Dealing With June Bug & How To Get Rid of It

The upcoming arrival of summer seasons would come along with a June Bug. It will make your lights busier than ever during the night.

So, what is a June Bug? Where does it come from? How to get rid of it? This article will explain all of them. Stay Tuned.


What are June Bugs?

June bugs, also known as May bugs, are a type of scarab beetle named for the time of year when they are most prevalent.
June Bug

The name refers to a species of beetles that are related to scarabs familiar from the iconography of ancient Egyptian. Besides June Bugs, they are also famous for June Beetle and May Beetle.

Commonly, this beetle is 1 to 8 inches long with red and brown hues. It has elytra which are the sport shiny wing covers on its body.

People do not want June Bugs to come to their garden because they can cause damage to lawns, pastures, and of course, gardens.

This beetle is a chafer which means it feeds on leaves. The diet of this bug can also encompass flowers, fruit, grass, food crops, and decaying organic material.

Further, this species is nocturnal which means it feeds from dusk till dawn to keep away from predators. The name June bug beetle comes from the time it comes.

This bug will emerge from the soil at the beginning of summer which is around May or June. The process would be like this.

The females put the eggs buried in the soil. The June bug larvae will hatch in 3 to 4 weeks. For about a month until three years, the larvae would feed on the plant roots or grass.

Then, in the spring season, it grows into pupae that leads to the adult beetles in 3 weeks.

Life Cycle of June Bugs

Their life cycle is as follows: egg » larva » pupa » adult. Adults lay eggs in May and June, which hatch two and a half weeks later into small white larva, also known as grubs.
Life Cycle June Bug

The life cycle of june bugs includes eggs, larva, pupae, and adults. Here are the detailed information about each stage.

June Bug Eggs

These eggs are most commonly laid between two and five inches underground near the root systems of plants or grasses. These are white, with a thin, flexible outer shell.
June Bug Eggs

It is the beginning of their life cycle. These eggs are laid within two to five inches under the soil. They have placed nearby the root systems of grasses and plants.

The color is white with a thin and soft outer shell. When the larvae inside develop, the shape would gradually become more round than before.

Moreover, the time the eggs need to hatch is according to the species. It would be anytime within 2 to 6 weeks.

June Bug Larvae or Grubs

June bug larvae are small white grubs with brown heads. They grow exponentially and molt twice before moving on to the next stage of their life cycle.
June Bug Larvae

It is a small white thingy with brown heads. This stage is probably the time when the June Bug becomes most harmful to your garden.

That is because of the metabolism they have and the amount of food these bugs need.

The main source of food is the plants’ roots and grasses. Thus, the larvae have a chance to kill the plants if you let them.

June Bug Pupae

June bug pupae start out a dark brown color and gradually lighten and take on an iridescent tone as they mature. During the pupal stage, June bugs do not move at all, and they cause next to no impact to their environment.
June Bug Pupae

In the beginning, the pupae would come out in a dark brown color. It would gradually change into something lighter.

Then, it has an iridescent tone as it matures. In this stage, June bugs would stay in place without giving any impact on the plant.

This stage will last about three weeks. After that, they would become adults and begin to come out of the soil. That is the reason why you feel like this insect comes out of nowhere.

Adult June Bugs

As adults, they feast on the leaves of trees and shrubs—roses are a particular favorite—leaving ragged holes in foliage. But their larval form, called a grub, does the most damage.
Adult June Bug

After facing all of those stages, it is time for the June Bugs to search for food while flying around the garden.

Primarily, they will enjoy feeding time on the leaves. The adult ones do not really cause serious damage.

After all, the larval stage is considered the most harmful one. That should be the time where you begin to hunt for the bugs.

What Damage June Bugs Cause?

June beetle damage to turf can be so severe if their populations are high that the turfgrass can be rolled away from the ground similar to the way one would roll up a carpet or rug.
June Bug Damage

All the species of these bugs are considered scarab beetles. They will start as larval and then they appear in the garden as adults in the early summer or the late spring.

Furthermore, they can cause damage to the landscape. The grubs or larval are known to be the most notorious ones to harm the lawn grass.

That is because they feed the grassroots that make die-back in the lawn.

The adult ones feed the leaves, vegetable plants, shrubs, and many others. But the great damage would be coming from the adults.

There are various damages the June Bugs can make which are different from year to year and region to region.

