Controlling Garden Pests Naturally and Organically

June Bugs

June bugs or June beetles are brown or dark green measure around 2.5cm long and 1.5cm wide. Their undersides have a metallic green or gold colour.

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Brown june beetle (left), Brown june beetle grub (right)-photos Later’s Canada

Description
June bugs are ugly suckers! They have spiny legs and that feels strange when they land on you. One night while we were outside they were landing all over us (A few years ago). These were the Brown June Bug. Green June Bugs are a little later in the spring and appear in May or June. Green June Beetles fly around in the day and the brown ones fly at night.

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Green june beetle on a peach (left), Green june beetle larva (left)-photos Clemson University

Habitat & Lifecycle
June bugs are found everywhere in North America and many other parts of the world. The larvae is a white to yellow grub. They have rows of stiff short hair to aid them in movement. They overwinter as grubs deep in the soil (lawn) and move to the surface in the spring to feed. Green June Beetles mature in June and become adults in early July. One generation per year. Females lay eggs in late summer. Adults of the Brown June Bug emerge in the spring. They are nocturnal. Lifecycle is three years. (See photo below diet and damage)

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Grub damage on grass (left)-University of Nebraska, Grub damage on potatoes (right)-Michigan State University

Diet & Damage
When they are adults June Bugs do little damage, however get rid of them since after they lay their eggs in the soil and your lawn the grubs do a lot of damage! Adult june bugs eat leaves of walnut, oak, and foilage from many plants. The grubs feed on organic matter in the soil and damage grass in your lawn as they eat the roots. They will eat roots of your ornamentals, weed roots and other seedling roots, corn, roses and potatoes. Lawn grasses wilt and turn brown and will eventually die from root loss.

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June Bug Lifecycle-Utah State University

How To Control June Bugs

  1. Milky Spore Disease
    Milky Spore is a naturally occurring bacterium (Bacillus popillae-Dutky) that will get rid of June bugs organically. It works on many common lawn grubs including June Bug & Japanese Beetle larvae and doesn’t harm earthworms. You sprinkle it on your lawn like grass seeds just before a rain or water it well into the soil for 15 minutes or longer right after you put it down. Don’t mow your grass until the Spore has been watered into the soil. Milky Spore has been known to last 15 years or more with only one treatment!
  2. Grub-Away® Nematodes – are beneficial nematodes applied to lawns and gardens. They control numerous soil dwelling pests, including borers, cutworms, flea larvae, weevils and maggots.
  3. Small Mammals & Birds
    Skunks, armadillos and other small mammals will often be seen pulling back the turf in search of grubs. Bears have been know to do this as well but not usually in your gardens as a rule. Birds are great control on lawns….attract them with bird baths. Your chickens will also eat them but they’ll eat the grass too so it would be wise to only have them eating away in your orchards.
  4. Hand Pick
    If you see any damage, dig around in the soil or lift pieces of turf and destroy the grubs when you find them. Collect the beetles in the morning when they are not very active and destroy. You will find them on many plants and they are easy to shake them off. A flashlight in the evening will attract them and you can destroy them using stomp method or drop in hot soapy water.
  5. Ensure a Healthy Lawn
    Cut your grass higher in the summer as beetles prefer to lay their eggs in short grass. Keep your lawns well-drained and aerated. In the spring don’t water your lawns too often to ensure deep root growth.

114 Responses to “June Bugs”

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  1. 114
    Kate Dircksen Says:

    What’s the most important snake, I want to know for homework?

  2. 113
    Rachel Says:

    Some of those so-called “June” bugs might actually be Japanese beetles, especially those with the iridescent green on them.

    They are voracious eaters of all sorts of vegetables, fruits, roses, rhubarb, and they even get into my lemon balm.

    I treat ‘em to milky spore in the spring, let the skunks dig and eat the grubs, and hand-pick the little beasties off my fruits, baby trees and veggies, drop them into a jar of soapy water and take them for a “spin” — FLUUUUSH!!

    Gotta wonder what the town thinks of them at the treatment plant, though, given that I get rid of several quarts a day…”Geez, Lou, what ARE those people EATING??”

