European chafer beetle found in Minnesota for 1st time

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture said Monday that the European chafer beetle has been found in the state for the first time.

The insect can cause major damage to turf grass, according to MDA.

According to the department, a south Minneapolis resident found large swarms of beetles in their yard and reported it to a University of Minnesota Extension entomologist, who then reported it to MDA. MDA said it then worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to confirm the insect’s identity.

The beetle was discovered in the U.S. In New York in 1940 and is currently in states along the northeastern U.S., Michigan and Wisconsin.

Home lawns, golf courses and turf growers could be significantly impacted if the beetle becomes established in Minnesota, according to MDA.

Anyone who sees one is urged to report it to MDA online, at or 1-888-545-6684. MDA asks all who make a report to first capture the insect, take a picture and put the insect in a container or bag and freeze it in case it is needed for confirmation.

The beetles are about a half-inch long and tannish in color, similar to June bugs but smaller and lighter in color. They typically are active on warm evenings for several hours just before and after sunset.

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