Pricey Burnaby bug packages subsidized

The City of Burnaby is taking a “you get what you pay for” approach to the nematode packages it is ordering to fight the chafer beetle problem in the city.
The city is accepting pre-orders of the microscopic groundworms from residents at Bill Copeland Sports Centre until next Wednesday. The packages will cost $35.
Readers contacted the NOW about the high price, saying nematode packages at city retailers were about the same price but covered more ground.
However, Burnaby’s assistant director of engineering, Dipak Dattani, says the city extensively researched its options and chose the most effective product.
“A group of us looked at the problem in early 2000, and looked at what type of nematode is effective against the European chafer, and this particular species is noted in the report as the one that has the highest kill rates,” he said. “There are similar products that are also good but this one, based on the research that was done awhile back, that was supposed to be the most effective one.”
The city researched the nematode options alongside the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association and Western Canadian Turfgrass Association, he added, saying the associations recommended what the city is ordering.
The product is similar to what is sold at Gardenworks, he said.
Gardenworks offers the Nemasys product, which covers the same area – 750 square feet – for $69.99. Both Canadian Tire and Home Depot offer a number of nematode products in the $30 to $35 range.
“The other people who are selling nematodes, and those can also be effective, but they’re a different type of a product and they’ve got a different concentration value,” he said. “So when somebody says this is the same price and it covers a larger area, I would say that when we started into this, it was based on the research that was done.”
Two packages of the product recommended by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, which contain 100 million nematodes in total, can treat a 33 by 45-foot yard.
Residents can order up to two packages of nematodes from the city, to be picked up by mid-July. The city is taking pre-orders on a first-come, first-served basis at the sports centre from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 22, 23 and 24. Buyers must bring proof of Burnaby residency to pre-order.
The treatment time for nematodes is in late July. For more information, go to chaferbeetleplan.
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