Tired of the sight of voracious insects that’s taking over your turf, shrubs, and trees in your garden? Have you always been dreaming of spending summer evenings in your garden, but every beetle keeps bugging you non-stop? This article is part of the do it yourself pest control for homeowners series.
Ever wondered what these annoying bugs are? Well, let me introduce you to the June bug.
Four of the most popular bugs that are usually found in a garden, which all belong to the family of scarabs, include the shiny and colorful Japanese beetle, the European chafer beetle, the ten-lined June beetle, and the green June beetle.
Although they have the word “June” connected to their names, it doesn’t mean that they are only active in the month of June. They actually are very active from the months of May to July.
Adult June Bugs Love Trees, Shrubs, and Plants
June bugs are detrimental to the beauty of a garden because they usually would gorge on shrubs and leaves leaving them shabby. But what causes more damage are the larvae, which is also known as grubs.
Grubs feed on grass and roots, and they can be found underneath the soil. When they feed on grass or turf, this generally results in large blotches of dead brown grass. More often than not, this happens as the summer is about to end and when grubs are at its most active state.
So, now that you know that the June bug is responsible for ruining your garden, the next step is to learn the ways on how to get rid of June bugs in your garden as naturally as possible.
But first, give it time to learn the things that attract them the most, and, most importantly, the best methods to evict them from your property permanently, and this should be your number 1 priority if you want your garden to stay healthy.
Ways to Eliminate a June Bug
- Mineral oil
- Dishwashing soap
- Rubber gloves
- Minced garlic
- Plastic bottle spray
- June bug insecticide
- BT or Bacillus Thuringiensis pesticide
- Grub pest control with neem oil
Before attacking a June bug, there are several important things that you need to remember. Natural methods of bug elimination are not hazardous to both pets and humans, but those containing chemicals are. With that being said, you should find it essential to get yourself protected by making use of a mask and rubber gloves.
Pest control is undoubtedly very effective in treating your yard problems, but it is not ideal to use in a vegetable garden. You have to take necessary precautions when using pesticides.
1. Kill Adult June Bugs
Insecticide can help prevent June bugs from your lawn, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it can instantly put a stop to June bug infestation. In the middle of summer, female June bugs lay eggs. Therefore, extinguishing them even before the process of multiplication takes place will help a lot in keeping the foliage in your lawn bug-free.
a. Utilize a June bug trap
- Get a large container, fill it with ½ cup of hot water, mix in ½ cup of molasses, put on the lid, and shake thoroughly.
- Place the open container in the ground where June bug activity is prevalent. Make sure to leave the neck of the container a bit higher than the soil surface.
- In the morning, check the June Bug Traps. If bugs were caught, take it out from the container, then refill it if needed.
b. Catch the June bugs by hand.
- These bugs have slow movements, which makes them easy to catch by hand.
- Once you’ve seized a June bug, place it directly into a container with soapy water and let it drown.
- Although such bugs don’t bite, it still would be safer to wear rubber gloves when catching bugs since some of them have prickly spikes.
c. Produce a natural pesticide.
- If you’re avoiding the use of pesticides because of its harmful contents, you have the option to make your own natural pest control in eliminating a June bug, which includes the Japanese beetle and the green June beetle.
- Combine together the minced garlic and a tablespoon of mineral oil, then leave overnight.
- The following day, separate the garlic bits from the mineral oil by using a strainer.
- After which, mix the oil and the liquid dishwashing soap together.
- Fill the spray bottle with water and add in 2 tablespoons of the oil concentrate.
- Spray straight on affected areas where June bugs can be seen lurking.
d. Lure predators that prey on June bugs
- There are several animals that prey on June bugs, which includes toads, snakes, and birds. What you can do is to provide these predators a dose of things that will make them want to frequent your garden.
- Like for birds, create a birdbath, and for snakes and toads, give them a basin filled with water.
- You can also provide birds with trees or shrubs that they can use as cover and protection from the sun.
e. Try using an insecticide or June Bug Repellent
In case all the natural ways to eliminate June bugs will not work, you’re left with the last option, which is to use an insecticide.
If the bugs are stubborn and they seem to have no plans of leaving your lawn after you’ve exhausted all your efforts to drive them away, then you might as well consider this plan.
