June 1, 2023


New Estate

Are June Bugs Harmful? What Specialists Need You to Know Earlier than Beetle Season

8 min read

Our gardens and flowering pots spring back to life all through April and Could — however their arrival alerts that “June” bugs are quickly to comply with. Many householders can’t assist however discover a myriad of shiny beetles buzzing round their favourite planting beds, seasonal mulch or worse but, flying round close to the entryways of your private home (just like mosquitos!). Whereas they’re not notably harmful in your well being, June bugs are certainly a hazard for a lot of of the plants, flowers and backyard crops chances are you’ll be planting proper now for the summer season season.

Calling them June bugs is a reference to a colloquial time period, consultants say, as there are literally properly over 200 completely different species of bugs throughout North America. “June” bugs might go by completely different nicknames in varied U.S. areas, “however they usually get this moniker as a result of the adults are generally seen rising in late Spring — often, in Could or June,” explains Avery Russell, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Missouri State University.

Whether or not you name them Could-June beetles or screen-thumpers, these giant pests are sometimes seen gathering around exterior lights as the primary signal they’ve chosen to settle in your individual yard. What different warning indicators might clue you into an infestation, chances are you’ll ask? Learn on to study extra about June bugs’ risk to gardens, how they work together with your loved ones, and how you can do away with them in response to pest consultants in academia in addition to business pest elimination.

What are June bugs — and what precisely do they do?

These pests are manner too giant so that you can miss, and embrace widespread variations of Japanese beetles and European chafers, in response to horticulture data revealed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They’re additionally generally known as scarab beetles — however there’s a superb likelihood you realize them as “Could” bugs should you’re situated in a area the place temperatures are larger this month than these within the Northeast or Pacific Northwest.

“They’re in all probability most recognized for crashing into home windows and screens at night time should you go away the sunshine on,” explains David Coyle, Ph.D., assistant professor of forest well being and invasive species at Clemson University. “The larval type — or younger — of those bugs is known as a white grub; should you’ve ever been digging within the backyard and seen a ‘C’-shaped white grub within the spring and early summer season, that’s in all probability a younger June bug.”

white larvae in soil

Warunporn Thangthongtip//Getty Pictures

June bugs can range in color, often a shade of sunshine brown or darkish brown; every beetle-like bug has six legs that comprise hair-like protrusions, as most different beetles do.

“Most folk can establish a June bug as a brown beetle that usually can startle an individual by flying into their face or hair,” explains Megan Wede, a pest management specialist, advertising and marketing lead and co-owner of Minnesota-based Done Right Pest Solutions. “Pets usually eat them in the event that they turn into a nuisance to the pet.”

No matter which stage of life they’re at, June bugs can encroach in your backyard and the plants in and round your exterior areas (as properly as some indoor spots, too!). They’re recognized to feast on the leaves of backyard crops, trees and shrubbery; whereas they aren’t often capable of kill crops off completely till a significant infestation has shaped, Wede says they’ll destroy the outward look and profile of a lot of your leaves and flowers.

“There are lots of species of June bugs, a few of which might feed on backyard and panorama crops; in some instances, this feeding could be very extreme and injure, or kill crops,” Coyle provides. “Most species, nevertheless, are inclined to feed on shrubs and bushes, and their feeding harm could be barely noticeable.”

Typically, June bugs catch the flack for the difficulty that bigger animals that hunt them — together with moles — deliver to your backyard. Normally, June bugs desire to munch on turfgrass, and might trigger giant patches of this grass to wither and die; they could additionally desire corn, roses and thin-skinned fruits along with the decorative crops they’re recognized to gravitate in direction of, in response to supplies revealed by the University of Maine.

Can June bugs chew you? The true hurt they pose:

Whereas they’ll spell catastrophe for gardening perfectionists and purists, June bugs don’t pose any risk to people, together with youngsters. “Their jaws are weak and might pinch, used solely in protection,” Russell explains.

Should you’ve heard of or have seen somebody battle with a June bug hooked up to their pores and skin, it’s possible as a result of these bugs have claws that “stick” to your fingers or palms, resulting in a ticklish impact — however nothing harmful, Coyle tells Good Housekeeping.

“June bugs don’t pose any risk to individuals or pets, and I’ve by no means recognized anybody or something to be bitten by one among these beetles,” he says. “In reality, scarab beetles are revered in historical Egyptian tradition as they had been seen as a logo of renewal and rebirth, which is why you see one of these beetle featured on many historical artifacts.”

