What are Chafer Grubs?


Chafer Grubs (Phyllopertha horticola and Hopia philanthus) are the larvae of the Chafer Beetle or commonly known May bug. The larvae are fairly easy to identify, their bodies are white in colour and curved like the letter C. There are 2 main types, the Welsh Chafer has a brown head and the Common Chafer has a reddish head. Both have 3 pairs of legs at the top of their body – not exactly the kind of treat you want to find in your garden, making pest prevention key to keeping your garden happy.

Towards the end of May adult beetles emerge from the soil. They will then lay their eggs into lawns and other grassed areas. After about two weeks the larvae will hatch and start to feed on the lawns’ root system. They will move deeper into the soil over the winter period and then the serious damage starts to take effect during the Spring and Summer months.

A disaster waiting to happen for your lawn!Chafer Grubs can destroy your lawn


An infestation of Chafer Grubs can be recognised by the increase of birds and wild animals using your lawn as a feeding ground, causing damage to your lawn’s surface.

What damage will be caused to my lawn?

The most serious damage is caused when local wildlife, such as Badgers, foxes and hedgehogs as well as birds see your lawn as a highly nutritious and protein rich food source because of the larvae in the grass. This may continue right through the Autumn months, stopping only during the cold weather, but will restart again in the Spring time as the Grubs will move back to the surface.

To test if your lawn’s root system has been attacked by these larvae, you can simply tug at the grass and if it moves away easily from the soil you can be sure that the roots have been eaten away. Your entire lawn is in danger of being destroyed in a very short period of time.

We are seeing a substantial increase of Chafer Grub infestations in lawns due to the insecticides that were previously used to control these Grubs have been discontinued and are no longer authorised for use. A great professional lawn care company will only use licenced and up to date insecticides when treating your lawn.

Don’t underestimate the damage that can be caused by these nuisance Grubs. Typically a small lawn less than 100 metres can cost over £800.00 to repair!

What can be done to prevent my lawn being eaten?

The most effective way to prevent costly damage to your lawn is to apply a preventative treatment NOW! By the time you see the signs of infestation it is too late to prevent the initial stages of damage to your lawn and other grassed areas.

There is little or any benefit repairing and renovating any damage to your lawn until you have KILLED the larvae. As Chafer Grubs live in the soil for up to three years you can have more than one generation in the soil at any given time. Prevention is always better than cure. A great lawn care company will know how to deal with these lawn pests and will discuss the options available for you and your lawn.

When dealing with Chafer Grubs PREVENTION is always better than cure so once your lawn company has applied one Chafer Grub treatment, it will need repeat applications annually in the growing season especially if there are repeat outbreaks most common particularly in light sandy soil areas.

Don’t let Chafer Grubs eat your lawn contact us NOW and we will arrange for one of our lawn care professionals to visit your lawn and provide a FREE lawn review service. They will be able to identify any lawn pest issues you may have.