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Chafer grubs in lawn

How can I get rid of chafer grubs in my lawn? Is it unusual to have them during the winter? 


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,664
    We have had signs of chafer grubs  in our front lawn up until the beginning of December,so just a few weeks ago. Something (possibly foxes ?) have been having a dig. I suspect that the mild weather has a lot to do with it, apparently in colder weather the little devils go deeper into the ground.

    In terms of using nematodes, which is what my OH does, it's too chilly at this time of year l'm afraid. 
  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 722
    Thank you for your reply @AnniD, My lawn is getting worse daily and only yesterday having pulled back the loosened turf was I able to see and identify the little blighters. Everything I have read seems to agree with you that treatment usually occurs during warmer weather (Spring, Summer even Autumn) but because it is so mild at the moment they are taking over and I feel but by the time I am supposed to be able to do something I won't have any lawn left!! Can you explain what nematodes are and how they work? I have heard of them but have no idea what it entails. Thank you.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 42,380
    Nematodes of all types are present in the soil, but you're just adding to them. There are specific ones for certain pests, and they basically predate the pest if in high enough numbers. They're very expensive especially if you need several applications. 
    However, soil temps have to be suitable for them to be effective. Too cold and they die.

    I'd use them for slugs , but by the time it's warm enough here, it would be too late, so it isn't worth it. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,664
    Sorry @Meomye, only just seen your question. As @Fairygirl says, the temperatures need to stay comparatively high, around 12 degrees, for a certain length of time for the nematodes to work. 
    I know how you feel, we have had a comparatively mild Winter so far, but really it would be a waste of time and money.

    As you can see, they're not cheap (other suppliers are available),  and although they say these are available from January, l wouldn't consider applying them until April at the very earliest. 

    Some information and advice and here from the RHS .
  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 722
    Thanks @Fairygirl and @AnniD for clarification. It is so frustrating but I guess I will have to wait a while before I can treat it.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,257
    Try to think of the damage as evidence that the local wildlife is removing many of the grubs, so those eaten won't be turning into adults which then eat the leaves of roses (and many other plants) before going on to lay the eggs of the next generation.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 722
    Thanks @BobTheGardener, that is a comforting thought.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 42,380
    As @BobTheGardener says - when you get holes pecked in the lawn, the birds are helping, so I don't mind that.
    We don't get much damage [mainly leatherjackets here] because they often don't survive, but I noticed quite a lot of damage last year, probably because we had such a hot year.
    Always odd when they seem to pick one section of grass more than another. If only crane flies could talk... ;)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,089
    My only other suggestion is to put fat blocks out to encourage Starlings to visit. They in the meantime will peck away at the bugs too. As the grubs already have damaged the lawn , beak holes won't make much difference. 
  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 722
    Thank you @puplerallim, the lawn is being regularly enjoyed by a Woodpecker, Crows, Pigeons and Robins. Would fat balls encourage rats do you know? only, that is why I have never used bird food. I would love to see more birds. :)
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