Meet the June Bug

You know summer has arrived when you start to smell hot dogs on the grill, or hear your neighbor kicking up the lawn mower to trim the growing grass.  Children are playing outside later in the evening, and your garden is beginning to grow.   With all the activity, don’t miss one that is a real nuisance – June Bugs! 

Why Are They Such a Pest? 

June bugs are not harmful to you.  They don’t bite or sting, which is a plus.  But they do make a mess of your garden if left alone.  They harvest on fruits, berries, garden-variety plants, and roots of trees creating havoc in your garden.  

What to Look For

These small, nocturnal bugs range in sizes about 5-15mm in size.  In Eastern NC, we are usually swarmed by Green June Beetles that have shiny metallic wings and bodies or by the European Chafer Beetle with its mahogany brown colors.  June bugs are not aggressive, but they are rather clumsy when flying. It is not uncommon to hear them ramming into the side of the house or against windows and even against your body at times. 

Drawn to the Light

Male June bugs are attracted to nighttime light.  They will often fly around a street lamp, porch light, or window all night long.  By morning, you may find them motionless, clinging to a window sill or underneath a porch light in exhaustion.   Take advantage of their love of light and set up a light far away from your garden and home to keep them from pestering you all night. 

Life Cycle 

At the peak of summer, a female June bug burrows into the ground and lays her eggs.  Between 50-100 eggs are dropped into the cool earth, and 18 days later, the grubs emerge from the egg and spend the next 9 months feeding on the roots of your favorite plants!   Then, during the best of the summer months, they emerge from the ground ready to mate and eat from your manicured garden. 

You can use some pesticides to rid your garden of these June bugs but contact a professional first.  Make sure you keep your home and family safe and enjoy the great outdoors this summer.