Not a pretty sight these Chafer grubs. They really are one of the most loathsome pests in my garden and the battle to control them is not an easy one. They eat away at the fibrous roots of just about anything, much like weevil larvae, gradually weakening the plant which can ultimately result in death. There's a war on you know.
They seem particularly happy dwelling in pots which is bloody unfortunate as I grow a lot of things in containers. I read somewhere that they prefer soil free compost as there's less competition but I'm not convinced. I make my own compost and layer it every now and then with mole hill soil yet still they reside in it. I've lost loads of plants over the years to these little buggers. I say little, they can measure a good inch in length,probably nearer the size of that Ozzie culinary delight the Witchetty grub.
Streuth, bush tucker these ain't mate.
I've recently had to re-pot two topiaried Cupressocyparis Leylandii as they were showing all the signs of root attack. In fact such was the infestation that one of the trees had started leaning in its tub as the grubs had literally undermined it. As I teased the roots away from the old compost I must have revealed thirty or so, all of which were summarily dispatched avec boot!
Luckily they hadn't eaten the roots to a point beyond return, the trees seem quite happy in their new compost so disaster avoided.
There is chemical treatment, but goodness knows soil insecticides seem lethal and not something I wish to use. I believe there are nematodes but I can't source them here in France so maybe I'll try to find them in the UK.
Luckily they don't seem to be present in the citrus tubs. I've just brought these out of winter storage and they seem healthy as anything, the orange on the right (left is a lemon) is covered in buds so blossom isn't far away, all sans the enemy. On we march.