old chlordane for grubs?

beckyinrichmondApril 11, 2009

My beautiful grass is turning yellow in spots and a neighbor suggests that it may be because of grubs. I put down some Grubex but now I'm reading that it's a preventive, doesn't kill active grubs, that I should be using Sevin or Dylox. I can go get some. But I'm wondering about using some old chlordane that's been stored in the basement for 40-50 years. It's one of those things you can't put in the trash because it's a chemical. So using it up by spraying the grass would help get rid of it. Will it work to kill the active grubs or is it more a preventive?

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

You don't say where you live but unless you live in Mexico, it is too early in the year to have new grub problems. But you might have old grub problems that are just now showing up. Yes, it's possible. All lawns have grubs of some kind growing in them. You have to determine whether you have enough of them before you treat for them.

First of all, do your own inspection of the turf. It's not hard and it can save you a bunch of money and even embarrassment when a grub poison doesn't do any good.

Cut a square of turf out that is 1 foot on a side. Lift the sod up and start looking for grubs. They are about the size of your thumb and curled into a C shape, so they're not hard to see if you have them. If you see more than 12 in that square foot of soil, then you HAD a grub problem LAST YEAR. Killing them now will do no good at all. If you can't find a dozen grubs, then grubs are not your problem and spraying now will do no good.

The problem with treating for one problem and not having that problem is that you spray the stuff and go merrily skipping through the dew for a few weeks while the real problem continues to turn your grass yellow. You could have a disease that completely wipes out your lawn before you realize it.

Dig up a spot, or two, and see if you have grubs. If you do not, then you likely have a disease. Some diseases go away by themselves so we need more info. We would need to know what kind of grass you have, where you live, did you have snow, how much fertilizer and water the lawn has received in the past month, did you rake leaves or leave them in place, has the grass been covered with other yard clippings or toys, and how high/low you are mowing. If you could post a picture from a distance and one that shows the yellow grass blades up close would help.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 4:46PM
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I live in Richmond, Virginia. I completed renovated the yard last fall, planting a mixture of tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and rye. There was little snow. I fertilized three times last fall, once (lightly) last month. I mulchmowed the leaves last fall. Last month I took my half-composted compost pile, spread it on the grass, and mulchmowed it into the grass. I mow at 3 inches. I've been mowing every week for the last month. I haven't watered as we've had good rain every week this spring. Don't have a digital camera so I can't post pictures. The grass looks great except in a few spots where there is yellowing. There is also some yellowing right at the edge of the lawn by the sidewalk. I probably have old grubs from last year. I had never treated for grubs. So nothing kills old grubs?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 5:38PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

That's excellent information.

I wouldn't assume anything about grubs. Your neighbor could be dead wrong. Besides you can kill old grubs but what's the point? They stopped feeding last July. It is very typical of grub damage that you don't notice the damage for weeks after the grubs stopped feeding. It is not typical that the damage only shows itself after 7 months. If you have grubs you may as well leave them alone. If you have grubs, that is possibly the reason you have yellow spots. If the yellow spots are due to the grubs, it will recover without doing anything. The grubs chomp off the roots. Once the roots grow back, the grass will be okay.

Since you don't have a camera, can you look closely at the yellow grass blades and see if there are any spots that look like the shape of dew drops? They would have a brown ring. Look at several grass plants.

Before treating for anything, we need a ruling on your 'grub count.' Is today a nice day to dig in the garden?? OR if you want to try an organic approach to fungus control, that Oh-by-the-way is also a good organic fertilizer, you can apply ordinary corn meal at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. If you apply it directly to the yellow spots, you will probably have dark green spots where the corn meal was applied and fertilized there. For that reason it is suggested that corn meal be applied over the entire lawn so it all greens up uniformly. Corn meal works against fungal disease by attracting a predatory fungus called Trichoderma (try koh DER mah). The Trichoderma fungus eats other fungi and especially disease fungi. Within 10 days the lawn should be free of most any diseases. In another 10 days you should see the grass growing back with a dark green color. You can use corn meal without any danger of interactions with any chemicals or anything else you might have applied already. If it turns out the problem was not a disease issue, then you at least got a good fertilizer out of it. I've use ordinary corn meal as a fertilizer almost exclusively since 2002. I keep it around because it is normal for me to get a disease because of the way my family uses the yard. I'm not trying to twist your arm about organics; I'm just giving you an alternative to consider.

If you want to use chemicals on the disease (if you have one), then you have to first identify the disease. That is because most chemicals target only certain species of fungal disease. Disease identification is why I asked for the info you provided.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 6:07PM
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I dug up a square foot of grass on three sides and laid it over onto a paper towel. I found no grubs. I found one brown skinny worm about an inch long that curled itself up into a spiral. It had lots of short legs. I have had grubs in the ground in past years, the fat little white things that curl up in C's. I tamped the square foot section back down and watered it good. It didn't fall apart as I was examining it.

