Grubby Grass Problems

Chafer Grubs, Crane Fly Flatworms & Leatherjackets

Have I been lucky?

I have never had a lawn that has been infested with these insects. Leatherjackets are the grub of Crane Fly and they and Chafer grubs feast on the roots of grass. This creates brown patches and makes lawns and sports turf the target of birds looking for tasty grubs that are fat on your roots.

Crane Fly

Chafer Grub eggs hatch and the grubs feed on grass roots from July until late Autumn before burrowing deep into the ground to pupate. These grubs then lay dormant deep in the ground under the soil before moving to the surface the following Spring emerging as beetles in May / June and starting the process again.

  • Nematode control work best when the soil is warm on August. Grub killer from amazon
  • The organic alternative may be ‘Strikeback Natural Insect Killing Spray’ which is a solvent free, water based insecticidal space and surface aerosol spray that contains only natural organic ingredients
  • a site for more information and to record the location of infestations. It is provided by one of the purveyors of biological controls

Chafer beetle damaged lawn
New Zealand flatworms are an invasive species that are purple-brown on top and flat and pointed at both ends. They live on earthworms, covering them in digestive juices to dissolve them before sucking them up. Squash them if you find them on your lawn or under stones.


Photo credits
Crane Fly by me’nthedogs CC BY-NC 2.0
Chafer beetle damaged lawn by urbanwild CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Flatworm by Mollivan JonCC BY-NC 2.0

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