Chafer Beetle Control
Make Your Lawn Chafer
We are in the process of attributing the following material
to the rightful author, believed to be a New Westminster
Horticultural Society newsletter contributor. Please use
the information at your discretion.)
it is possible. “Chafer free” is near impossible, “chafer
resistant”—YES! You can do it!
Make your lawn healthy through continued good lawn maintenance
practices. You want those roots to go deep so if the chafer
is there, he will be deep (and not discovered by bird or
beast) and if he does eat the roots, there are plenty more
roots above him to support your lawn. Also, the healthy
roots will hold your turf together, making it much harder
for creatures to do damage.
the moss—it is competing with your grass for nutrients.
Power rake it away. If you don't, when you water, the moss
acts as a sponge holding the water at the surface instead
of letting it seep deep into the soil. Apply lime at the
best time—in the fall and winter. Think, when do you usually
see the moss forming—in the spring! You want to lime to
prevent the growth of the moss—not after it has already
your soil is compacted, aerate, and if possible, top dress
with very coarse sand. Rake and hose the sand down into
the aeration holes. These filled holes will not collapse
back in and remain as avenues for the water to flow deep
into the soil.
when you do water your lawn, let the sprinkler run for 2
hours once a week instead of a light sprinkle daily. The
latter entices root growth just at the surface. You want
you fertilize (slow release is best), water that in well
as well—get it to the deep roots.
final suggestion: If you are reseeding your lawn, look at
the type of grass seeds in your mix. If possible avoid,
Kentucky Blue Grass seed. Research has shown that the chafer
finds the roots of this grass more delectable than those
of other seeds. Don't baby that bug!
Lifecycle and Natural Controls
life cycle of the European chafer has 3 larval stages or
instars. The nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
is effective in controlling the first and second instar
of chafer larvae and should be applied in July when the
chafers are still too small to be appealing to birds and
others. Watering well is necessary when using nematodes.
If third instar chafer larvae exist, especially, close to
the surface, nothing will keep birds and other pests away;
it is important to apply nematodes early in the development
of the larvae!