Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
Invasive Animal

European chafer beetle

Amphimallon majale

About This Species

European chafer beetle was first introduced to BC in 2001, likely through infested turf from its native range of Europe. European chafer beetles feed on the roots of turf grass and may cause serious damage to green spaces like parks and golf courses. They are a nuisance pest to homeowners, as they infest lawns and attract predators such as crows, skunks, and raccoons that damage lawns as they dig for larvae. European chafer beetle is designated as a Management species by the BC Provincial Priority Invasive Species List. 

How to Identify

The adult beetles are 1-1.5 cm long with light brown wing coverings. The underside of their thorax is covered in white fluffy hair. They only emerge for 1-2 weeks in June to mate and lay eggs. You may find them flying around tall objects such as buildings or trees. 

The larvae are between 0.5-2.5 cm long; they are C-shaped grubs that live underground. Their body is mostly white, the last two segments of their body are grey. They have a tan head capsule and three sets of short legs just behind the head. 

Take Action

Prevention is the best approach.

prevention tips


One of the best ways to prevent chafer beetle damage is to ensure your lawn is well watered and fertilized. European chafer beetle infestations can be treated naturally using biocontrol methods. Many garden centers sell the nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, which feed on chafer beetle larvae. In 2019, the bacteria Bacillus thuriginensis var. galleriae (Btg) was registered as a biological control agent for European chafer beetle by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency.


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