European Chafer

Amphimallon majale

European Chafer, June Bug

Photo by Quinten Wiegersma (CC BY 4.0)
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A close up photo of an adult European Chafer Beetle Amphimallon majale
Sometimes called a June Bug for its time of emergence, European Chafers are invasive to America and Africa. June Bugs target the roots of plants when grubs, so can be a severe pest of lawns. They can spend up to a year within the earth, developing and feeding on grassroots. Garden birds can sometimes exacerbate the problem. The grubs are highly nutritious and attract birds to lawns. Birds peck at the turf, damaging it further.
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Traits

A good food resource for garden wildlife.
Invasive in some parts of the world and a serious pest of lawns.

Appearance

Adult June Bugs are a medium-sized beetle (1.3-1.4cm). They're a light tan brown, with some hair beneath the chest of the insect. Larvae are characteristically C shaped, yellow-brown heads with 6 legs near the head. They look almost shrimp-like.

Symptoms

Brown/dead patches of grass may become apparent. You may find numerous C shaped grubs when digging up the lawn or lifting up turf. Birds may be highly attracted to the lawn and peck at it.

Activity

Nocturnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Scarabaeidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe, America and Africa

Biological treatment

It's possible to purchase pheromone traps to attract and trap the males. This will allow you to monitor the population carefully and limit some of the reproduction that's done by the males. Following the end of the warm season (end of the summer to autumn), you should scarify and aerate flower beds and turf. This should reveal any overwintering larvae in the soil. They can then be collected and placed somewhere for the birds or relocated elsewhere. It's thought that compressing the lawn in spring can make it difficult for females to lay eggs in the soil come summer. If available, beneficial nematodes can be diluted in water and sprinkled on lawns.

Chemical treatment

Unfortunately, there are currently no pesticides on the market for home gardeners.

Attracts

Turf grasses, cereals, legumes, conifers.
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