Chafer traps in the Garden

Chafer traps in the GardenChafer traps in the Garden
Regular visitors to the Garden will be aware of the damage caused to our lawns due to the presence of the garden chafer grub.

The Garden’s horticultural team have now begun installing some chafer beetle traps as part of the treatment plan to curtail the pests. Traps have been installed at the main areas of chafer activity in the Garden – the Brookside lawn, the Main Lawn and the Systematic Beds. The traps contain a lure to attract garden chafers and will provide an indication of population levels to enable the team to target treatments later in the year.

The trap works by catching adult garden chafer beetles (Phyllopertha horticola). The beetle is lured by an attractant inside the trap. Once the beetles fly to the trap they hit the plastic vanes on the top of the trap, which funnels them down into the trap, where they are unable to escape.

Our Head of Horticulture, Sally Petitt says: “We anticipate that we will keep these traps in place for the foreseeable future, although recognise that they aren't the most desirable addition to our landscape. However, after researching the problem and receiving expert advice, we have decided that this is the next step we must take to hopefully eradicate the grubs over time. May is the best month to place the traps out as this is the main flying season of the garden chafer beetle.”

The Garden Chafer trap has been developed to alert gardeners and lawnkeepers that chafer beetles are present and that egg laying will follow. These eggs develop into chafer grubs, which feed on grass roots. This causes damage and attracts wildlife to the grass. Birds and badgers rip up lawn areas looking for the chafer grubs to eat. Garden chafer traps do not catch all chafer beetle species – it is specific to the most common species, the garden chafer beetle and the traps help to reduce adult beetle egg laying. The next stage for the Garden team tackling the problem will be the application of nematode treatment in the late summer.

To read more about how we have been tackling the chafer grub problem click on the links to the left.
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