Chafer beetles.
Chafer beetles.

European Chafer Beetle

The European chafer beetle is native to Europe, but it has become an invasive pest in North America.

European chafer beetle.

European chafer beetle (Rhizotrogus majalis), also known as a june bug.
This specimen was caught in Scarborough, Ontario.

The European chafer is also known as June bug in North America, but there are other beetles known under that name.

The grubs of the chafer beetles eat the roots of various grasses and a large number of them can destroy lawns.

I remember that decades ago in Hungary chafer beetles used to be quite common and hundreds, even thousands of them flew at night around June. There were so many of them that some people found it worthwhile to gather a lot of them and use the beetles as chicken feed.

I am not exactly sure about the level of infestation in North America but the beetles can be seen flying in Toronto. A quick Internet search confirms that European chafer infestation causes problems even in Vancouver so they seem to have conquered the temperate part of North America all the way to the Pacific coast.

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Last updated: June 30, 2015

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