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European Chafer Beetle Solution - Pacific Northwest

Cheap, easy, non-toxic


May/June PREVENTION - for those lucky lawns who haven't been infested by the dreaded chafer beetle.

This new prevention technique is based on the fact that the adult beetle emerges from the ground in June to mate (see Wikipage). That is the moment when the infestation spreads to your lawn. If your lawn is treated heavily with lime, in late May, the beetle is more likely to choose another location as their new nesting site. Lime is a chafer beetle repellent.

NOTE: This treatment is new as of 2016. Its effectiveness is still unconfirmed. But after studying this menace I believe it is more effective than nematodes and much less toxic than Merrit - which can't be sprayed on city boulevards at this time.

Furthermore, it is done before both other treatments, so you may combine them.

Products/Equipment

Dolopril - $12/BAG - long lasting

Rapid Lime - $6/bag - short lasting

Broadcast Spreader - $50. (You will need it again next year.)

Liming the Lawn

Chafer beetles despise a long, limed, lush lawn.

Lime promotes grass growth by adding calcium and raising the soil PH (making it less acidic).

NEW INFESTATIONS - Fall is when new chafer beetle infestations become visible. Parts of your lawn turn an anemic yellow. Crows begin pulling the lawn up to get at the juicy grubs below. Start at that point and roll the lawn back as far as it will let you. Do this carefully, because you will need to return it after. As you go, collect all the grubs (200-300) in a bucket and dispose of them. The lawn should recover completely. Check it once a week for new activity and repeat the process. The lawn featured in the picture below had to be treated 3 times. It took a total of 3 hours and was easy to do.

collecting chafer beetles
Searching and collecting chafer beetles.

chafer beetles
A bucket of chafer beetles.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY - ERADICATION - for lawns with existing infestations

The month is January. The rain is relentless and those damn crows won't stop tearing your lawn apart. After Googling, you realize that all treatments for this infestation are tricky, expensive and done only in the summer. Do you sit back and watch your beautiful lawn self-disintegrate? Hell no!

NOTE: This treatment has been used successfully since 2015.

Products/Equipment

Soil Compactor - rent from Home depot

Step 1

Remove large pieces of torn up sod, and place in bin for removal. Check your city's by-laws for disposal of infested soil.

Gently tug on grass. If it pulls back easily, the roots have been chewed off. Peel back and look for fat white grubs. These are what the crows, squirrels and raccoons are feasting on. Remove and place in a container - do not put in compost bin. KILL THEM. Continue pulling until the grass does not give.

Step 2

Spread Dolopril heavily on your lawn (in dry conditions) for long term effect. Then spread Rapid Lime immediately after for instant effect. The lime is a repellent and will force the grubs to the surface for air.

Step 3

soil compact chafer beetle
Wait 1 week for the grubs to raise to the surface before renting a soil compactor. (See picture.) Make two passes on your lawn, perpendicular to each other. Crush the little bastards.

Step 4

soil compact chafer beetle
Re-seed and top dress with soil in early April.

Step 5

Lime with Dolopril again in late May to prevent re-infestation.