Chafer Grubs

What are Chafer Grubs?

Chafer grubs are garden grubs which can cause severe damage to lawns or any grassed area. The small brown Chafer Beetle is harmless and will not cause any damage to your beloved lawn. However, the grubs – which are the larvae of the Chafer Beetle – can be extremely destructive.

What do they do?

Chafer Grubs cause damage to lawns by feeding (often unnoticed) on the root structure of the grass itself. The problem is usually only detected when the population of the grubs in the soil is too large for the lawn to cope with, resulting in areas of lawn dying off. Or, when natural predators such as badgers or birds tear up the weakened turf to access them as a source of food.

When will I see the grubs?

If you have chafer grubs in your lawn, you will start to notice them most around autumn and spring time, as that’s when they start to mature and feast on the grass roots in your lawn. The first thing to look for if you are having problems is yellow patches during the autumn and spring months.You can check your lawn for chafer grub activity by carefully removing an area of turf down to 2-3 inches in depth. The grubs don’t move too quickly or too far, so if they’re there they should be easy enough to spot.

How do I deal with Chafer Grubs?

With no pesticides available for the control of chafers, the only product on the market is the biological control using nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic organisms when, if used correctly, can be applied to the soil to seek out the chafer grubs to attack them. There is a limited period of use for nematodes which can been seen on the chart below.

Other than the nematodes, setting up pheromone traps at certain times of year is an alternate method of control. The pheromone trap entices the adult beetle into the trap instead of heading to your lawn to lay eggs. As the chafer grubs live in a three year life cycle, if you are able to gradually reduce the number of eggs being laid, you will reduce the population in the soil and damage to your lawn.