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European Chafer beetle wreaks havoc on Nanaimo parks 

The City of Nanaimo says residents have noticed a rise in damage to turf grass this fall leaving some areas dug up by the European Chafer beetle. 

 According to the province, the European Chafer beetle was first spotted in New Westminister in 2001 and is now present throughout Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam and Revelstoke. The beetle has also been spotted on Vancouver Island in Nanaimo. 

The beetle typically lays eggs in the ground and then animals dig up the turf to feed on the eggs. 

The city says typically this issue is a sporadic problem, but so far parks staff have been facing a challenging task to reduce the damage caused by this pest. 

In a media release, the city says parks staff have been working on several methods to control the infestation by implementing a range of turf care, and Chafer Beetle control measures.  

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The province adds residents can help by mowing their lawns to at least 6 to 9 cm since taller turf is less preferred by egg-laying female beetles and is more drought-tolerant. 

Mayor Leonard Krog says time will be the factor in fighting this infestation. 

“Despite the outbreak of grubs in Nanaimo this fall, city staff are working hard to repair our parks and other grassy areas,” he says. “With management and time, these unsightly areas will recover. Please be patient as we face this collective challenge.” 

An adult beetle is tan coloured, medium sized scarab beetle, roughly 12 mm long, grubs have a C-shaped body while mature chafer grubs are up to 25 mm long.  

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