June bugs are “grubs” or beetles that can be really pests in great numbers. During their active days, they can cause serious damage to your lawn or garden by eating and eventually damaging your plants, flowers, grass, and trees.
What is a June Bug?
A June bug, also known as the green June beetle, is about 15 to 22 millimeters in length. It is either dark brown or greenish-yellow in color. This grub is common in several states, such as Kansas and Texas.
These insects prefer fruits of various plants. They also feed on decaying organic material in lawns and gardens. Larvae of these beetles usually feed on roots of grasses and other plants too. Their favorites are the root portions of carrots and sweet potatoes (Learn how to grow potatoes).
A (June) Bug’s Life
A June bug’s life cycle is quite short. It only lasts for a year. However, they are capable of multiplying really fast, making them a huge problem when infesting gardens and lawns. A female June bug is capable of laying 60 to 75 eggs in two weeks. It is during fall that adult June bugs lay their eggs. These eggs, after around two to three weeks, hatch into larvae, and become very active during spring.
Just like other beetles, their larvae often stay underground. They primarily feed on the roots of various plants and other crops. June bug larvae are just around 8 millimeters and grow up to 40 millimeters before they pupate and become adult June bugs.
June bugs are nocturnal creatures, so they become very active at night. They are also attracted to light sources and to each other as well.
Why June Bugs are Pests
June bugs do not bite, sting, damage furniture, or even carry diseases. However, in huge numbers, they may cause significant damage to your garden / lawn. Since they feed on foliage and other organic decaying materials, they cause unsightly damage.
June bugs can:
- Damage your grass: June bug larvae feed on roots of grass, too. You will know when you have a severe infestation when your turf peels off like a carpet or a damaged wallpaper.
- Kill your flowers and plants: June bug larvae also feed on the roots of plants and flowers. Initially, they droop and then plants turn brown or gray. Eventually, they die since they are no longer able to effectively absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
- Leave ugly spots on your trees: These insects also feed on moss and barks of trees. In huge numbers, they may leave ugly spots on your trees by damaging their bark.
- Cause soil to be “spongy”: The larvae of these pests often stay underground, tunneling their way to find their food. Over time, your soil may not have that solid feel anymore. This is a sign that there are lots of larvae underneath making lots of tunnels in search of something to munch on.
- Make your grass turn gray or die: Since larvae also damage the roots of your grass, over time, it may kill the grass, causing ugly spots to appear on your lawn or garden.
- Attract other predators: An abundant supply of June bugs in your garden or lawn may attract other predators like moles, gophers (Tips on how to get rid of gophers), and armadillos. These predators may compound your problem by causing even more damage.
Aside from these, these pests may also frighten or scare you or other people in your home, especially girls and small children. If you really love your garden, you will really want to get rid of these pests before they completely ruin your garden.
Getting Rid of June Bugs
If you were to ask an exterminator, it is quite easy to get rid of June bugs, of course, by using pesticides and other chemicals. However, the use of such chemicals is quite risky for it may even kill good organisms that help your garden or lawn flourish. It may also harm your pets or even other people as well.
If you really want to get rid of June bugs using pesticides, there are common ones like imidacloprid or halofenozide. There are also other products available in the market. In fact, there are lots of them. Just make sure that you read the instructions very carefully.
Now if you want to get rid of June bugs the natural way, you can either use nematodes or encourage predators like birds and toads in your garden or lawn. You may not completely get rid of June bugs, but at least you can keep their population in check.
The Natural Way to Control June Bugs
If you will be using nematodes, you will have to wait until the time when June bugs lay their eggs. Nematodes are grub parasites. They live inside the bodies of the larvae and eventually kills it.
Nematodes can be easily purchased at gardening stores. Simply follow the instructions on how you should apply them you your garden. Usually, you will have to mix a certain amount of water then spray it on the affected area.
Another way is to attract other natural predators – predators like toads and songbirds. Birds love feasting on grubs. Not only will your garden be lively and natural, you also get rid of those pests with the help of the birds.
If you don’t fear toads, they can greatly help too, especially if the number of June bugs are way too high already. Toads love these “tasty” treats. Since both creatures are nocturnal, a toad can effectively hunt down these pests.
With the help of these creatures, you can eliminate those pests without worrying about the toxicity of the pesticide. However, effects may not be seen instantly. Remember, don’t leave your porch or garden lights on, for they may further attract June bugs. If you enjoy reading this article, might as well read how to get rid of grubs.
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