Are Chafer Beetles Dangerous?
Looking out to find small mounds of dirt or pulled turf in what was once a manicured lawn can be puzzling, but the explanation could be simple: chafer beetles.
You’ve probably heard of the chafer beetle, which closely resembles the June bug or June beetle, but the most important things to know lie beneath the surface – literally! These small, light brown beetles don’t often do damage on their own, but their larva, the Chafer Grub, is hunted and eaten by small mammals. When these mammals hunt, they dig up turf and tear through soil to find chafer grubs.
Are Chafer Beetles Dangerous?
Chafer Beetles are not harmful to humans or pets. The biggest threat these pests pose are to your lawn, specifically turf grass and topsoil.
Chafer beetles eat plant pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies. Their nocturnal nature generally keeps interactions with humans minimal.
How Can I Identify Chafer Beetles?
There are several types of chafer beetle, but the most common in Vancouver is the European Chafer Beetle. These beetles are medium in size, ranging from 12-15mm in length. They sport a light brown, sometimes reddish body without descript color variations.
Their larvae, known as Chafer Grubs, are white, c-shaped, with a yellow head and six legs.
Chafer Beetle infestations generally make themselves known, usually by the damage caused by the animals hunting their meals.
What Kind of Damage Do These Beetles Cause?
Chafer beetle larvae are the most damaging stage of the chafer beetle cycle. They feed on the roots of turf grass and can cause damage that is difficult to repair. The adult beetles also feed on plants’ leaves, stems, and fruits, in addition to damaging turf grasses (which they prefer). Trees and shrubs may also suffer from chafer beetle feeding if they are close enough for larvae to reach them through their roots or crowns.
Chafer beetle infestations can be controlled with chemical treatments. The use of biological treatments (nematodes) is also effective in controlling Chafer Beetle infestations.
The Fallout from a Chafer Infestation
Unfortunately, if you’ve had a Chafer infestation, you’ll be replacing or repairing your lawn depending on the severity of the damage caused by the infestation.
Feeding chafers cause turf to yellow and come loose as the grubs rapidly feed on the roots of turf grass. You’ll start your repair by scarifying your lawn. This removes excess turf and allows for easy identification of the areas most affected by the infestation.
Before you repair or replace your turf, you’ll want to speak with a pest control professional about the natural and biological options available for exterminating chafer beetles and limiting the spread of chafer grubs. All Green Pest Control is happy to answer any questions you may have about managing a chafer infestation.
While the European chafer beetle can be a nuisance, it is not dangerous to humans. They will undoubtedly cause trouble in your yard, but your interactions with them will likely be limited due to their nocturnal nature.
If you think you may have a chafer beetle infestation, contact us to set up an inspection today and save 10% on our seasonal pest control service.