White worms: Sherbrooke will ban preventive treatments

Beginning in October, it will no longer be permissible to carry out preventive treatments against grubs unless you demonstrate an infestation. The City of Sherbrooke considers that an infestation is defined for each land separately.
L es Nicole Bergeron counselors and Evelyne Beaudin would have preferred the regulation comes into force immediately.

Read also: White worms: generally unnecessary treatments, says the City

Major worm infestation in Sherbrooke

In 2017, more than 2,700 treatments with pesticides that are not low impact have been tolerated in the City of Sherbrooke. Preventive treatments on land not facing an infestation run counter to the spirit of the regulation adopted in 2014, reads the documents of the City. This regulation was intended to ban all pesticides that are not low impact starting in 2017.

One of the problems came from the definition of the word “infestation”, which suggested that the whole city was infested.

Over-the-counter products registered for the treatment of white grubs are prohibited because they are part of the neonicotinoid family and are harmful to bees. The Quebec government could adopt a similar measure in 2019 by banning these products for turf.

The only pesticide admitted is not available over-the-counter and must be applied by a contractor. It is a product based on chlorantraniliprole. It is applied preventively, before or shortly after the laying of the insect.

“Concretely, that means that this summer, there will still be the spread of very dangerous pesticides where it is not necessary. I think of kids playing in the grass, pets, the quality of the water. It’s like selling chemotherapy preventively, “said Beaudin, describing the regulation as” lax “because it came into effect on October 1.

“Mrs. Beaudin, thank you for being so alarmist. It is not poison that we are going to expand. We wanted to offer a transition period. Lawn careers prepare their season in the fall. If customers break the contract, they may be in trouble. I do not understand the need to be so drastic for the regulation to be in force now, “responded Danielle Berthold, who herself has a spreading contract.

Claude Charron wanted to know if it was possible for contractors to sue the City if the bylaw was adopted immediately. “We should see how the contracts are worded,” said Clerk Line Chabot.

The elected representatives finally opted for a grace period until October 1st.

Other options

Thereafter, the tolerated preventive treatment will be that of nematodes, biological control agents that must be applied in August.

A verification mechanism will be put in place to ensure the presence of infestation when receiving a notice of pesticide application for the treatment of white grubs. The Green Patrol will also promote integrated worm control.

To control against white grubs, it is recommended to maintain a mowing height of the lawn to 8 cm and to avoid over fertilizing. In the same way, it is better to turn off the lights and reduce the watering of the lawn. It is possible to repair the damage, use biological control agents and, as a last resort, use pesticides that are exceptionally tolerated.

White grubs come from three insects: the common chafer, the Japanese beetle and the European chafer. Larvae cause damage to the lawns by eating the roots, but the holes observed in the spring are caused by their predators, such as skunks and birds.

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