How to Kill June Bugs

While they may show up at different times of the year, choose different places to burrow and annoy you depending on where you live, June bugs, or beetles, are prevalent across the country. It may feel as if they're all crowding close to your home if you've been bugged by the little buggers, but June bugs aren't that difficult to eradicate from your abode.

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How to Kill June Bugs

What is a June Bug?

One part of the country's June bug is another man's May beetle, depending on climate and location, but they're all in the scarab family and fall under the same umbrella of garden pest and night nuisance. They tend to make their abundant presence known as the weather warms, hence the name. They love the night during their three-year life span and tend to have noisy get-togethers around bright outdoor lights where people are also inclined to gather.

June bugs begin their little lives a few inches down in loose soil where the females hide until ready to lay their eggs. Each female lays around 60 to 75 eggs total in midsummer. The elliptical eggs develop into spheres as the larvae ready to meet the world, which takes about two-and-a-half weeks. Once they hatch, the tiny, hungry white grubs with brown heads molt twice before they pupate. Their lust for life at this stage can be the most damaging for homeowners as they feed constantly through the hot summer days and into the cooler fall nights.

When winter temperatures dip below freezing, the larvae dig deeper to keep warm. They may do this for many summers before popping up as pupae. The pupae start out as a dull brown, changing to metallic green as they grow, and it takes about three weeks before they can be called mature. The adult June bugs are the busiest, feeding on tree leaves and batting around porch lights, making a buzzing, crawling nuisance of themselves.

How to Gently Remove June Bugs

If you encounter this pest, there are a few ways to end their unwanted stay.

Your first defense starts at the perimeter. Tend to fallen tree debris and keep the yard tidy and trimmed to make your play area less attractive to busy pests. Scour your yard for signs of larvae, such as brown spots, small piles of dirt scattered on the lawn and spongy soil.

If you find grubs, a commercial insecticide, such as Sevin, can send them scurrying. Organically, you can apply milky spore, which is very bad for the beetle grubs, but thankfully not for birds, beneficial insects such as ladybugs, bees, pets or people.

For adult June bugs, apply Sevin or another insecticide you can buy at a nursery to plants and leaves where they tend to gather for meals. You can also construct a June bug trap with a jar and light source. Fill the container with at least an inch of vegetable oil. Attach a white light, such as a battery-operated flashlight, to the top of the container. The light will draw the June bugs into the trap. Once they fall into the oil, they're no longer trouble.

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at