  3. 112
    Bill Says:

    I had a ton of June bugs last year as they ravaged the leaves of my cherry trees, but I think the milky spores are doing thier job this year.. And I have lots of birds that might be getting to the rest of them

    Good riddance !! Not sure how you like them Eva, they are a mess!

  4. 111
    EVA Says:

    I love June bugs but have noticed in the last 10 years, there are fewer and fewer adult ones. I see alot of baby ones but dying and not making it to adulthood. I fact, it’s the end of June and just yesterday I saw my first adult June Bug, all other have been babies but all dying or dead.

    I don’t use pesticides or poisons. do you or anyone know of any studies to find out if or why June bugs are not making it to adult hood?

  5. 110
    Kate Says:

    Does anyone know if Junebug larvaue eat mortar? Each June/July for the last thee years, I’ve had an infestation of what appear to be June bugs (just looked at pix online) in the front entryway to my house. I zap them with Raid, but they seem to be getting worse each year — must have been 30-40 today in my 3′x3′ entryway.

    I realized this morning that the bugs are emerging from little holes in the mortar between the bricks in the floor. I’d thought the holes were from salt that I’d put on my driveway and tracked into the entryway — but I’m pretty certain that the bugs have bored into the mortar, laid their eggs , and then the larvae turn into bugs again a year later. Is this possible?

    Does anyone know how to get rid of them permanantly and if they could be causing damage in other parts of my brick house?

  6. 109
    Eric Says:

    Josie – what was the ratio you used for the amount of molasses and water? Thanks!

  7. 108
    dew Says:

    was wondering how do you keep the good bugs including ms spidee a wonderful predator control.. from also drowning.. do you check the jug often? I like the idea almost as much as using a sprouting jar that has the screened lid for air push down leaves with the june bugs attached in and just add them as the day goes by .. i have taken probably 50 in the last 2 days down by the lake and released them in the woods where they eat what some call ‘weeds’ to their stinky ol hearts content .. not much beats allowing the wonderful huge garden spiders from building their webs, they do so much good.
    I dont know why folks are claiming the junebugs are noctural tho. These green ones are busy all day, they are also called piggyback and you can see them doing this often, nothing i’ve read says this is mating, but it sho looks like it.. and i used to let grubs stay because i love the armadillo that eats them.. somebody’s probably run over the armadillo that used to take care of them .. geez they also run over the wonderful prey controlling snakes. Educate yourselves.ok?
    please be aware people of everything that lives in your environment and be kind and live sustainably.

  8. 107
    Cindy Says:

    Oops almost forgot the black widows and
    brown recluse spiders!

  9. 106
    Cindy Says:

    We do have lots of June bugs but don’t let that stop ya from moving here
    We moved from minnesota where the Mosquitos are the
    Size of a Boeing 747! I live 30 miles west of Fort Worth and
    even as much as I hate them I’d never move back north.
    If you want a reason not to move here here are some better
    ones: scorpions, red ants, copperhead snakes and
    water moccasins. All can be controlled by organic measures or
    if your really out in the country (or have understanding
    neighbors) use guinnea hens (they love copperheads!)

  10. 105
    Debra Says:

    That solves it, I am not moving to Texas. I would not see the sun or moon (if you have the night variety) for the whole summer! June bugs are ugly, nasty and noisy. Yikes!

  11. 104
    Lynnette Says:

    Cindy,

    I also live in TX and I’m looking out my back door and watching about 100 of them “frolic” around on my back porch alone! Our cat loves to play with them… personally, I’m totally creeped out by them.
    Unfortunately here in my area they come in March and don’t leave until September/October… UGH!

  12. 103
    Cindy Says:

    Well it’s march in tx and we’re covered in June bugs

  13. 102
    Jack Says:

    This may just be my imagination, but has anyone in the Central Valley area of California noticed that Junebugs are showing up later this year? It is almost September, and I barely saw a few just a week ago or so. I know our world is going all out of whack, but would our insect side of the world be affected so? Just curious…

  14. 101
    Josie Says:

    I have a big problem with June Bugs, I hate them with a passion, they eat all my fruit! I found a wonderful way to get rid of them, I cut milk bottles, leaving the handle and the bottom up to the handle, I make a solution of molasses and water and hang the milk bottle with the solution off my fruit trees, the june bugs love it and have a wonderful death drowning in their favorite food, every year I kill thousands of them!

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