A Plague of Larvae

We noticed that the grass in our field was looking a bit scrubby, and the earth was being scraped over. At first, we suspected our dog, Watson, was looking for moles, but the damage was becoming too widespread.

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One of our neighbours solved the mystery for us – we have a plague of Cockchafer larvae, known as Engerlingen in Dutch. Apparently, we’re not the only ones around here, it’s becoming a common problem in this area.

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There are no pesticides approved to deal with it, so we’ve reverted to the Mediaeval method of dealing with the Cockchafer – killing the adult beetles or their larvae. I reckon that there are about 50 larvae per square meter, and most of the field seems to be affected.

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We’ve been stripping off the turf to expose the larvae and collecting them in buckets for killing and disposal. It’s a very tedious job.

20110921-1216-59 Stitch

I can think of more pleasant ways to spend a day…

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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2 Responses to A Plague of Larvae

  1. Ludwig says:

    Over here on this side of the pond we had pests that look exactly like you pictured. A biological treatment (I think using Bacillus thuringiensis) was effective for us and we have not had the grub problem in years since.

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