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European chafers

There is yet, one more invasive species that is now on our doorstep and one to watch out for especially if you love a lush, green lawn. This is another beetle that has been in the US for a little while but has been just recently found in a lawn in the Twin Cities metro area.

According to the U of M Extension, “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed that European chafer (Amphimallon majale) has been found for the first time in the state. This invasive insect is a severe pest of turfgrass. First found in the U.S. in New York in 1940, European chafer is now found in 10 states including parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. The first European chafers in Minnesota were found in south Minneapolis earlier this summer.”

“European chafer is about ½ inch long and is tannish to reddish brown. It resembles a May/June beetle, although May/June beetles are usually a little larger and darker in color. Adult European chafers typically emerge from the soil in early summer at dusk on warm, clear nights. They swarm around small trees and shrubs to mate for several hours before returning to the ground. It is easy to miss their activity.”

As always, if you see something, it is important to call or email the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Arrest the Pest hotline at arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us or 1-888-545-6684.

As you probably have been reading the past few months, gardening pests and diseases have been garnering a lot of attention in our area and while most are not here, yet, it is important that information can be given out to area gardeners. The Master Gardener program is always looking for new residents to join the program. There is a cost and scholarships are available. The sign up for this program is now!

As a Master Gardener, you will help the public with general gardening questions, writing about information on many gardening topics, answering questions either through phone calls or emails and there is a great component to the program where residents who are Master Gardeners receive continuing education from the U of M Extension staff on an ongoing basis. The first year, new Master Gardeners need to volunteer 50 hours which at first glance may seem like a lot but there are many, many ways to volunteer very simply that it is not a problem to meet that goal. Thereafter, the goal is to volunteer 25 hours a year. Your fellow Master Gardeners will assist you in meeting these goals through monthly meetings, reading through materials from the U of M Extension, and many other ways that make it quite easy to make these goals.

There are over 2,000 Master Gardeners in Minnesota and it is a national program of which there are also state sponsored meetings that are available to those who wish to attend them. If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, feel free to contact a Master Gardener that you may know or go to https://extension.umn.edu/master-gardener/become-master-gardener for more information.

You can also contact me at s.dejaeghere@me.com for any gardening questions or to learn more about becoming a Master Gardener.

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