Chafer beetles: how to manage an infestation
What is a chafer beetle?
The European chafer beetle (Rhizotrogus majalis) is a new turf pest in the Lower Mainland that was recently identified in West Vancouver. It has been a serious pest in Eastern North America for some time and was first identified in New Westminster in 2001. It has since spread to many Metro Vancouver municipalities, causing considerable damage to lawns, boulevards and medians.
Damage to lawns and boulevards
Chafer beetle populations grow quickly, damaging turf on lawns, boulevards, grass sports fields and parks. The grubs feed on the roots of grass lawns. In drier weather, the damage appears as brown patches in the lawn. Birds and animals (especially skunks and crows) cause further damage by digging for the grubs. Damage by animals is most severe in the fall and spring when the grubs are rapidly increasing in size and feeding near the surface. Chafer beetles have a one-year life cycle.