For instance, the Japanese Beetle (a type of June bug), will devastate the plants some years in the US. While during other years, you may find them at all.

Signs of June Bugs

You witness large flying beetles on summer evenings after dark. June bugs are nocturnal insects, and they become active after the sun sets on summer evenings.
June Bug Sign

If you want to know whether your garden gets a visit from June Bugs or not, pay attention to the indicators.

There are only a few signs that can help you to indicate that you probably have an issue with the bugs, adult or larvae.

  • There are some brown patches on the lawn.
  • You may see some small holes that are being dug in the lawn overnight. Probably, the holes are made by skunks that are searching for the larval to eat.
  • You might find chewed holes in the leaves of the plants.
  • For your information, moles also feed grubs. So, if you have moles in your garden, there is a high possibility that space has its food, the grubs.

It is important to keep checking your landscape for those indicators. If you find it, follow up upon the detection by confirming its existence.

After you get one or some signs of grubs, start digging up some sod in the lawn. Then, look for grayish-white, caterpillar-like bugs inside the soil.

If you get the symptoms of adult bugs, check out the landscape one by one faithfully and taking a look at the leaves. The best technique to avoid these problems is by taking effective, timely action.

How to Get Rid of June Bugs

To attract and effectively drown June bugs, pour one-half cup of molasses into an empty milk jug or large jar, add one-half cup of hot water, then cover and shake well.
Get Rid of June Bug

You probably find several methods to deal with June Bugs in your garden. In this part, there is a proper technique to do it.

The first thing to know is that you do not wait until you see the adult beetles practice pest control.

Set the grubs as the target of your practice. It is better than trying to destroy the adult ones.

Thus, you will find the larval or grubs right underneath the grass. You might wipe them out from there.

Furthermore, it is necessary to know about the June bug life cycle. Even though there are various cycles based on the species. These are the typical scenarios.

  • In the middle of summer, the females place the eggs on the lawn.
  • The larval or grubs will hatch out and stay just under the surface of the soil until the fall season.
  • During the winter, they will get deeper into the soil.
  • The larval would emerge as the adult beetles when the spring arrives.

To kill the June Bugs, you may need some insecticide products that contain chemical material like trichlorfon and carbaryl.

The application should be done in September. In this month, the insecticide might be effective.

Best Insecticides for June Bugs

To treat the grubs that cause lawn damage, you can apply an insecticide, like Sevin, to the lawn and then water the lawn to get the insecticide into the soil, or you can apply Bacillus thuringiensis or milky spore to the soil to kill the June bug grubs.
Insecticides for Get Rid June Bug

One of the most recommended products to deal with the June Bug is this Neem oil product. The best time to kill the bugs is when they still eggs or larvae. This product would do just that.

Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract Concentrate (16 fl oz) will kill eggs, larvae, and adult June bugs. It is the natural neem-oil-based treatment you can have for your garden.

This affordable product is safe for fruit, veggies, shrubs, and flowers. However, it is not good for any plants that have gentle or withering leaves.

In the mix, this product has a fungicide, insecticide, and miticide. That is why it is very cost-efficient.

The ingredients of these products will block the hormones of the larvae. So, they would eventually quit laying eggs and die.

Why June Bugs Love the Lights?

One of the most popular theories says that positively phototactic insects move toward lights because they act like a guide.
Why June Bug Attracted to Light?

The adult size of a June Bug will not be harmful to humans. They are easily attracted to light.

These beetles could be an annoying thing on your patio and porch. During the night, it would be unpleasant to stay in space.

Furthermore, a large number of June bugs can be attracted to the interior lights at your house.

When the summer season comes, you probably hear the sound of bumping and buzzing against the window made by them.

This situation happens in any part of the US during the summer season. Scientists do not really know how to precisely explain this behavior.

They are still undecided about it. For the record, many nocturnal insects can gravitate to lights.

These could be helpful tips for you to indicate your garden has a June bug insect problem. It is as easy as turning on the light nearby the garden.

So, you will know that there is a presence of adult June bugs that are about to eat your plants.

However, it could be a less effective method to get rid of these beetles. As we know, the best treatment is to target the grubs or larval before they get to their adult size.


Dealing with the June Bug without knowing any information about the beetles would be a failure. Thus, after reading the information above, you will protect your garden in no time.

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