Chafer beetles are back — make sure your lawn is ready

The city of Coquitlam offers some tips to help keep the Chafer beetle away from your property

Let the Chafer beetle battles begin.

The exotic pest, which has wreaked havoc on lawns, sports fields and city boulevards across the Tri-Cities for several years, is back and residents may need to take action now to contain the damage. 

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“You may not know you have a Chafer beetle infestation until raccoons, birds and other wildlife start digging up your lawn to get the grubs underneath,” according to the city of Coquitlam. “This not only turns lawns into eyesores… but can cause long-term damage, making your grass prime for another infestation.”

But there are steps people can take to make sure they are not targeted by the Chafer. 

Residents can aerate their lawns in the spring and fall and over-seed bare or thinning parts of their grass. Applying compost soil or a slow release fertilizer can also help keep the beetle at bay, as well as keeping the lawn about six to eight centimetres tall to promote healthy roots and impede the survival of Chafer beetle eggs.

In recent years, municipalities in the Tri-Cities have begun to turn a corner in their press against the pest. 

Last August, toward the end of the summer gardening season, the three cities had seen a sharp decrease in the number of complaints from property owners about infestations, while damage to civic green areas has also dropped. 

Fewer watering permits — temporary exemptions from lawn watering regulations during July and August so that residents can use nematode treatments against the beetle — were issued in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody in 2019.

But residents must remain vigilant if they want to keep the bugs away once and for all. 

“The good news is that a strong, robust lawn can naturally ward off Chafer beetles,” the city of Coquitlam said, noting: “Good lawn care practices throughout the year can help defend your lawn against pests, disease and damage.”

For tips on how to prevent and limit Chafer beetle damage, visist www.coquitlam.ca/chaferbeetle.

 

 

 

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