Chafer Beetles and Wildlife

Over the last few months, we’ve gotten a number of calls from people asking what to do about chafer beetles.

Chafer Beetles and Wildlife
Lifecycle of the Chafer Beetle. Image from Art Knapp

Your first instinct might be to ask, “Why aren’t they calling an exterminator or a lawn maintenance company?”

The reason people call us specifically with concerns about chafer beetles is that these little beetles are a tasty food source for foraging wildlife. When you have a chafer beetle infestation, raccoons, birds, and other wildlife will also become pests, in addition to your incest pests.

What is a chafer beetle?

The European Chafer beetle is an invasive insect whose larvae feed on the roots of grass. This causes serious damage to your lawns. About 1.5 cm long, they’re tan or brown when they’re adults, smaller and white and brown as grubs. You’ll know you have a chafer beetle infestation by the hungry raccoons, birds, and other wildlife digging up and picking at your lawn.

Chafer Beetles and Wildlife
Evidence of a Chafer Beetle infestation. Image from CBC.ca

What can I do?

The best offence is a good defence, so plan for effective lawn care and control all year round. We do not deal directly with chafer beetles here at Summit Wildlife Solutions but, if you are having wildlife issues related to a chafer beetle infestation, we offer you the following suggestions:

  • Get some nematodes. Nematodes are especially effective for chafer beetle control. You can contact your local garden centre to place an order.
  • Call your local municipality. Many Lower Mainland cities have posted their suggestions for chafer beetle control, as well as watering restrictions, chemical use guidelines, and other tips.
  • Call a lawn care specialist to assess your lawn, aerate it, monitor it, and clip it according to best practice guidelines for chafer beetle control.

If you are having wildlife issues related to the chafer beetle infestation, you have to treat the infestation to prevent the wildlife from coming back, looking for that food source. One option we can do in the meantime is an electrified fence to keep wildlife out, but only on private property (not public-facing) and this strategy requires you to purchase the fencing elsewhere for us to install.

Give us a call and we can talk about how to best prevent raccoons and other wildlife once the infestation is under control.

Chafer Beetles and Wildlife
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