Grub in the grass

My nextdoor neighbours Mike and Sarah and their children were planting bulbs in the grass at the front of their property where they found this Cockchafer larva. 

Dave

Cockchafer larva

Cockchafer larva or grub

DSC_0271

What are chafer grubs?

Chafer grubs are soil-dwelling larvae of chafer beetles. Depending on the species of chafer they either feed on decaying plant material or plant roots. Several species that feed on the roots of grasses can cause problems in lawns

Symptoms

Some species of chafer grub eat the roots of grasses and other plants. Evidence of their activities can be seen in a number of ways:

  • Damage to lawns is most obvious between autumn and spring when the grubs are reaching maturity
  • Patches of the lawn may become yellowish
  • Birds, particularly of the crow family (e.g. jays, magpies, rooks and crows), and badgers and foxes tear up turf in order to access the grubs to feed on them
  • Damaging infestations can be highly localised and sporadic
  • Chafer grubs can be found in the soil under the loose turf. They have stout white bodies curved in a C shape, light brown heads, with three pairs of legs at the head end. They are bigger than the adult beetles and, if straightened out, can be up to 18mm (almost ¾in) long
  • Other less troublesome species of chafer grubs can also occur in turf and garden borders, such as the cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), summer chafer (Amphimallon solstitialis) and brown chafer (Serica brunnea). These can have larvae up to 30mm (over an inch)
  • Similar root damage in lawns can also be caused by leatherjackets but churning up of the turf by other animals is less likely where leatherjackets are the problem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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    WESTFIELD WILDLIFE has been created for Westfield residents and visitors to submit news and photos of any wildlife observed in the Parish. We also aim to post our own sightings and topical wildlife news as often as time allows.

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