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Nematodes vs. European chafer beetles

By August 1, 2016 No Comments

One of my clients on the Westwood Plateau in Coquitlam loves his lawn. When his lawn got ripped up by animals searching for European chafer grubs, he was shocked. He installed an irrigation system and hired me so his lawn could receive good, consistent care.



Damaged lawn by animals looking for tasty grubs



Repaired lawn


Once I repaired the damaged lawn, my client decided to try a nematode application. He pre-ordered the nematodes in June. $80 cost plus my labour.

June is a busy month for the European chafer beetles. As they mature, they emerge out of the lawn and fly off to nearby trees to mate. Then they look for new lawns to lay their eggs in. If you’re lucky, they pick your neighbour’s lawn. Cutting your lawn higher means it’s more difficult for the beetles to stick their back ends in to lay their eggs.



Europen chafer beetles ( the bottom 3 are playing dead!)


The recommended nematode application window is from the third week of July. This is what we did once the nematodes arrived. They were kept cool in a fridge.

A) Cut your lawn short and water it really well prior to nematode application. The microscopic nematodes require water to penetrate into soil. There they seek out the grubs. Important: get a municipal water permit.

B) Because the nematodes  are photo-sensitive we waited until there was no direct sunlight hitting both the front and back lawn areas.

C) We prepared a 4L bucket of water. The we opened the package and soaked the sponges in the water. Also soak the plastic bag holding the sponges.  Carefully squeeze each sponge ten times. Then stir the solution well. Discard bags and sponges.

D) Carefully fill up your hose end sprayer. We used a funnel. Don’t forget to stir the solution before every re-fill.

E) Turn on water and spray methodically. Use sticks, tools or tape if it makes it easier for you to keep track of where you’ve sprayed. We soaked the worst damaged spot.

F) Water your lawn after application.




Pre-order nematodes in June (NemasysG “seekers are best)



Hose end tank and 4L bucket for nematode solution; funnel and stir stick



Soak the nematodes in your bucket, squeeze several times, also wash the plastic cover just in case



Hose end applicator $17 tax included


If everything goes well, the chafer larvae will get eliminated by the nematodes. Two problems with nematodes is that they might have to be applied annually and they eliminate all grubs they find in the soil. In the meantime, the lawn will receive better care.


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