Skip to contents
Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

As Park District Attempts To Revive Fields Destroyed By Beetle Grubs Last Year, Welles Park Neighbors Urged To Stay Off Grass

After heavy rains, thousands of writhing beetle grubs emerged from under Welles Park in October, leaving behind devastated fields and lots of creeped-out neighbors.

A vast number of beetle grubs destroyed a swath of Welles Park, as seen on Oct. 23, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
  • Credibility:

LINCOLN SQUARE — Neighbors are being asked to stay off the grass on the east side of Lincoln Square’s Welles Park as officials try to repair the soil destroyed by writhing beetle grubs last year.

After heavy rains in the fall, the park at 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave. saw thousands of grubs emerge. The bugs left behind devastated fields and lots of creeped-out neighbors.

The grubs chewed up about a third of the popular park’s 15 acres, laying waste to what was once an expanse of vibrant grass between five baseball diamonds on the the eastern half of the park. 

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A vast number of beetle grub destroyed a swath of Welles Park, as seen on Oct. 22, 2021.

Park district crews used Dylox to treat the infestation and began fertilizing and seeding the fields using a “dormant seeding” technique, which means the grass seeds will likely not germinate until the soil is warm enough this spring, 

With warmer temperatures returning, Ald. Matt Martin’s office and the Welles Park Advisory Council are asking neighbors to keep off the fields to allow the new grass to take root. 

“We need everyone’s help getting this grass to establish and thrive by staying off of the this area as much as possible. Please use the sidewalks to go around the fields and encourage others to stay off the grass as it grows healthy roots,” Martin said in a newsletter to constituents last week.

The park district will continue to monitor whether the park needs further treatment for beetle grubs, Martin said.  

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation. 

Thanks for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods. Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.

Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: