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Chafer grub on the move in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

Take a look at this short video as it is very unusual to see a chafer grub so active on the surface.

Chafer grubs are soil-dwelling larvae of chafer beetles. Depending on the species of chafer they either feed on decaying plant material or plant roots. Some, which are not considered pests are found in borders and compost heaps. However, several species that feed on the roots of grasses can cause problems in lawns.

Symptoms

Some species of chafer grub eat the roots of grasses and other plants. Evidence of their activities can be seen in a number of ways:

  • Damage to lawns is most obvious between autumn and spring when the grubs are reaching maturity
  • Patches of the lawn may become yellowish
  • Birds, particularly of the crow family (e.g. jays, magpies, rooks and crows), and badgers and foxes tear up turf in order to access the grubs to feed on them
  • Damaging infestations can be highly localised and sporadic
  • Chafer grubs can be found in the soil under the loose turf. They have stout white bodies curved in a C shape, light brown heads, with three pairs of legs at the head end. They are bigger than the adult beetles and, if straightened out, can be up to 18mm (almost ¾in) long
  • Other less troublesome species of chafer grubs can also occur in turf and garden borders, such as the cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), summer chafer (Amphimallon solstitialis) and brown chafer (Serica brunnea). These can have larvae up to 30mm (over an inch)
  • Similar root damage in lawns can also be caused by leather jackets but churning up of the turf by other animals is less likely where leather jackets are the problem

UNFORTUNATELY THE PRODUCT USED TO CONTROL CHAFER GRUBS HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN AND NO ALTERNATIVE ESTABLISHED. WE APOLOGIES FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE.

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