Controlling Pests with Nematodes

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Controlling Pests with Nematodes

European Chafer:

It is time to deal with the European Chafer, apply your GrubOut and Nematodes now

Complete these steps to treat the infestation:

  1. Buy nematodes (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora)
  2. In the evening or on a cloudy day, moisten your lawn well (to the consistency of a wrung-out sponge).
  3. Apply nematodes on your lawn at a rate of 70,000 per square foot, or 750,000 per square metre. (Approximately 100 million nematodes should cover a 33 × 45 foot lawn.)
  4. Keep the soil moist for four to seven days after applying the nematodes to ensure best results.


You can read this article in full on the City of Vancouver website on Chafer Beetles for additional information

Additional Information on the Chafer Beetle infestation: Langley Times Article 


Here is some more information on Chafer Beetles


April to Late June

The adult Chafer beetles emerge from the soil and fly to nearby trees to mate and feed. The females once they have mated, deposit up to 50 eggs in the soil. The chafer beetle does very little damage to the lawn during this period.


July thru September

The eggs begin to hatch in July and the grubs will begin to feed on the lawn. The grubs begin to tunnel under the lawn at this time and the turf may feel spongy when walked upon. You will see damage to the turf during this time which will show up as dead or dying patches of grass. You will want to monitor your lawn during the summer months as dead grass can also be caused by European Crane fly larvae as well (See below).


October – March

Chafer beetle grubs will continue to feed and grow through the fall and winter months.   During mild weather the grubs will stay within 5cm of the surface of the soil during mild weather but can burrow deeper during colder weather. It is at this time that most of the damage to lawns may appear as raccoons, skunks and crows may tear up the turf as they feed on the grubs.   The grubs will continue feeding until they pupate to become adult beetles in May.


Monitoring for Chafer beetles:


  • Cut three sides of a 1’ x1’ (30 cm x 30) cm square of grass to a depth of about 2” (5cm).
  • Peel and fold back the patch of turf and count the grubs in the soil by digging around. You may have to use a trowel to help loosen the turf to peel it back.
  • You can cut five more squares of sod/turf in different areas of your lawn, count the grubs in each square.
  • Finding 5 or more grubs per square usually means that control is necessary.



  • Applying nematodes (Heterorhabditis bacterlophorais recommended) in late July (However it might be sooner this year, please sign up for our notification email so we can inform you exactly when you should apply your nematodes)
  • You lawn should be thoroughly watered to a depth of 4” before applying the nematodes. A healthy lawn is essential for achieving control when using nematodes.
  • After applying nematodes you must keep the lawn thoroughly watered for two weeks to achieve effective control.
  • You can rent portable liquid drop spreaders for effective application of the nematodes. You may also wish to apply Nutritec to your lawn at this time as well.
  • You can apply for a water exemption permit from most municipalities during this period if required.



Leather Jackets:

Life Cycle of European Cranefly / Leatherjacket


Adult: resembles a huge mosquito (size 1.5cm to 2.5cm) with grayish brown body.


Larvae: light grey, greenish brown cylindrical grub

with tapered ends, 3-4 cm at maturity.


Pupa: brown, spiny and 3.3cm in length.


March thru June: The larvae, which have been dormant over winter, feed and grow during this time. This is the stage at which the larvae do the most damage to the lawn. Nematodes should be applied at double the rate during this period to kill the larvae.


Mid June: The Larvae stop feeding and move down into

the soil (3-5cm). Damage to the lawn will diminish during this period.


Mid August: pupate in mid to late August at which time the adults emerge.


September-October: Adults emerge lay 200-300 eggs, and live 4 -7 days. The winged adults do not feed during this period and only mate and reproduce. The eggs, which are laid, need immediate moisture to survive and hatch 11-15 days later. Once hatched the larva feed throughout fall and warm periods in winter in upper 3cm of soil. This is the easiest time to ill the larvae


image007Controlling Pests with Nematodes

In early spring (March thru May) it is possible to have good success applying the nematodes on the feeding larva, however the rate of application must be doubled. Nematodes are usually only applied in situations where the damage is severe in spring.


Late summer and early fall is the preferred application time for Nematodes as the larvae are smaller and more easily killed.


For both applications it is important to make sure the lawn is well watered, fertilized and healthy before applying the nematodes.


You can rent portable liquid drop spreaders for effective application of the nematodes. You may also wish to apply Nutritec to your lawn at this time as well.

You can apply for a water exemption permit from most municipalities during this period if required.



Coverage Area

Green Earth Nematodes

Fall: 3000 sq/ft
Spring: 1500 sq/ft

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