STEP #2: Eliminate the June Bug Grubs
Adult June bugs create mayhem on most of your garden foliage, while the June bug grubs, on the other hand, invade your grass or turf. Here are some methods that can help terminate them from your garden:
a. Avoid mowing too low
- Female June bugs prefer laying eggs on short grass, and so, in order to keep them from multiplying, make sure not to cut your lawn grass too low.
- It is recommended that you maintain the grass at 3 inches height as soon as the summer starts until mid-summer.
b. Let the nematodes handle the June bug grubs
- The nematodes are hardly visible worms that can help eliminate June bug grubs in your garden.
- These beneficial worms can be purchased over the internet or in your local garden supply retailers.
- Follow the instructions on the label when mixing. Then, spray it directly onto affected areas in your lawn. You’ll be surprised how good the beneficial nematodes are in getting rid of the annoying grubs.
c. Get the Bacillus Thuringiensis or Bt pesticide to action
- Another very effective way to eliminate the June bug grubs is by way of the Bt pesticide. Bt pesticide is a type of bacteria that is capable of killing various pests, which include the grubs.
- This pesticide is not harmful to both pets and humans.
- You may choose between the powder base and the liquid base.
- Simply sprinkle or spray it straight on the affected parts in your lawn.
- If the June bug infestation is serious, use the Bt once a week.
d. Use an insecticide to eliminate June bug grubs
- If all the methods mentioned above won’t work, then you have no choice but to settle for an insecticide.
- Most June bug grub insecticides contain neem oil that is effective in exterminating various kinds of larvae without affecting other valuable insects like ladybugs and bees.
- If neem oil-based insecticides still can’t solve your grub problem, then you need to choose a stronger alternative. However, expect them to be more harmful.
- Insecticides must be applied before the summer ends while the grubs are still almost above the soil’s surface.
- Once winter has stepped in, you can no longer expect the insecticides or pesticides to reach the grubs because they are most likely have burrowed deep into the soil.
Root Causes of June Bug Infestation
1. Lack of Proper Maintenance
If you are experiencing a June bug infestation, it only means that your lawn lacks proper maintenance. This is the lawn condition that grubs are enjoying. A yard full of thatch gives the grubs protection from their predators and gives them the opportunity to increase in number.
2. Eliminating Beneficial Insects from Your Garden
Your exaggerated efforts, which may be a result of your desperation, may have also caused June bugs to proliferate. Because you’re frantic in totally eliminating June bugs and grubs from your garden, you may have likewise exterminated other beneficial insects that could’ve helped you put an end to your problem.
3. Is Your Lawn Too Short?
Having the right height of grass can save you from having June bug infestation. As said earlier, you need to maintain the height of your lawn grass of at least 3 inches.
How to Prevent June Bugs Entering Your Yard
If you don’t like any of these June bugs messing with your garden trees, shrubs or turf, then consider the following tips in preventing them from thriving in your garden:
- Make sure that your lawn is properly maintained.
- Regularly detach your lawn to eliminate thatches that June bug grubs use as their shield from their predators.
- Maintain a grass height of at least 3 inches to 4 inches.
- Provide a place for June bug predators in your garden like birdhouses, feeders, and sources of water.
- Do not eliminate wasps in your lawn because they can help lessen the growth of grubs.
When you are trying to fight June bug infestation, there are several things that you need to remember, and they are as follows:
- If you are finding ways on how to get rid of June bugs in your garden, I suggest that you go for the natural methods first.
- If natural methods won’t work, make use of pesticides. But when using pesticides, you should always ensure your protection from harmful chemicals by wearing rubber gloves and a mask. Also, never use pesticides on your vegetable garden.
- Always target both the adult June bugs and larvae.
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Frequently Asked Questions About June Bugs
When do June bugs usually appear?
June bugs start appearing in late summer and begin diminishing as the month of June ends.
Where do June bugs stay during the day and during the night?
When the sun is up, June bugs can be found under the leaves and in between the gaps of barks of trees. And, at nighttime, you’ll find them actively devastating leaves as well as shrubs.
How is June bugs beneficial?
June bugs are more of an annoyance than favorable to humans, but very beneficial to a lot of insects and other bug and grub predators. They actually play an important role in our ecosystem.