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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. There are four main types of chafer beetle in the UK. The garden chafer, summer chafer, cock chafer and welsh chafer.
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 springtime and autumn, 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 brown patches during the spring and autumn 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?

Following a long period of time with no chemical control, an insecticide is now available to be used as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan, along with nematodes, for the control of Chafer Grubs.

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 male adult beetle into the trap instead of mating with the female beetle. 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.

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Chafer Grub Life Cycle


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