Moreover, June bugs received’t threaten the structural integrity of the interiors of your private home or its basis, so don’t sweat it if one follows you inside. They’re intensely interested in gentle, Wede says, and will get inside your private home via a gap in doorways or home windows at night time. “When this occurs, they’re — at most — annoying and considered gross. However there’s no threat to 1’s dwelling structurally.”

Indicators of a June bug infestation

Whereas they arrive in early summer season within the type of larvae (or grubs!), most owners don’t understand their gardens or yards are being impacted by a June bug infestation till early fall when the climate tends to dry out. “Injury to leaves is commonly minor and largely unnoticeable, however harm by the larvae to turfgrass is the very first thing many individuals discover, in useless grass patches,” Russell shares.

As a result of new child June bugs burrow underground in yards and gardens, chances are you’ll discover that holes are being dug by predators, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture — however it is a uncommon incidence. Garden situations are sometimes the primary clue that you could be be coping with extreme June bugs in your property. In the end, nevertheless, motion is probably not required.

“In pure landscapes, grubs are a standard element of the soil fauna throughout the nation. Their harm is never, if ever, seen,” advises Coyle, who provides that fungi and different causes might be the basis reason for impacted greenery. “Simply since you see patches of garden dying doesn’t essentially imply you may have a June bug drawback… Step one is determining precisely what’s inflicting the harm you see.”

Should you’re involved about holes and irregularities showing on flowering crops in your backyard resulting from June bugs, although, focused elimination is commonly your greatest wager for coping with them in the long term. You’ll want to begin by contacting a local Extension office in your area and talking with a consultant. “They’ll present you unbiased data and recommendation,” Coyle stresses.

The best way to do away with June bugs

When you’ve confirmed your backyard woes are certainly brought on by grownup June bugs or their larvae, you’ll have to pursue just a few completely different methods to forestall common harm each season. Many pest management suppliers will suggest what’s often called grub management, which means they’ll deal with lawns and backyard beds with chemical remedy — however these remedies must be a resort provided that a licensed supplier has confirmed larvae are current, as they are often extra harmful than you’d assume.

“Take into account these won’t solely kill the June bug grub, however can even kill many different sorts of soil fauna, a few of that are helpful,” Coyle explains. “There are additionally helpful nematodes that may be utilized in focused areas. These microscopic predatory worms hunt down and feed on June bug grubs.”

In any other case, grownup June bugs could also be focused with gardening instruments that hold them away from the crops they’ve been munching on, so to talk. Coyle says deterrent sprays — like neem oil — can be applied to leaves and different drawback areas as wanted. Should you solely discover a swarm in a single space, grownup June bugs could be picked off one after the other and dropped right into a container of soapy water, which kills the insects.

The season for June bugs is brief, and so they die off pretty shortly, Wede says. Chances are you’ll discover success by turning to an electrical gentle that targets other flying insects for mitigation, and even commercial beetle traps that may hold June bugs from flying round. “You’ll be able to put these out on the patio or deck so you’ll be able to benefit from the open air,” she provides.

The underside line: “The most effective issues you are able to do is promote a various ecosystem in your property. Many sorts of birds — like crows, robins, and blue jays — feed on grubs within the soil,” Coyle says. “Since birds are pure predators of grubs, doing issues that promote a wholesome hen inhabitants will assist hold grub numbers underneath management.”

Headshot of Zee Krstic

Well being Editor

Zee Krstic is a well being editor for Good Housekeeping, the place he covers well being and vitamin information, decodes eating regimen and health developments and critiques the most effective merchandise within the wellness aisle. Previous to becoming a member of GH in 2019, Zee fostered a vitamin background as an editor at Cooking Mild and is frequently growing his grasp of holistic well being via collaboration with main educational consultants and scientific care suppliers. He has written about meals and eating for Time, amongst different publications.

Headshot of David Coyle, Ph.D.

Dr. Coyle, assistant professor
of Forest Well being and Invasive Species, joined Clemson College in 2018 with a give attention to the forest well being and invasive species Extension. Previous to Clemson, he created and directed the Southern Forest Well being and Invasive Species program, which offered training and coaching to forestry professionals throughout the southeastern U.S. Dr. Coyle makes use of varied types of communication – together with social media, conventional writing, and in-person visits – to assist educate individuals about forest well being, invasive species, and forest administration. He’s a member of the Society of American Foresters and the Entomological Society of America, serves on the Board of Administrators for the North American Invasive Species Administration Affiliation, and is Co-Director of ProForest (a company working to advertise proactive forest pest administration).

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