Nematodes for Chafer Bug-Chafer Bug
Nematodes for Chafer Bug-Chafer Bug

Nematodes for Chafer Bug

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Chafer larvae can cause devastating damage to lawns.  We supply microscopic beneficial nematodes (eel worms) which are watered into the lawn.  The ground needs to be above 12°C for this product to work.  This product is not sold during the colder months.

The best time to apply chafer grub control is at the end of the summer, when the newly hatched grubs will be at their most vulnerable. However if you find after a warm spring that the grubs are a problem even before they have pupated in May, then you may want to treat them at the beginning of the season. The treatment may be more effective in Autumn than in spring, but if your lawn is suffering then some treatment is better than none. 

Some of the Chafer damage is caused by the grubs chewing at the roots of the grass, but much of it is caused by birds and animals scratching away at the soil searching for the juicy grubs. 

Further information
How much do I need?
When to use
How to use

This biological control is a parasitic nematode; Heterorhabditis megidis, microscopic eel worms which are watered into the lawn. They enter the chafer bugs and poison them so that they will die within a few days. 

Identifying the larvae

We get many calls from people whose lawns are being destroyed by grubs, and the first thing they notice is that the birds, badgers and foxes are digging away at the grass. Our advice is to go digging in the bare patches and try and find what the birds are digging for. Once you get a sample you can make a positive identification and buy the right treatment. The two most common grubs in the lawn are chafer grub and leatherjackets and it is really quite easy to see the difference.  Chafer Grubs are white grubs with a brown head, not unlike Vine Weevil grubs but bigger and shinier with distinct pairs of legs at the front end. They can easily be distinguished from leatherjackets which are more wormlike, without obvious legs or head.

The grubs hatch out to become flying beetles - sometimes called May Bugs because they typically emerge in mid May. These beetles lay eggs in June which hatch out in July to eat grass roots until October. They typically dig deeper into the soil over winter until they surface in April/May before they pupate to fly, mate and lay eggs again.

These nematodes are sold in packs of either 100 or 500 square metres

Treatment should be used in late summer to be most effective. If this window is missed and we have a mild spring, treatment can be applied before May to catch the grubs before the pupate.

Refrigerate the product as soon as you receive it and make sure you use it before the use by date. In the day of application remove them from the fridge and allow them to warm to room temperature. The nematodes arrive in a paste or gel. Mix them vigorously with water and apply to the lawn following the instructions on the pack. The grass should be moist before the application and should be irrigated directly afterwards to wash the nematodes into the soil. It should be kept from drying out over the next 2 or 3 weeks, or the nematodes will dry out too. They do not harm any humans, birds or animals.