Photo by Quinten Wiegersma (CC BY 4.0)
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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.
A good food resource for garden wildlife.
Invasive in some parts of the world and a serious pest of lawns.
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.
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.
Europe, America and Africa
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.
Unfortunately, there are currently no pesticides on the market for home gardeners.
Turf grasses, cereals, legumes, conifers.