Chafer Grubs are a pale colour with distinctive legs and
are typically about 15-20mm in length.
Chafer Grubs are the larvae of the Chafer Beetle and although not as common as
Leather-jackets they cause similar problems by feeding of the roots of the grass.
The adult Chafer lays its eggs in early summer, usually May and June (depending on the weather
conditions). They hatch shortly after and will feed on the grass roots until late September to
early October. After this period the Chafer Grubs will move deeper into the soil where they will
stay during the winter months, finally emerging on the surface as Beetles in the spring time.
The most extensive damage is usually caused in August and September as the grubs are reaching
maturity. The damage from Chafer Grubs is seen in the form of thinning, yellow turf in the early
stages eventually developing into irregular dead patches on the lawn. The grass can easily be
pulled up as the roots have been eaten and damaged.
Further damage is also caused by wildlife such as birds like crows and magpies, as well as foxes
and badgers which all feed on Chafer Grubs. These animals can cause extensive damage as they tear
up the turf as they search for the grubs.
Prevention of these grubs is very difficult, so be vigilant and keep a look out for birds
digging up the lawn looking for grubs (Note: These symptoms can also be birds seeking
Leather-jackets). Once the problem has been positively identified the lawn can be treated with a
nematode based product available from most good garden centers.