Would nematodes be helpful in combatting the grubs that crows are ripping up the lawn to get?


We have crows tearing up our lawn in one part of the yard. Some websites have suggested getting “beneficial nematodes” to combat this. We have organic raised beds in the area and are careful not to taint them. Would the nematodes be helpful and safe?  Are the crows doing us a favor by getting the grubs?


Donna R. Coffin, Extension Professor

You are not the only one who is having problems with wildlife digging up their lawn to get to the grubs that are eating the grass roots.  We have a factsheet on white grubs that crows are feasting on.  It says, “Organic options include beneficial nematodes or simply letting crows, skunks and raccoons dig up the grubs and replanting grass.  Beneficial nematodes of the Hb variety (applied during the last week of August) are relatively effective compared to other available nematode varieties. ”

So if you get the nematodes they won’t harm your organic garden. But to save money, you can let the crows have their way with the grubs and then replant the grass. You can consider including some clover seed to provide food for pollinators.

Our factsheet on established lawns has a section on renovating patches of damaged lawn.