1 January 1970
Lawn Pests – Leatherjackets and Chafer Grubs
When the lawn looks good, the garden looks good too, however, in recent years BOTH Chafer Grubs and Leatherjackets have flourished (due to milder winters and autumns) and BOTH these pests can devastate a lawn. The best time to treat both pests is in the autumn (Sept / October), so treat NOW.
The symptoms of a Chafer Grub and Leatherjacket attacks are very similar, so is difficult to identify, which pest you have i.e. grass growth slows and yellow patches appear PLUS the grass easily pulls up with little or no roots. The best way to identify the pest is by cutting a 15cm x15cm section of damaged turf on three sides and peeling back the sod. Shake the sample or probe through the soil with a knife to dislodge the grubs/larvae. The pests will not be distributed evenly, so examine other parts of the lawn to find the extent of the infection.
Chafer Grubs are creamy coloured, approx. 1.5 cm in length, have distinctive legs and will be found in the grass roots. Birds (magpies and crows), foxes and badgers attacking the grass in an attempt to eat the grubs (and cause even more damage) is a sure sign of chafer grubs. The Garden Chafer Beetle emerges in May/June from the lawn to mate before laying eggs in th lawn from where it has just emerged. These eggs hatch to produced chafer grubs. The eggs are often laid in the same place each year so the problem gets progressively worse. The Chafer Grubs feed on grass roots from July until late Autumn before burrowing deep into the ground to pupate. They are a source of food for large birds-crows and woodpeckers as well as foxes and badgers. These may do more harm to your lawn by ripping it up to get at the grubs. The Chafer Grubs then lay dormant during the winter deep in the ground before moving to the surface the following spring to emerge as beetles in May / June and starting the process again.
Leatherjackets are the larval stage of the crane fly / daddy long legs, so watch out for lots of daddy long legs emerging from your lawn in the autumn. Leatherjackets are 2.5cm / 1″ long, greyish black in colour, legless and with no distinct head. Small birds i.e. starlings pecking at the lawn is a sure sign of a leatherjacket infestation.
Treating Chafer Grubs – Chafer Grubs can devastate a lawn PLUS birds and animals digging up and pulling at the lawn to get at the grubs to eat can do even more damage. If your grass growth slows, yellow patches appear or if it is easily pulled up, with little or no root growth then check for grubs. Control chafer grubs naturally, by trapping the adult beetles with our Adult Chafer Beetle Trap and then apply Nemasys® Chafer Grub Killer to control the grubs.