European chafer beetles in residential lawns of Coquitlam

Coquitlam residential lawns are being torn apart and unhappy residents were highlighted as a major issue during a discussion at city council that was meant to focus on improving public green spaces.

Crows and other animals dig up the chafer beetle, that live below the surface of the grass (Chris Slater)

Crows and other animals dig up the chafer beetle, that live below the surface of the grass (Chris Slater)

Mayor Richard Stewart  was excited to address the city’s opportunity to be involved in the Communities in Bloom Program, a non-profit organization that enhances community green spaces to foster civic pride, at last week’s council meeting.

Stewart had barely finished introducing the program, when councillor O’Neill made a comment that he referred to as opening a whole different can of worms- or chafer beetles as it were.

O’Neill said he couldn’t help but compare the public spaces with those of private spaces. He said had heard many complaints from residents about the chafer beetle infestation on residential lawns, that in turn cause raccoons and birds to tear up the lawn to eat the pests.“What can Coquitlam residents do to deal with situation,” O’Neill asked of the council.

According to the city’s website, residents of Coquitlam are not allowed to use pesticides for “garden and lawn beautification or maintenance on residential and city land.”

Many residential lawns in Coquitlam are affected by chafer beetles

Many residential lawns in Coquitlam are affected by chafer beetles (Ash Kelly)

Mayor Stewart directed the conversation back to the item on the agenda, the Communities in Bloom program.

Councillor Brent Asmundson said the council needs to step up and start giving valuable advice to the affected residents.

He said it is an “issue all over the city right now,” and asked what the city is currently doing to address the problem. Before moving on to the next item though, other councillors expressed similar concerns about the beetle and reports of resident complaints regarding the beetles.

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