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Gardening in Washington State

European Chafer

In 2001, European chafer grubs were discovered infesting lawns in New Westminster, the greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada, less than 15 miles from the northernmost border town in Washington State. The risk of movement from infested areas via human activity is high.

chafer

Larvae are the damaging stage of the European chafer. They commonly prefer to feed on cereal plants like turf grasses and wheat. They have also been found feeding on the fine roots of broadleaf plants and conifers. In turf, larvae feed in the root zone up to the root crowns. Secondary pests such as raccoons and skunks peel back turf to feed on the grubs, causing significant damage to lawns.

April to May and September to October are the best times to monitor for the grubs because this is when they are the easiest to spot (i.e., at their largest stage).

For more information, see Pest Watch: European Chafer.

Submitted by Sharon Collman, September 14, 2015

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