A Case Study: Biological control of leatherjackets at Neath Golf Club
Set on the hills overlooking the coast of South Wales sits Neath Golf Club. In late-2018, their golf course suffered from an overwhelming infestation of leatherjackets. Dying grass exposed rough soil as badgers tore up the turf for a tasty meal, which meant parts of the course simply became unplayable.
Neath needed a solution. Chemical controls for turf pests have been phased out which has left many course managers searching for an alternative. Neath Golf Club decided to try something new – Bionema, a leading UK biopesticide developer. Led by Dr Minshad Ansari, a biological expert with over 20 years’ experience, Bionema began to investigate the problem.
Bionema helped Neath Golf Club develop and implement a one-year plan using our unique Tri-Component solution:
1. Beneficial nematodes: NemaTrident®L
2. Our biocompatible wetting agent: NemaSpreader®
3. Our expert training and advice
4. Rapid turf biostimulant: NutriStimula®Turf
Bionema’s experts confirmed leatherjacket identification as the pest: Tipula paludosa – the daddy long leg. With this information, we set out a 1-year plan identifying optimal NemaTrident®L application times to align with the most vulnerable stages of the lifecycle:
- Late-April: Spring application
- Late-September: Autumn application
Each season consisted of full dose nematode applied twice at weekly interval to help prolong the efficacy of the nematodes. Applications were done using a boom sprayer. Aeration equipment was used to make tiny holes which helped the nematodes bypass the thatch and be delivered to their target.
To help with the rapidly-approaching 2019 golf season, we suggested the use of NutriStimula®Turf to help their turf recover quickly for a healthy playing surface.
Larval density was used to monitor the results. Records of larval density were taken from soil plugs on each approach. This occurred at regular intervals through the year.
Bionema’s plan worked. One-year on, Neath Golf Club had experienced an incredible 89% decline in grub density across the course with all trial areas surpassing 70% control. NutriStimula®Turf offered rapid grass growth and healthy restoration of the damaged course for the 2019 golf season.
Successful control of the leatherjackets at Neath Golf Club has: