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European Chafer Beetle

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What is the European Chafer beetle?
  Infestation
 
Addrress infestation 


Year round lawn care

Chafer beetle nematode info linkThe European Chafer beetle is here to stay, but residents can minimize the damage and once again be proud of their lawns by changing how they care for their grass. Remember: the best defense against the Chafer beetle is a healthy lawn.

The City of Port Coquitlam is working with other Tri-City communities to help residents deal with this invasive pest.

Read this page and check the links at left to learn about effective prevention and control options involving natural lawn-care techniques. Please note that the use of cosmetic pesticides is banned in Port Coquitlam by the Pesticide Use and Control Bylaw.

What is the European Chafer Beetle?

European Chafer beetle is an invasive insect pest that has spread throughout Metro Vancouver over the last decade.

Adult Chafer beetles are tan or brown, measuring approximately 1.5cm (0.5in) long. The larvae (or grubs) have brown heads, white C-shaped bodies, six prominent legs and are smaller than a dime.

The beetles damage lawns in two main ways:

How do I know if I have a Chafer beetle infestation?


                       

Chafer beetle infestation is often most visible when raccoons, birds and other wildlife, eager to eat the grubs, begin digging up grasses and damaging turf.

Between January and March you can monitor your grass for grubs (see Monitor section below for instructions). If there are more than five grubs per section, you may want to consider Chafer beetle control.

At other times of the year, lawn damage (e.g. torn-up grass and overturned clumps of sod) over the fall and winter months is another sign of an infestation.

How do I address or prevent a Chafer beetle infestation?

Maintaining a healthy lawn is the best way to prevent and control an infestation. It’s also important to understand the life cycle of the beetle to tailor your year-round lawn care (scroll down for a calendar of activities). Here are some general tips for controlling and preventing infestations:
Monitor

Monitor for infestations from January to March:

Control

Please note that most chemical insecticides are prohibited under the City’s Pesticide Use and Control Bylaw.
Prevention
Keep your lawn healthy by:

                            
Other prevention tips:

Damaged turf: It is not necessary to remove damaged turf, but residents may rototill the soil if they wish, or dispose of contaminated turf maximum of 2 barrels worth per client at Wastech (1200 United Blvd, Coquitlam) or Meadows Landscape Recycling Centre (17799 Ferry Slip Road, Pitt Meadows). Do not put in your green cart.

Calendar of Lawn Care and Chafer Life Cycle

Tailoring your lawn care to the Chafer beetle’s lifecycle can help prevent and control infestations.

Months
How to deal with chafer Beetle                 
how to keep your lawn healthy                    
Chafer life cycle                        
Jan-Mar • Look for damaged turf and monitor for grubs in cut sections of lawn.
• If more than five grubs are found per section, consider treatment in the summer.
 • No maintenance needed • The grubs continue to grow as they feed.
• They remain within 5cm of the ground surface.
• Predators cause the most turf damage at this time as they dig up the grubs for food.
April-June • Rake over damaged turf.
• Apply a light soil topdressing and reseed damaged areas.
• Water newly planted lawns frequently (daily if necessary) to keep the soil surface moist until 50 per cent of the seeds have germinated. Click for information about sprinkling regulations and exemptions.
• P
re-order nematodes from the local garden centre, for application in summer.
 • Aerate lawn.
 • Use a natural organic or quality slow-release synthetic fertilizer.
 • Turf experts recommend home lawns receive three to four pounds of nitrogen in a balanced fertilizer per 1,000 square foot of lawn each year.
 • Maintain a grass height of at least 6 cm and leave clippings on the lawn to act as mulch.
 • Follow local watering restriction and water twice weekly for a total of about 2.5 cm (depth of a tuna can) per week. Water on and off at 30-minute intervals to avoid run-off and allow the water to soak in.
• The grubs have grown into beetles.
• The beetles fly into the trees to mate and feed.
• Female beetles deposit eggs (up to 50 per female) back in the soil.
• Minimal turf damage at this time
July-Aug  • Apply a nematode treatment using  instructions on package or online. Click for video and instructions.
 • Thoroughly water lawn prior to and after
application if required by the instructions (water exemption permit required).
Click for information about sprinkling regulations
and exemptions.
 • Maintain a grass height of at least 6 cm and leave clippings on the lawn to act as mulch.
 • Follow local watering restriction and water twice weekly for a total of about 2.5 cm (depth of a tuna can) per week.
• Eggs hatch.
• New grubs begin to feed on grass roots.
• Infected turf may feel spongy when stepped on.
• Damage to turf may start to be visible in brown, dying patches of grass.
Sept
If nematodes were applied in late August, continue to thoroughly water lawn for about two weeks afterwards, if required to by the instructions.   • Use a natural organic or quality slow-release synthetic fertilizer.
  • Maintain a grass height of at least 6 cm and leave clippings on the lawn to act as mulch.
  • Grubs continue to feed on grass roots.
  • Infected turf may feel spongy when stepped on.
 • Damage to turf may start to be visible in brown, dying patches of grass.
Oct-Nov
• Monitor for grubs in cut sections of lawn.
• Cover up exposed soil to deter further damage from animals .
 • Apply an organic fertilizer or a quality slow-release synthetic fertilizer in early fall.
 • Aerate lawn
• The grubs continue to grow as they feed.
• They remain within 5 cm of the ground surface.
• Predators cause turf damage at this time as they dig up the grubs for food.
December
• Continue to cover up exposed soil to deter further damage from animals.
• No maintenance needed at this time.
• Similar to Oct-Nov

Contact

Public Works
Tel 604.927.5480 or 604.927-5496
Fax 604.927.5408
Email publicworks@portcoquitlam.ca

Location and Mailing Address

Public Works
1737 Broadway Street
Port Coquitlam BC V3C 2M9

Business Hours

7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)

Last Updated:10/4/2016 9:18:20 AM