Chafer grubs in potatoes and sugar beet

The most common species of chafer in the UK is the cockchafer, or May bug, although garden chafers and Welsh chafers are also common. Attacks are localised and sporadic. 

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Chafer grub identification

Scientific nameMelolontha melolontha 

Adult beetles are large (2.5 cm long) with a reddish-brown body and black head. In May, they fly to feed in woodlands and during the summer they lay eggs in the soil in grassland or cereals.  

Larvae develop over the next 3 years and are most damaging in their second or third years.  

Management of chafer grubs

Control is not usually economically justified. 

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