A Technical Report from The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories
The cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) is a large brown beetle identified by a pointed egg laying posterior and loud "buzzing" flight. Although adult beetles eat the leaves and flowers of many deciduous trees, shrubs, and other plants they do not generally cause significant damage to trees in the UK, unless very large populations are present. While adults can be problematic, chafer grubs do the majority of damage by feeding on plant roots. Most of the beetle's 3-4 year lifecycle is spent in grub form. During this time they feed on live roots, especially those of grass/turf but on occasion those of trees.