How to Handle June Bugs
June Bugs, or Melolonthinae beetles, are small scarabs that fly through your yard and garden, munching on your plants and trees. There are several different types of June Bugs, all ranging in size and color. And even though they're colloquially called June Bugs, these Melolonthinae beetles are active in May, June, and July – because that when these munchy monsters reach adulthood.
June Bug larva, sometimes called grub, are just as dangerous as their flying counterparts. These wormy bugs won't only eat your plants out of house and home, they'll destroy the root system in your yard as well. You'll want to protect your garden from
While they may be easy to ignore, June Bugs will make a picnic of your plants and can cause real, lasting damage to trees and your garden. If you see these bugs in your yard or find that your leave and tree bark have been snacked on, it's time to take action. June Bugs can be found in the United States, parts of South America and Canada, and are most common in the northeast of the United States and eastern Canada.
Evict the Adults
You want to evict the adults before the female June Bugs lay eggs in your grass. To catch one of these crawly creatures, you're going to need to set a trap. Take a cup of molasses and a cup of boiling water and put them both in a jar. Add a lid and shake the mixture well. Take the lid off and bury the jar in the soil near the beetle's favorite spot, with only a little of the jar sticking out above the soil. The molasses will attract the bugs to the jar and overnight, bugs will drown in the liquid. You'll need to check the trap every morning to discard the dead June Bugs.
If you'd rather catch the bugs by hand, throw in a pair of gloves and get hunting. June Bugs can't really hurt you, but their hind legs do boast a few impressive spikes, so gloves help when you're on the hunt. Adult June Bugs move and fly slowly, so they are easy to catch and remove from your yard.
If the previous method is a little too hands-on, you can head to the kitchen to create your own DIY insecticide. Take a few cloves of fresh minced garlic and mix it with a tablespoon of mineral oil. Let this mixture sit overnight and then strain out the garlic and add the remaining mixture to a pint of water. Lastly, add a teaspoon of liquid dish soap.
Once you are ready to use your DIY insect spray, take two to three tablespoons of your mixture and add it to a spray bottle. Then fill the spray bottle with tap water. Take the mixture outside and spray either directly on the June Bugs or on the leaves where you can see that they have been snacking.
Our last tip for ridding your yard and garden of June Bugs is to introduce a natural June Bug preditor to your yard. Birds, snakes, and toads are all natural enemies of the June Bug, and bringing them to your yard helps eliminate your bug problem the circle of life way. If you don't want to go out and purchase these predators, do things to attract them to your yard. Create cool, damp places for snakes and toads to come and add a birdbath and food to bring your feathered friends to the party.
Get Rid of the Grub
Making your lawn less attractive to June Bugs is a good start when it comes to protecting your yard. June Bugs like to lay eggs in short grass, so keep yours above three inches in the early spring and summer when it's June Bug egg-laying season.
If that doesn't work, you can purchase tiny, microscopic worms called nematodes online. These barely-there microscopic worms live in your grass and eliminated June Bug eggs before they hatch into grub. You can also check out your local garden supply store to see if they carry these worms.
Another option for eliminating grub is neem oil insecticide. Plant enthusiasts will already be familiar with neem oil, but these insecticides will eliminate your grub problem and save the root systems in your yard and garden. Neem oil is a safer alternative to harsher pesticides that also kill helpful yard bugs because neem oil is mainly dangerous for little larvas about to turn into lawn-eating grubs.
When in doubt, contact your local parks and recreation department. Often times a plant or garden specialist in the department will be able to help you keep your yard pests under control.