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European Chafer Beetle invading lawns in province

By Tara Clow May 24, 2023 | 2:21 PM

If your lawn isn’t looking as green and lush as it has in the past, you may be one of many homeowners dealing with the European Chafer beetle.

Price Landscaping Plant Health Specialist Trevor Jones says the grubs are starting to come to the surface, “The critters tend to be eating quite well right now. Skunks, raccoons, crows, ravens, and the Robins.”

He adds any damage that has already been done by the grub or beetle was done in the fall when they ate the roots of your grass. Homeowners will normally start seeing that in September and October, and in 2022 it even went as late as November.

“This year, it’s been too cold for them to do a whole lot of damage. So the roots that they ate last fall, that damage was already done. The damage being done now is done by animals that come to visit you in your neighbourhood,” Jones adds.

If you’re wondering what you should be looking for, Jones says the European Chafer Beetle looks a lot like the Junebug, both the adult and the larvae, which is a white grub, “You can’t really tell the difference between the two of them.”

Some of the signs, are brown spots on your lawn, where you can pull the grass up really easily. Jones says that’s where the roots are gone because the beetle has done damage underneath.

Jones adds this has been one of their busiest years since 2020, and this is a problem in other areas of the province as well, not just in Greater Moncton.

“It’s a toss-up between the North End of Moncton and Sussex to which one is the worst right now. It’s all over New Brunswick. I’ve talked to people in Fredericton that have the same issue,” Jones says

The Plant Health Specialist spends a lot of time doing research and educating himself on insects, “They’ve been slowly creeping into Maine and Michigan and along the border of Canada and New Brunswick for the last little while. They’re not coming fast but they are coming, and if we’re not prepared, we’re going to run into the same problem as we’re having right now with the European Chafer Beetle which is destroying lawns really fast.”

When asked how this type of beetle made its way into New Brunswick, Jones says, “Someone probably brought a plant from Europe or brought some soil from Europe and it had the Grub in it. It doesn’t take much to introduce an invasive species.”

Jones adds there are products that homeowners can apply, but at this point in the season and without the right temperatures and soil conditions, you may need to call in a Professional to assist.


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