African Black Beetle

Written by Andrew Baber

African Black Beetle is a beetle (Coleoptera family) that originated from southern Africa. So pretty self-explanatory really.

As a member of the beetle family it has a life cycle that goes from eggs to larvae (witchety grub, sometimes called curl grubs) before becoming a fully grown Adult beetle like Ringo Starr.

Now we could tell you that the beetles scientific name is Heteronychus arator and launch into a detailed morphological description but let’s just skip to what you really need to know to give this guy the sucker punch he deserves.

What you need to know:
  • The larvae is the part that does the most damage, think of it as a growing teenager who will eat you out of house and home as he goes through the growth spurts to become an adult
  • The larvae loves to dine out on your lawns roots, so the lawn will die off in small patches which yellow and then start to widen as they move
  • The leaves of the lawn can be easily pulled out, without any roots there’s nothing holding it there
  • Birds know the tell-tale signs of beetle damage and will rip your lawn apart in their hunt, especially once their friends join in
  • The beetles aren’t fussy eaters, attacking all lawns but they do prefer to dine out on kikuyu lawns
  • Just because you didn’t see any last year doesn’t mean you won’t this year. These guys can fly! Like many bugs they love night lights.
  • You might spot the adult beetle wandering around in Spring, he’s actually looking to mate and this means egg laying time
  • When you see them crawling around know that if you don’t act you will have 6-12x that number in a few months time
  • After mating in Spring they will hit their peak feeding in Summer so it’s better to get in before they get to this stage
  • Treating adults requires good timing around Spring to Summer to get the adults above the surface using (insert link to Fortune Ultra), before they get around to laying eggs
  • The better method of treatment involves attacking the bigger feeding stage, the larvae. This is because they are soft bodied and easier to treat with the right product
  • Acelepryn is a residual product that will sit in your soil, waiting and waiting to knock out the larvae as they come to feed.
So it sounds like you recommend Acelepryn?
We recommend Acelepryn for control of African Black beetle larvae, because, well to put it simply, it is the gold standard in insect control for lawns.
The great features that we love:
  • Controls a broad range of common lawn pests
  • Set and forget application provides 6 months protection
  • Easy to apply granular product
  • A fantastic environmental profile, safe for beneficial organisms like bees and earthworms
  • Fantastic safety profile, No PPE required and commonly used on schools and public parks
  • Paralyses grubs in the soil where they can’t be eaten by birds
  • Strong binding with the soil means no movement into non-target areas
  • Resealable bag with 4 layers and vent allows for easy storage of any leftovers

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