Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Chafer Beetle Has Crawled Across Dunbar Street: You Can Now Have an Edible Front Lawn with No Effort!

Unfortunately, the damage from chafer beetles, first seen in Greater Vancouver in New Westminster in 2001 and now commonly seen in many lawns in east Vancouver, is occurring on the west side. This is a January 10 view of a lawn on the west side of Dunbar Street, a few blocks from 41st Avenue.

A close-up view shows the extensive damage begun by skunks and raccoons and continued by crows, as they hunt for the tasty chafer grubs. You may not have an affinity for these grubs, but the local wildlife finds your front lawn edible.

This Dunbar Street lawn is near 33rd Avenue, as seen on January 10.

In October 2009, I saw this damage on W. 37th Avenue, east of Dunbar Street. A common pattern is damage beginning at the edge of a sidewalk and spreading from there.

Right next door to this house on a block east of Dunbar, there is extensive damage from the chafer beetle, so these owners are being proactive and removing the grass themselves! Maybe there will be a veggie garden?

Alas, this morning I opened the window blinds and looked with horror at my back yard, dug up overnight...


Mark Kreider said...

That's an amazing amount of damage. Vancouver's "City Farmer" recommends controlling them with an application of nematodes which I found interesting at:


Janice Kreider said...

Yes, City Farmer is helpful on several fronts! The 3rd week of July is the crucial time for preventative action, so until then, it's grin and bear it or create an alternative garden. The problem is that the damage is not necessarily where one wants to make landscape changes. The damage is usually in sunny areas where the grass (rather than moss) grows, so vegetables would do well, but right next to the sidewalk with all those dogs?? A barrier of low bushes or flowering plants would work.