How to Keep June Bugs Away Without Harming Flowers

June bugs are a type of beetle known to cause damage to the roots of garden plants and lawns. These metallic green or brown insects measure about 1 inch long and ½ inch wide. The adult June bug is much more visible, but the feeding habits of small white larvae beneath the soil are responsible for plant damage. There are a few methods to remove and prevent June bugs from your garden without damaging your lawn and shrubs.

June bug
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Step 1

Raise your lawn mower in the summer months and take care not to overwater your lawn. June bugs prefer short grass for egg laying.

Step 2

Add local peat-free soil to your flowerbeds and lawn. Keep your soil well drained and aerated, and monitor the levels of phosphorous, potassium, nitrogen and lime. Correct these levels with organic fertilizers.

Step 3

Attract beneficial predators to your garden. Install a birdbath, as birds will feed on both adult June bugs and larvae.


Step 4

Apply beneficial nematodes to your lawn and garden. These control June bug larvae in addition to many other garden pests . Nematodes can be purchased at most gardening centers and come in a large, damp sponge. Soak this sponge in a gallon of room-temperature water for 20 to 30 minutes. Apply the water to your garden and lawn using a watering can or a filter-less sprayer.

Step 5

Spray your garden and lawn organic rosemary or garlic oil to kill June bugs on leaves. These oils are available from garden stores in concentrated form. Dilute with water according to the manufacturer label and spray on your flowers, shrubs, and lawn.

Step 6

Treat your lawn with milky spore bacterium. Sprinkle the powder on your lawn and water for at least 15 minutes. This gets rid of June bugs without harming your lawn, and one treatment can last for years.

Step 7

Look for damage in your garden and lawn to find existing grubs in daylight hours. Pull back the turf in the area and examine any larvae you find. When placed on a flat surface, June bug larvae will flip onto its back. This distinguishes the pest from beneficial grubs. Use a flashlight in low light to attract the larvae and kill them in hot water with a bit of dish soap.