Control cockchafer grubs biologically

The cockchafer belongs to the family of leaf-horned beetles (Scarabaeidae). The most widespread in Central Europe is the field cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha). The cockchafer grubs have a whitish body and three pairs of legs and with a brown head capsule. They can reach a length of 5-7 cm and are thus considerably larger than grubs of other beetle species.

Damage caused by cockchafer grubs

The cockchafer grubs cause the greatest damage in the 2nd year through the 2nd larval stage. In this phase of life, the grubs feed the most and cause plants to die within one vegetation period. As few as 1-2 grubs per plant are sufficient for this. Lawns, vegetables, strawberries and blueberries, perennials, shrubs and trees are attacked. Birds pecking at the grubs can cause immense damage to the weakly rooted lawn.

Control cockchafer grubs with nematodes

Nematodes are tiny, thread-like soil organisms about 0.6 mm long. They are natural enemies of the cockchafer. The nematode genera Heterorhabditis and Steinernema, among others, are specialised on cockchafer grubs and can use them for their own feeding and reproduction. The nematodes are supplied alive in a powder. For application, they should be mixed with water exactly according to the package instructions and applied to the affected areas.