Spotlight on Chafer Grubs
Encouraging pollinators, birds and small mammals into our gardens improves biodiversity and mitigates increasing urbanisation. That’s why lots of us are giving some of our garden over to wildlife friendly planting. However not all bugs are created equally. If you want to maintain a healthy lawn, there are some creatures that you won’t welcome into your garden. Among these troublesome pests are chafer grubs. So, what are they and what can you do about them?
What are chafer grubs?
Chafer grubs are the larvae of the chafer beetle. However, while the chafer beetle only lives for around 2 to 3 weeks and causes very little damage, chafer grubs can be very destructive.
Chafer grubs live in the soil, and depending on the species of chafer, they will eat either decaying plants or the roots of plants. That includes grass roots. If chafer grubs are present in your lawn, then they will damage the root structure of your grass as they feed.
How do I know I have them?
One problem with chafer grubs is that, because they are feeding on the roots of your grass and damage is under the surface, they can remain undetected for some time. For weeks or even for months.
It’s possible that you may be unaware that you have a problem with chafer grubs until their natural predators start to dig up your turf as they search for grubs to eat. Predators include birds, foxes and even badgers. So, if you see flocks of crows trying to dig up your grass, it may be worth investigating further.
In addition to damage by predators, yellowish patches can also be present. You may also be able to lift the damaged turf and see the grubs themselves. These are white grubs with brown heads. They will appear C-shaped and tend to be up to 2 cm long. The grubs themselves move through the soil depending on the weather, so it’s possible that even if they are in the soil they may have burrowed to deep to be immediately apparent.
Chafer grubs may not be the only larvae you find in your lawn, and this is why it is useful to consult a professional who will be able to identify whether or not the creatures you can see are in fact chafer grubs, and so ensure that they are treated correctly.
A professional will also ensure that any treatment takes place at the most effective time of year., generally the late summer or early autumn, taking into account weather conditions.
What can I do about chafer grubs?
At All Green Lawn Treatments, we use biological control treatments known as nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic creatures that are watered into the lawn. Once they are applied, they seek out the chafer grubs, enter their bodies and infect them with a deadly bacteria. The nematodes then grow to adulthood inside the dead chafer grub. The adult nematodes reproduce, and their offspring begin the cycle of infection again.
As already mentioned, it is important that these nematodes are applied at the correct time. A key element is the temperature of the soil, and a lawncare professional will take this into account when considering how appropriate treatment is. They will also be able to give you additional advice on how to look after your lawn in the future, to reduce the likelihood of recurrent infestations.
If you think that you may have a problem with chafer grubs contact us for a free lawn analysishttps://allgreenlawntreatments.co.uk/contact-us/.