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Chafer Grubs

Chafer Grubs

A combination of chafer grubs and the larger animals that feed on them can quickly turn a neat lawn into something that resembles a ploughed field.

What are Chafer Grubs?

Chafer grubs are soil-dwelling larvae of various chafer beetles. They feed on plant roots, especially those of grasses.


Chafer grubs 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 (eg jays, magpies, rooks and crows), and badgers and foxes feed on the grubs, tearing up the loosened turf in the process
  • Damaging infestations can be highly localised and sporadic in occurrence
  • 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, would be up to 18mm (almost 3/4in) long
  • Other less troublesome species of chafer grubs can also occur in turf and these can have larvae up to 30mm (over an inch)

Treatment of chafer beetles

I use only MERIT TURF
Active Ingredients: 5g/kg imidacloprid.
Merit Turf works in the following ways:
Insects that have ingested or absorbed the imidacloprid suspend normal behaviour.
Insects stop feeding immediately and do not survive.
The grubs will either be affected by eating the turf roots (where the product has been transported systemically) or by absorption through their outer body.
Merit Turf is a professional insecticide approved for the control of Chafer Grubs and Leatherjackets.
Applications should be made prior to anticipated pest infection to achieve optimum levels of control (prior to egg hatch), normally from middle of May to middle of June. Alternatively when identification of damage to turf is seen. This period can normally be anticipated when you see the beetle eggs in the soil. One application per year is needed for chafer grub and leatherjacket control with an application made in late spring/early summer.