How to Get Rid of June Bugs
A June bug isn’t a specific type of insect, but rather an umbrella name for a variety of beetle species with similar features and behaviors. Some common types of June bugs are the Japanese Beetle, Green June Beetle, and the Figeater Beetle.
Although these bugs aren’t interested in biting or harming people, they can still cause quite a nuisance when you want to enjoy your back deck in peace, only to hear and see the buzzing insects invading your lawn and outdoor area.
These beetles can also harm your lawn and garden areas, which is a top reason why homeowners don’t want them around and want to learn how to get rid of June bugs. Because these insects bury their eggs in the soil, you could wind up with several families of June bugs ready to feed on your soil and plants – and they can do so over two or three years!
Fortunately, there are tried-and-true methods you can use to both prevent an infestation and get rid of an existing one.
Why Do June Bugs Invade Your Home?
June bugs don’t typically invade the inside of your home, but they can certainly do some damage outside. That’s because they love munching on the foliage that surrounds your property, including the beautiful new garden you planted or the trees in the backyard that you love. If you farm or grow a decent amount of vegetation, you might also experience swarms of June bugs who want to feast on the leaves and roots of your plants.
Without much plant-life in your yard, you probably won’t have much to worry about with June bugs, at least once they become adults. However, your soil could still prove to be the perfect home for laying and burying eggs, which can cause newly hatched June bug larvae – also called grubs – to infest your soil and chew up your grass.
How to Get Rid of June Bugs at Night
June bugs are nocturnal and are naturally attracted to light, which is why you’ll usually see them hovering around your outdoor lights when you’re trying to relax on the porch. The buzzing sound they make when they fly can be extremely unpleasant, so it’s no surprise that most people don’t love when the beetles come to visit at night.
However, the nighttime might be the best time for you to catch these critters because that’s when they’re most active. They’re large enough that you can catch them with your gloved hands as they land on your porch, house, or lamps and put them in a bucket of soapy water to dispose of them.
If you don’t want to catch June bugs with your hands, you can always set up a bug zapper. Their natural attraction to light will send them right into the zapper.
We know that noise isn’t always a welcome one, either, when you’re trying to enjoy the peace of the outdoors. Another solution is to set a trap that will attract active flyers overnight.
In an empty and clean milk jug, pour a ½ cup of hot water and a ½ cup molasses. Add the lid and shake it to stir the mixture together. Keep the lid off and place the jug near where your June bugs typically swarm, like your porch or garden.
The beetles will be attracted to the sweet smell of the molasses, while its thick consistency makes it impossible for them to escape. Check the jug in the morning and empty and refill it to catch more each night. Continue the process until you’re no longer catching anything in your June bug traps.
How to Get Rid of June Bugs Infestation
If you’re seeing a large number of June bugs all over your yard or are getting swarmed with them at night, then you might have a significant infestation on your hands. The more adult June bugs you see, the higher the chances of hundreds to thousands of larvae living in your soil, ready to repeat the life cycle.
Fortunately, it’s still possible to get rid of June bugs when there are high numbers of them. One of the best ways to do it – although a little controversial – is by attracting June-bug-eating animals to your yard. Snakes and toads especially love feasting on these beetles, but having them in your yard isn’t always a good alternative.
However, many bird species also prey on several types of bugs in your yard, including June bugs. Try to attract birds with feeders and birdbaths to keep them returning.
Animals that regularly visit your yard, like raccoons, opossums, and even neighborhood cats, will also go after the larvae in the soil. If these animals aren’t doing any damage to your yard or home, it’s a good idea to let them keep coming back to do some of the hunting for you.
It’s also necessary to keep a well-maintained lawn and garden. June bugs love to eat dead grass and plant waste. Be proactive about pruning, watering, and tidying up your garden to control the population.
You can also over-seed thin patches of grass to grow plush spots that June bugs and their larvae won’t find to be as tasty as the worn-out grass.
Here are a few more ways you can treat an infestation:
- Spread Diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth comes from fossilized remains of organisms and absorbs the natural oils in insect bodies, causing them to dry out and die. This substance can penetrate many beetle bodies and exoskeletons, so it can work to control the populations of adult June bugs and grubs in your yard.
- Apply Bacillus thuringiensis to the soil. Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium that’s found naturally in soil. Adding more than what usually occurs can cause death to many insects that live in the ground, including June bug larvae.
- Add nematodes to your soil. You can buy nematodes, a type of worm, at many home and garden centers. These worms seek out and kill June bug grubs in the soil to further control your pest problem.
Some infestations of June bugs won’t be ones you can control on your own. It’s crucial to bring in a pest control expert to inspect and remedy the problem if your efforts have failed to prevent the critters from doing any more damage to your yard.
How to Keep June Bugs Away from Your House
Although June bugs don’t usually purposely enter your home, they can still be attracted to your house when they see your lights inside or on your porch. The best way to keep them away from your home is by keeping outdoor lights several feet away. You might install a lamp post away from your porch, for example, that’s still bright enough to light the porch at night.
You can also combine your strategic light placement with natural June bug traps, like the molasses-water mixture we mentioned above, to control the adult population and prevent more grubs from hatching. Vegetable oil, water, and some dish soap can also work in place of the molasses mixture. Place the traps on the ground near the light source to attract the beetles there and away from your house.
If you commonly have an issue with June bugs, the best way to keep them away from your home and yard is with an annual preventative treatment. You might consider contacting a pest control expert to treat your lawn near the end of summer when larvae are near the soil’s surface. This process will stop the life cycle by killing off the grubs in your soil.
Do Repellents and Traps Work?
A June bug repellent, trap, or spray can work in some cases to control light to moderate infestations of the beetles. Larger infestations, however, may require the help of a pest control expert to safely and thoroughly kill grubs in your soil to prevent them from turning into adults and starting the process all over again.
In addition to the natural milk jug trap we mentioned previously, you can make a natural June bug spray to repel them. Be aware, however, that this will only keep them from coming near where you spray it, not kill them.
To make this repellent, you can fill a small spray bottle with oil and add 2-3 tablespoons of garlic powder. Shake the bottle to mix thoroughly. Then, spray the mixture on your garden to keep the pests out. You can also spray it around your porch area to deter June bugs from hovering near.
Knowing how to get rid of June bugs is only one part of the process for controlling them. You also need to understand what causes them to invade your yard and how to prevent them in the first place.
We’ve covered a lot of information in this guide to help you take back control of your yard and keep it free from June bugs. Remember that natural and DIY methods won’t always work for significant infestations, so it’s crucial to recognize when you might need to accept the help of an expert to rid your yard of June bugs.
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