Grubs live in the soil and feed on roots. They can feed so heavily on the roots that it causes substantial damage to the plants. In a severe infestation, plants may die, leading to the development of bare patches in meadows. A mass infestation can completely destroy the sward, in which case, the vegetation layer can be pulled off like a carpet and the topsoil loses stability due to the lack of root penetration. In mountain areas, this increases the risk of landslides.
Furthermore, grubs are seen as a delicacy by certain birds, wild boars and badgers. These animals can cause severe secondary damage by rooting up meadows while searching for grubs.
Common cockchafer grubs cause damage mostly in agricultural meadow and pasture land. European June bug and garden chafer grubs are more often found in sports pitches and park lawns, but also in private gardens. Local damage may also occur in vegetable crops, orchards and berry plantations, vineyards and tree nurseries.
Although these indigenous species cause damage if they occur in excessive numbers, they nevertheless deserve protection and should not be eradicated.