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Chafer grubs are a destructive pest of lawns and grass areas. They can also attack vegetables, annuals and some bulb plants. The adult beetles have also been known to cause damage to apples in orchards. Large numbers of grubs cause grass to turn yellow and the roots can be completely consumed. The grubs also attract wildlife like badgers and birds to rip up the grass looking for the grubs to feed on.

This damage can be very un-sightly and destructive. The most common species found in lawns is the Garden Chafer; Phyllopertha horticola. The adults are about 9mm long with a green metallic coloured head and thorax. The wing cases are light brown. The larvae are creamy white and normally c-shaped with a light brown head. Adult beetles emerge from the soil between May and June. They tend to emerge at the end of the day at dusk. They then lay their eggs in grass or turf, which develop into Chafer larvae a few weeks later.

Chafer Trap

One way to detect whether Garden Chafers are present is the use of the Garden Chafer Grub Trap. This trap will catch adult beetles and give an early warning of Chafer Grub activity and the lawn damage that will follow. It will also help reduce the number of egg laying adults in the surrounding area. By monitoring the trap contents more accurate applications of nematodes or other lawn treatments can be applied against the Chafer grub larvae.

The Garden Chafer trap is supplied with a powerful pheromone, which attracts adult Garden Chafer beetles (Phyllopertha horticola) to the trap. The beetles fly into the vanes and drop down into the funnel trap beneath. The trap can be re-used each year when a new pheromone capsule is added. The trap should be placed in lawn areas and hung 50-100cm above ground level. The Garden Chafer Trap should be put out in May. The beetles normally fly from mid May to early June. One trap will cover up to 2000sq metres or half an acre.

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