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How to Get Rid of June Bugs

Summer is a time to rejoice after you have gone through a harsh winter and worked hard to grow your flowers, vegetables and trees. You just want reap the fruits of your hard work and enjoy delectable meals with your home-grown veggies. However, summer also means having to deal with a swarm of insects in your garden that can obliterate it within a few days.

One particular insect you want to watch out for is the June bug/beetle, which appears at the end of May or early June. Compared to a few other beneficial insects, these are not the ones that you want in your garden or ornamental landscape.  As a larva, they  damage your grasses and plants by digging into the soil and eating the roots, which you can tell from brown patches in the grass.  As adults the June Bug will eat the leaves of trees and plants in the evening.  Not to mention circling the lights and driving you crazy in the evening.

Even though they have a short lifespan, they are capable of multiplying fast and can cause infestations. A female bug can lay up to 75 eggs during autumn, which hatch after about 3 weeks and become active in spring. The larvae stay in the ground until they become adults.

Most of the June bugs are nocturnal so if you happen to find one during the day, that would be the Japanese beetle. Those that come out during the night reproduce and feast on your plants. They are not known to bite you but you may feel a mild pinch of their spines if they land on you. If a swarm of beetles gathers around outside lights or window sills that could be because they are drawn to night lights until daybreak. Also, it’s not just them; the larvae or white grubs dig into the soil to get into the roots of the plants; therefore, other insects dig to the roots to find them.

If your soil or plants start turning gray or brown, they are no longer able to sustain moisture and nutrients and eventually die. If the larvae have gathered beneath the soil in large numbers, it may cause soil to feel spongy as larvae build tunnels over time and kill the plants. Obviously, this can cause further damage if it invites predators, such as armadillos, to feast on your garden.

Therefore, if they start coming in huge numbers, you want to put a stop to it before it damages your hard-grown plants.

Invite birds

Birds actively feed on bugs so consider them your friends. You could start by putting bird feed in visible places of your garden, close to where the bugs are likely to be. You could also set up vertical structures for the birds so that they can settle and easily spot the bugs. This should help to limit the bug population.

Furthermore, if you don’t feel uncomfortable having toads in your yard, you could try getting one or two because they love bugs. Toads are also nocturnal so they hunt the night bugs effectively and keep them from multiplying.

Turn off the lights

You have noticed that June bugs gather around lights and probably on your window panes. Therefore, your obvious solution is to dim the lights and cover the windows with blinds or curtains from the inside so that the light does not escape.

Trap them

Shortly before dusk, you could try placing buckets filled with soap water or washing detergent water and attach a bright light to attract the bugs.

You could also get a few light traps to set outside the house. That would draw the bugs in and kill them. Thus, you would be able to keep their population in check.


Applying an insecticide to the soil will help control the amount of damage of the grubs and then prevent high numbers of the adults.  We would recommend using Reclaim IT and Bifen Granules to apply to your lawn in early spring, when the temperatures are warming up, the grub larvae will start moving up to the upper part of the soil.

When the damage is severe enough for you to recreate your garden, obviously go the pesticides. Before you get new soil, start spraying insecticides in the garden, outside walls and the perimeter of the house. Always check the product instructions for timing of application. If you apply them once the bugs have started gathering, it may take a few weeks for the effect to take place. If you apply them too early, the effect may be washed off and you may never know.   Apply only recommended pesticides for garden application, such as Malathion, follow label recommendations.    There are evergreen products that are certified OMRI natural.

Sevin products on the plants where the bugs settle but be careful if you have bees pollinating on your plants. These brands contain carbaryl, which is effective in killing several bugs and may be harmful to the bees as well.

Target the larvae

You may know by now that larvae can be more harmful as they get to the roots of your plants and the damage begins. Remove the upper layer of the soil around the plant and if you find 10 larvae, start using pesticides.

No need to call a professional

We at Solutions Pest and Lawn can easy teach you how to DIY your own pest control, with June Bugs, Grubs and just about any other pest you will encounter.  Because we sell professional high quality pest control products that are not sold in big box stores, such as Home Depot and Lowes, we can save you money and help you take care of your pest problems.


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