Tri-City residents can start to reclaim their lawns from the European Chafer beetle by ordering nematodes now from garden stores and landscaping professionals, to apply in July.

During the spring, Chafer beetles have been feeding, mating and laying eggs that will hatch into grubs in the summer. The grubs weaken lawns by feeding on grass roots, making the turf easy for birds and animals to peel back as they search for grubs to eat.

Nematodes – microscopic worms that feed on Chafer grubs – are an effective and natural treatment that complies with the city bans on cosmetic pesticide use across the Tri-Cities. They’re being recommended by the cities of Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, and Port Moody.

All three cities have posted information and videos on their respective website:


Nematodes can be purchased from garden centres and landscaping professionals and should be ordered now for application in July. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora is the recommended type. The Cities’ Chafer Beetle webpages provide instructions and videos about applying nematodes, along with information about water exemption permits available for nematode varieties that require watering beyond what is permitted by the summer water restrictions.

Residents can apply for a water exemption from their respective cities to water outside of watering restrictions. Check the respective City website for full details on water exemption permits.

Regional water restrictions were changed in 2016 to allow for water exemption permits that are purchased during Stage 1 and 2 water restriction levels to remain valid until expiration. Permits will not be renewed if the region moves into Stage 3 or 4 water restriction levels.


The best defence against the Chafer beetle is a healthy lawn, which can be achieved through natural lawn care techniques such as:

  • aerating, 
  • using a natural organic or quality slow-release synthetic fertilizer, and
  •  mowing to a grass height of 5-6 cm and leaving clippings on the lawn.

More year-round natural lawn care advice can be found on the City Chafer beetle webpages. Other prevention tips:

If you hire landscapers, make sure their tools are clean and not contaminated.

  • If you purchase topsoil, ask the vendor how they ensure their soil isn’t contaminated.
  • Consider replacing turf with low-maintenance, beetle-resistant plants such as Dutch white clover, brass buttons, Irish or Scotch moss, little star creeper, creeping thyme, goldmoss stonecrop or microclover.

 Chafer beetle information

Visit the City webpages above for information about stages of the Chafer beetle lifecycle, recommended year-round lawn care activities, nematode treatment, and lawn sprinkling information.

Printed information is also available at City facilities and at City events.



Pardeep Purewal

Kathleen Vincent

Rosemary Lodge

Manager, Communications

& Administrative Services

Manager, Corporate Communications

Manager of Communications and Engagement

City of Port Coquitlam

City of Coquitlam

City of Port Moody