2015

Jun 17, 2015 Return to Headlines

Use Nematodes to Reclaim your Lawn from Chafer Beetle

by Kevin Henkelman |

Tri-City residents can start to reclaim their lawns from the European Chafer beetle by ordering nematodes now from garden stores and landscaping professionals, to apply in July.

During the spring, Chafer beetles have been feeding, mating and laying eggs that will hatch into grubs in the summer. The grubs weaken lawns by feeding on grass roots, making the turf easy for birds and animals to peel back in the fall as they search for grubs to eat.

Nematodes – microscopic worms that feed on Chafer grubs – are an effective and natural treatment that complies with the city bans on cosmetic pesticide use across the Tri-Cities. They’re being recommended by the cities of Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody, which came together this spring with a joint communications campaign to help residents deal with Chafer beetles. 

All three cities have posted information and videos on their respective website:

Nematodes can be purchased from garden centres and landscaping professionals and should be ordered now for application in late July. Heterorhabditis bacterlophora is the recommended type. The Cities’ Chafer beetle webpages provide instructions and videos about applying nematodes, along with information about sprinkling permits available for nematode varieties that require watering beyond what is permitted by the summer sprinkling restrictions. 

Prevention 

The best defence against the Chafer beetle is a healthy lawn, which can be achieved through natural lawn care techniques such as:
  • aerating,
  • using a natural organic or quality slow-release synthetic fertilizer,
  • watering twice weekly according to sprinkling restrictions for a total of about 2.5 cm per week (watering on and off 30-minute intervals to avoid run-off and allow the water to soak in), and 
  • mowing to a grass height of 5-6 cm and leaving clippings on the lawn.
More year-round natural lawn care advice can be found on the City Chafer beetle webpages. Other prevention tips:
  • If you hire landscapers, make sure their tools are clean and not contaminated.
  • If you purchase topsoil, ask the vendor how they ensure their soil isn't contaminated.
  • Consider replacing turn with low-maintenance, beetle-resistant plants such as Dutch white clover, brass buttons, Irish or Scotch moss, like star creeper, creeping thyme, goldmoss, stonecrop or microclover.
Chafer beetle information
 
Visit the City webpages above for information about stages in the Chafer beetle lifecycle, recommended year-round lawn care activities, nematode treatment, and lawn sprinkling information.
 

Printed information is also available at City facilities and at City events.

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Media Contact: 
Kathleen Vincent
Manager, Corporate Communications
City of Coquitlam
604-927-3019

Pardeep Purewal
Manager, Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam
604-927-5335

Rosemary Lodge
Manager of Civic Affairs - Corporate Services
City of Port Moody
604-469-4724