The 1 Grim Reason Crows Could Be Coming To Your Lawn

It might not just be because of your beautiful lawn.
Yana Tatevosian / 500px via Getty Images

Ah, spring ― while it might have brought us pretty mixed weather so far, there’s no denying the season has led to bountiful gardens (and all the tasks that go with it).

But if you’ve started to notice ominous yellow patches on your lawn, you might not need to use your hose or buy some fertiliser ― the issue could be chafer bugs.

The larvae of chafer beetles, chafer grubs may also be bringing more crows, badgers, and even foxes to your backyard. But how can you spot them ― and what should you do if you think you have them?

Chafer grubs aren’t all bad

Though some chafer grubs feed on grass roots, leading to discolouration and even death of the blade, most of the 80-ish species in the UK are harmless to your garden.

Those who live in your garden borders or hide out in your compost heap, for instance, are unlikely to cause many problems.

But if you’ve got a harmful chafer bug, you may notice patches of your grass turning yellow ― especially around about now, as the larvae get ready for their late May and early June hatching.

You’ll likely be able to see the white, C-shaped grubs with their brown heads under affected areas of soil, and you could spot more foxes, crows, badgers, and more digging up your beloved lawn to reach them.

They may affect grass as well as strawberry, raspberry, potato, lettuce, and other ornamental plants. Those affected will look dehydrated even though the issue isn’t a lack of water ― it’s that chafer grubs have eaten the base of the tubes through which water could be transported.

What do I do if I have them?

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) recommends trying a biological control, like heterorhabditis bacteriophora, first.

These will infect the grubs with a fatal disease and can simply be watered into the affected ground.

You can also repair and re-seed affected turf in later months once the bugs have gone. But “There are no pesticide controls for chafer grubs in lawns which can be applied by home gardeners,” the RHS says.