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Nematodes are not Sea Monkeys…

Though if they are not treated carefully, they might as well be.

The tiny swimming creatures we use to protect your lawn from damaging white grubs remind us a lot of the ‘instant pets’ advertised in the backs of comic books.

Although both are friendly, the way they’re handled and what they are expected to do are very different though.

Sea Monkeys, technically brine shrimp, are distributed as dried eggs which hatch when put into water. They have a great shelf life and can swim around their bowl easily, with no demands but to eat the food you give them and perform simple tricks.

Nematodes however, are shipped alive. If they are not cared for from the moment they leave the supplier to when they’ve destroyed their targets, they will die. They work a lot harder than Sea Monkeys too. They attack root-eating white grubs, which you can learn more about on the LawnSavers pest identification page.

There are two main kinds of grub-killing nematodes: predatory and parasitic. The nematodes you will see for sale in garden centers and bog box stores are parasitic. They lie in wait in the soil until a grub comes by, and attack.

If you are planning to go this route, a big concern is how the retailer has taken care of the nematodes. If kept on the shelf for too long or allowed to get too hot or cold, the nematodes you buy could already be dead. Once you have made your purchase, take them home and use them immediately. Even being in a hot car while you run other errands can be fatal to them. A bigger concern is what time of year you are buying them- Extensive scientific field research shows they only work in the later summer months.

You will also need to prepare your lawn ahead of time – since nematodes are swimmers, your lawn needs a good soaking before you apply. You will need a sprayer to get the water you’ve mixed the nematodes in onto your lawn. Timing is vital – nematodes can only kill grubs after they have hatched but before they grow too large. Ideally, make sure it is a cloudy day too, to protect them from drying out and the heat of the direct sun, and make sure to agitate your sprayer frequently to ensure even distribution. Aftercare is also key – the lawn cannot be allowed to dry out before they have done their job. If you carry out these steps, and the nematodes land near the white grubs, the grubs will be killed fairly reliably.

The nematodes we have access too are different than those available in garden centres and i can confidently say, better! Predatory nematodes are active hunters, swimming through the saturated soil to find the white grubs where they hide. We pick them up right from the supplier and keep them climate-controlled to keep them healthy and hunting. We apply them the week we get them from the supplier and give your lawn a good soaking when we do. All you need to do is soak your lawn before we come and keep watering after the application. Keeping your little lawn defenders alive and hunting hinges on how well you can keep them moist and proper timing!

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  • Coping with Covid Update: (updated 05/08/20)

    Hi Everyone, 

    I’m happy to share some good news during these crazy times. LawnSavers has resumed servicing lawns in all areas and lawn care services that provide for lawn health are officially on the Provincial list of essential services due to the fact we can provide this service safely and with no personal contact!

    If you haven’t seen us yet, you will see us within the next 7-10 days. We do not expect any delay in our regular timing of applications (except from the wintry weather).  We put together an easy to read lawn care service timeline that you can use to know when to expect us for each scheduled service in your package. 

    I want to reassure you that in every decision we make around COVID-19, our number one priority remains the health and safety of our employees and customers.  Safety and honesty are our two most important core values.  We will continue to follow strict safety guidelines that ensure “zero touch”.  We will not let our guard down on exercising our safety protocols!

    Our office is open but with less staff in order to maintain safety protocols like social distancing.   Please note our phones are experiencing a high volume of calls and we know how much everyone hates being left on hold, so please leave us a message or email us at greatservice@lawnsavers.com  and we will get back to you in less than 24 hours.
    Please be patient with us, we will get back to you as fast as possible.
    You can also sign up for services on our website by clicking here.

    Thank you all for your understanding and patience during these challenging times. Our team works hard, so if you are met with our exceptional service from our technicians or office team members- please give them a thumbs up to make them smile or let me know through a quick email to feedback@lawnsavers.com

    We thank you for supporting a family owned local business of 30 years, we genuinely appreciate each and every one of you and promise that we will do our part to ensure our mutual safety and be on your lawn as soon as possible.  

    Thank you in advance,
    Kyle Tobin
    Chief Environmental Officer