the shame that goes along with owning a dirty stained patchy lawn. The shame must be unbearable.
It’s funny but I never noticed their dead grass. But my neighbor Cindy whose husband spends his weekends grooming his front yard noticed mine! Cindy noticed that my lawn remained untouched by the army of lawn grubs. What was I spraying as their expensive chemicals were clearly not working. I said I never spray anything on the grass. I don’t feed it. I don’t water it. I don’t do anything much at all. But I do mow it occasionally when it gets too long and the neighbors start giving me evil looks.
There must be another reason they insisted. Just then one of my free ranging chickens waddled past scratching and clucked contentedly in the long grass. The penny dropped for both of us. I had no grubs because of the chickens. They have no chickens but a surplus of lawn grubs. Makes sense?
"Maybe you should hire some of your chickens’ out." laughed Cindy. "We could use them at our place."
I knew they would never do that.
And I'm not so sure that the chickens would care to eat on their lawn.
I have noticed wild birds like magpies also settling down on our neglected lawn to scratch about for a meal. But on a heavily sprayed chemically sodden patch of grass, I have yet to see any bird settle down for a feed on that. Hence the march of the lawn grubs. No predators. The sprays don’t appear to work, so they’re having a ball!
Read about the lawn grub plague: http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2010/03/25/first-came-the-rain/
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