The yellow blades don't have a dewdrop pattern to them. They are either yellow at the tips and then green to the ground or just completely yellow or brown.

I will try the cornmeal. Do you put it in the spreader or just walk around it and toss? The fertilizer I put down last month was composted chicken manure. I'm planning to put some more down in late May. Then I won't fertilize again until September. Last fall I was using a starter fertilizer for new grass.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 7:05PM
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andy10917(NY 6a)

Any chance that when you had that "little bit of snow" that you used a "little bit of winter salt" on it?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 9:33PM
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Was the yellow grass now green before or it hasn't green up since winter?

Also, poster in Richmond mentioned that renovated the lawn with Fescue, Bluegrass, and Rye; it is possible that the Rye is dying from a disease due to excessive rainfall (I'm in Raleigh, we have been getting a lot of rain since late June 2008 and decent snow up until the first week in March).

Take some pictures if you can.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 11:23PM
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The one snow was the first part of March, was gone in a few days, and I used no salt. The grass has been green all winter, not quite as green as it is now, but green. It was uniform in color. To answer another question, there are no pets or children using the lawn. The mailman may walk across it once a day and I obviously walk on it to cut the grass, but that's about it for foot traffic. I guess it's possible that other people's dogs may have used it while they're out on a walk. But that wouldn't account for why it's turning yellow all along the edge by the sidewalk but just by the edge. Could it be getting more heat there and that's affected it? There is a large maple tree by the street. Some of the affected grass is under the canopy and some is not. My daughter will visit next weekend and she has a camera. I'll get her to take some pictures.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 6:40AM
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chad_la(z7 TX)

best use of that chlordane is to mix it and spray the hell out of your foundation line around the house with it.

back when termite treatments came with a 30 year gurarantee this is what they used. gave the pest control guys cancer so they banned it- just like they do any chemical that actually works.

that stuff is beyond nasty. foundation line,, up to you... lawn? no way. its in the environment for many many years.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 10:45AM
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Thanks for the warning on the chlordane and suggestion for how to use it. I had called the city one time asking how to dispose of it and they said to use it up, to NOT put it in the trash. So it just continued to sit in the basement. I think it's my husband's grandfather's who first owned the house. I don't think I want to mess with it without using a mask and protective clothing, which I don't have. So it will continue to sit in the basement.

I put 50 lb of cornmeal down on my 2000 sq. ft. lawn this morning. I used the spreader at the widest setting and jostled it as I walked so it would come out. If anyone in the Richmond area is reading this and is interested in using cornmeal, I got it at Ashland Milling ($27 for 100 lb.). Since that's about 20 miles away, I got enough for two treatments. How many times a year do you do this? If I don't need it for the grass I guess I'm set for making a lot of cornbread.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 1:33PM
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chad_la(z7 TX)

ive used a lot of it and dont have cancer but for sure you want to wear proper protective gear and remove and wash clothes the minute youre done spraying, better yet wear stuff out of the rag bag and toss them. the advice to use to use it up is valid and i'd do it. the longer the container sits the more the odds something can happen to it and you for sure do not want undiluted chlordane on your basement floor. for exterior insect control- is nothing better. house foundations, garage, around the barn, etc... just never inside the house. we sprayed all our deer stands with some just to use it up back in the early 90's and to this day not a bug in sight. (our own property)

if by chance in your old basement of goodies you have some stuff called disyston a.k.a. dysyston... lucky you, dead grubs. keep away from fruit trees.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 5:22PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

Yep, that stuff has been outlawed for years. It will kill anything crawling and some things walking too. Be very careful with it. The previous poster was right...it's some nasty stuff.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 6:00AM
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Chad La is on the money. Don't use Chlodane for grubs. Use it up on your foundation as a termiticide. It will last forever as a termiticide, but it's too persistent to use on the lawn. Make sure no neighbors know what you'red doing if you applicate around the house. It is acutually a Federal violation to even use it or toss it.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 2:45PM
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I don't want to use it at all. I've been doing some reading and I don't want to have any possible contact with this stuff. So glad I asked the question here before I used it. Today I've made some calls to see whether anyone will take it. It looks like my best bet is at a special hazardous waste collection day if the city of Richmond does it this fall. The landfill takes some hazardous stuff like paint on a daily basis but not pesticides.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 4:07PM
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chad_la(z7 TX)

you may want to find a relative that knows what it is thats not afraid to use it and give it to them. i'd be thrilled to come take it off your hands but im a tad too far. for an insecticide, that stuff is liquid gold. unlike the watered down ineffective stuff we have to use now chlordane actualy does what its supposed to and works fantastically well. exercise common sense and safe handling practices and save yourself from calling the orkin man for 25 years.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 10:16PM
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cometstorm(5b MO)

Speaking of Chlordane, does any know what the proper mix ratio is (with water) for general insect control with a pressurized tank sprayer?


    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 12:20PM
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More Information about chlordane

Here is a link that might be useful: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:18AM
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