When most of us hear the term “June Bug,” we think of the beetles that littered our front porches during the summer months. We probably stepped on more than we needed to – that satisfying crunch making them the equivalent of insect bubble wrap.
Hard Shell to Crack
Looking like smaller versions of the Egyptian scarabs that showed up in all those Mummy movies, Phyllophaga are nocturnal. They’re drawn to the lights in our homes – especially the ones above the porch. Here in Florida, we have nearly 20 different varieties. The most prevalent on our coast is the Cuban May Beetle.
These insects’ common names – May or June bugs – come from when we see them the most often, although they’ll sometimes appear as early as April. The adults, that is. Those are the ones we see when they emerge to mate and lay eggs.
It’s those eggs, though, that we should be more worried about.
Young and Hungry
Before the beetles we know are popping on the porch, they begin their lives as larvae. While the adults are reddish brown and an inch or smaller in length, the larvae are white, with three pairs of legs and about twice as long. Grubs, as they’re also called, are seldom seen until the damage is done.
The damage is done to the roots of grasses, ornamental plants, and several agricultural crops. Both adults and larvae also feed on fruit trees. When the larvae eat, they usually destroy the root systems. Grass turns yellow, then brown and must be replaced. Crops are stunted if they do continue to grow.
There’s a Solution, Naturally
The easiest way to get rid of June bugs is to install a birdbath or a shallow pond that will attract the natural predators of the beetles. Unfortunately, as we well know, in Florida, that’s also an invitation for mosquitoes.
We’ve also got a great, low risk do it yourself solution. Grab a tablespoon of mineral oil and soak garlic cloves in it overnight. The next day, strain the garlic, add a pint of water, and just a teaspoon of mild dish soap. Fill a standard spray bottle with 2 tablespoons of the concentrate and fill the rest of the container with tap water.
Now, you simply spray any beetles, plants with leaf damage where they’ve been munching, and the border of your porch for good measure. The bugs die off before they can reproduce. Unfortunately, if they’ve already attacked your lawn, you will probably have to replace the grass.
A Yard Full ‘O Green
While June – or May – beetles are not our specialty, our 100% all-natural products are very effective against the most common insects you’ll find in your home and yard. Our most popular solution eliminates cockroaches, ants, silverfish, spiders and more. And all of our risk-reduced products are safe for your family – even the four legged variety.