June Bug Larvae: Why Do They 'Bug' Us And How Can We Get Rid Of Them? | Kidadl


June Bug Larvae: Why Do They 'Bug' Us And How Can We Get Rid Of Them?

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Excessive exposure to light is said to kill the June bug, and they're frequently seen dead the next day beneath lights and brightly illuminated windows.

The June bug is a nocturnal creature that is drawn to bright lights. They are known to congregate near security lights, well-lit rooms, and patio lights.

The June bug is a noisy beetle that flies around a bright light source and can prove to be a bit of a nuisance. So, how do we get rid of them?

The nights may be getting shorter as summer approaches, but your outdoor lighting may be busier than ever before. It's June bug season, after all. The June beetle, commonly known as the May beetle or June bug, belongs to the genus Phyllophaga. The genus includes roughly 300 species of beetles belonging to the globally dispersed plant-eating subfamily Melolonthinae, the family Scarabaeidae, and the order Coleoptera.

These red-brown beetles are drawn to light and are usually seen in the northern hemisphere on warmer spring evenings. They are chafers, which means they graze on plants, particularly leaves. Their diet may also include grass, plants, wildflowers, fruit, organic crops like wheat and corn, sap, and decomposing organic waste. They feed on foliage, including flowers, at night, inflicting significant harm in some cases. June bugs will bump up against you at night and attach to your skin as you try to take them off. You will notice them lying belly-up on the floor in the morning.

The larvae of the June beetle are capable of destroying crops such as corn (maize), tiny grains, potatoes, and even strawberries, as well as killing lawns and grasslands by cutting the roots of the grass. 

So how can we get rid of these June bugs? Let’s find out more about these bugs by reading some interesting facts. Afterward, also read about do cats eat bugs, and do Japanese beetles bite?

June Bug Larvae Appearance

June bugs, like many other scarab beetles, are oval in appearance, with six sturdy legs and large antennae. June bugs are usually between 0.5-1 in (1.27-2.54 cm) in length, brown, black, or maybe even maroon in color, and have no discernable patterns.

Their lower parts are hairy, like the Japanese beetle that features hair-like projections along the borders of its abdomen.

June beetles have sparkling wing coverings called elytra and range in size from 0.5-1 in (1.27-2.54 cm). The larvae of the June beetle, known as white grubs, are around 1 in (2.5 cm) long and reside in the soil. The white grub, their larvae, is typically a concern if found in a yard or garden. June bug grubs feature soft, off-white bodies, brownish heads, and six strong legs. June bugs are well-known for their awkward flying patterns, which frequently result in collisions with windows. Clinging on screens is a common sight for the June bugs.

The Life Cycle Of A June Bug

The life cycle of June beetles starts with an egg, then larva, pupa, and finally the adult beetles. Female June bugs dig into the earth in late summer to deposit their eggs, and by the beginning of October, the June bugs' life cycle is complete, and they die off.

This is what causes them to appear to vanish, at least until another summer, once the cycle begins anew.

Females lay eggs in May and June that hatch into little white larvae, often known as grubs, two and a half weeks later. Grubs have three phases, called instars. The grubs molt their skin and become larger after each of the phases. A female may lay between 50-200 eggs at once. After emerging from the egg, grubs, or the larvae of the June bug, resemble little white caterpillars with brown heads. Grubs develop underground. Grubs spend their first year of life eating plant roots. This is how the grubs grow in size, and it usually takes two years for grubs to reach maturity, based on the species' life cycle duration. The grub dives deep into the dirt to defend itself from cold weather at the end of spring, during its last instar.

What attracts June bugs?

June bugs are drawn to light just like the ten-lined June beetle. In the spring and summer, you can frequently see them at windows and lampposts.

Because of their massive size and unusual appearance, June bugs stand out among the millions of different insect species that inhabit our planet. Japanese beetles resemble June bugs. However, they are much smaller. The green June beetle (Cotinis nitida) is drawn to ripe (particularly overripe) fruits. The larvae eat decomposing organic debris in the soil as well as well-rotted manure or compost piles.

Close up of white grub of a chafer beetle.

How do you know if you have June bugs?

Despite having a three-year lifespan, June bugs survive for less than a year as adults. They appear in May and June to deposit their eggs and perish at the end of the summer.

If they are impacted by the waved light fly, they may perish much faster. You may discover holes in the foliage of your shrubs, plants, or trees. These suggest that adult June bugs have been nibbling on them. If your property has brown areas, June bug larvae may be dwelling in the soil.

Furthermore, do you have issues with creatures digging tunnels in your grass, such as moles or skunks? If yes, then that’s because they feed on June bug grubs and may be attempting to get to them at night. The simplest method to tell whether you have a June bug beetle infestation is to dig up a modest patch of brown or perhaps dead grass and check for the grayish-white grubs below. They resemble plump caterpillars and roll up into a 'C' shape when interrupted.

How do you get rid of June bugs?

Although the June bug is not considered to be dangerous to people, it does cause issues and can be annoying to company owners. As June bugs hover around dazzling lights, the beetle makes quite a racket and, for some, may be very terrifying.

This flying, buzzing insect is especially vexing for company owners whose consumers attempt to enter a well-lit commercial location.

Getting rid of your June bug infestation is easier when they’re just grubs, instead of when they've matured into fully-fledged, flying adults. Such grubs persist near the soil surface till fall, so treat the top of your lawn with an insecticide in early September to tackle them. After you've handled the grubs, you may go after the adults to prevent them from laying additional eggs.

Arrange a trap using a big jar filled with half a cup of molasses and half a cup of boiling water to tempt them. Shake well, and then bury the trap near a shrub or plant that they like to eat, such that just the aperture is visible above the earth. Once they fall in, they are effectively drowned. Examine and replenish your syrupy trap every morning.

If you continue to spot June bugs on your garden's leaves, just put on some gloves and pluck them manually before putting them in a container of soapy water to get rid of them. If everything else goes south, there are several effective insecticides on the market. These insecticides will kill adult June bugs. Please remember that these insecticides will also kill other insects on plants in your garden that might be helping your soil.

How to keep June bugs from returning?

To begin with, you may attract June bug predators, like birds, by placing birdbaths in your yard or garden. Birds like eating beetles, so their visibility in your garden may even reduce insect numbers.

To hold June bugs at bay, you may also sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE) over your yard, garden, and outdoor patio. As diatomaceous earth may easily come into contact with humans and dogs and be carried into the household, attempt to use an organic, natural, food-grade product.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for June bug larvae then why not take a look at do bugs have hearts, or June bug facts.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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