Garden chafer

Grubs (larvae) live in turf/lawns damaging roots - causing yellow/brown patches which can become loose and die in periods of drought.

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  • Late spring /early summer adult garden chafers (Phyllopertha horticola)  fly low above soil surface
  • Adults (8-12mm) have red-brown hairy wings with dark edges and metallic green / shiny black neck shields
  • Grubs have beige-white bodies with brown head and 3 pairs of legs

Life cycle

  • Mating takes place first night adults are active
  • Females immediately crawl into the ground to lay 85% of eggs
  • Adults feed on buds and leaves for 3 weeks before laying remaining eggs
  • First grubs appear 3-6 weeks later – immediately start eating until mid-autumn
  • Larval stages live up to 1 year
  • As temperatures drop in autumn, larvae move deeper in to the soil to hibernate
  • Grubs pupate early spring – reappearing as adults late spring

Damage caused

  • In summer grubs feed on roots – turning areas of lawn/turf yellow-brown
  • Damaged areas can come loose, with up to 100 grubs underneath the divot
  • In drought periods, affected areas can scorch and die
  • Grubs attract moles and birds causing secondary damage


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