June bugs, sometimes called May beetles, are known as the pesky little flying bugs that clumsily fly around in adult form from May through July. They aren’t biters or stingers so most folks dismiss them, but they can truly wreak havoc on your yard and that’s why you want to get rid of June bugs if you have them.
They spend their time in the evenings and nights chewing on the leaves of your trees and shrubs in their adult form, but in their larva form, called a grub, they can destroy plants, lawns, and gardens by eating at their root systems. They are particularly problematic for lawns which can suffer large brown patches from a grub infestation.
The best way to get rid of June bugs is to have a two-pronged plan of attack to catch and kill the adults in late spring/early summer (preventing them from laying eggs in your lawn) and kill any grubs that appear the following spring as the weather warms up.
Luckily, there are a few ways to easily get rid of June bugs around your outdoor spaces that you can work into your spring home maintenance checklist so keep reading below.
#1 Keep your lawn healthy
Adult June bugs typically lay their eggs underground throughout your lawn in mid-summer. The grubs are active all summer and early fall eating at your lawns roots before going dormant for the winter and then re-emerging in adult form in the late spring.
These adults like to lay eggs in areas with shorter grass, and once they lay eggs, you may notice patchy spots on your lawn. To prevent June bugs from laying eggs in your lawn, keep your lawn healthy and full.
Never cut your grass too short in the summer, as it prevents your grass from being strong and deep-rooted. Additionally, overwatering or underwatering your lawn can lead to a weaker lawn, making a perfect breeding ground for June bugs. You can also call a lawn service professional like TruGreen to help identify problem areas and keep your lawn healthy.
If you notice brown patches and loose turf during the late summer when grubs are most active you should inspect the soil and look for the chubby white grubs with a red face so you know just who the culprit is.
#2 Use an insecticide
Some insecticides can be used to kill June bug grubs that live in the soil. By applying the insecticide to your lawn, you can kill the grubs before they have the chance to further destroy your lawn and cause more problems and annoyances.
When using an insecticide, start with something like neem oil-based insecticide. This type of insecticide is safe for many other beneficial bugs in your area, such as spiders, ladybugs, and earthworms.
If this doesn’t seem to get rid of the June bugs, you may need to use a less-safe, toxic insecticide. Be careful when using these insecticides, as it can cause harm to helpful bugs and animals.
#3 Trap adult June bugs
If you don’t want to use an insecticide on your lawn, you can opt to try a more organic method of June bug removal. By trapping adult June bugs, you can remove them from your area and prevent them from laying more eggs in your lawn.
To create a June bug trap, pour a 1/2 cup of molasses into a large jar or gallon jug. Mix it well with equal parts of hot water, and then place the jar with the lid off in an area of your yard Near shrubs like roses that are a favorite of June bugs.
The June bugs should be attracted to the sweetness of the molasses, but once they enter the jar, they become stuck and cannot get out. Remove any stuck June bugs from the jar every day or so, and dispose of them. Replace the contents of the jar as needed.
#4 Release the Nematodes
You may wonder why releasing another bug will help, but the nematode is the natural enemy of the grub and other pests like aphids, fleas, and Japanese beetles.
Nematodes can be found at most local pest control stores and even online at Amazon. Mix them up per the instructions and spray on your lawn and watch them clear out the grubs and their ugly friends.
In the end, the most important preventative measure for keeping June bugs away is lawn care. By keeping your lawn healthy and strong, you not only have a great lawn to enjoy, but it also protects itself from annoying insects.
A strong lawn doesn’t come easy, though. It requires regular watering, mowing, and fertilizing to help get rid of June bugs, grubs, and other pests.
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I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.