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How Can I Get Rid of June Bugs on my Porch?

By Carrie Dixon, Blog Editor

June bug on a porchFrom late May until June, June bugs are often seen in gardens and lawns across the country. These insects, also called May beetles or June beetles, can wreak havoc on the plants that they feed on, leaving your lawn in a horrible state. They may also be found congregating on porches and other openings to the house. In this article, we will look at the best solutions for keeping these bugs out and protecting your shrubs, trees, and lawn from the pest.

Preventative Measures for June Bugs

The first sign you may see that June bugs are afoot is the presence of brown areas in your lawn. June bug grubs live underground and feed on the grass roots in your lawn. To determine if this is the problem you are having, you want to cut up a small area of the lawn and turn it over. If there are white grubs underneath, you probably have an infestation of June bugs. If you do not find these grubs, it is something else causing the problem.

If you are already getting adult bugs, you may have limited options for controlling the population. This is why it’s important to kill the grubs before they have a chance to grow up. The female bugs will lay their eggs in the soil in toward the end of summer. When they hatch into grubs, they burrow down into the soil for the winter. Because of this, the best time to cover your lawn with an insecticide treatment is in the early fall.

However, you should only apply insecticide if you are sure June bugs are the cause of lawn damage. The average healthy lawn will not benefit from the application, even if a few grubs or bugs are in the lawn.

Killing Hatched Grubs

To kill the grubs that have just hatched, you will want to use a pesticide that contains thiamethoxam, clothianidin, chlorantraniloprole, or imidacloprid. The best time to apply these products is in late June, July, August, or early September. It’s best not to wait too long because the ingredients will be less effective on larger, more developed grubs. Being too early also has risks in that it could wash away before the grubs are hatched.

Natural Jun Bug Control Options

If you prefer to use natural methods to handle your June bug problem, that’s possible, too. The first thing to focus on is keeping a healthy lawn. That means that you should have an irrigation system and excellent drainage. This on its own makes the likelihood of June bugs much lower. You can also leave your grass a bit longer in the late summer, as June bugs prefer to lay eggs in short grass.

You have a couple of options in natural treatment of June bugs. The first is bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is a natural microbe that is safe for pets, humans, and most other insects. A worm called the beneficial nematodes can also help get rid of any grubs that might be in your lawn. Both natural products can be found at any home and garden store.

Another option is to trap adult bugs, so that less of them can lay eggs. You can do this easily by filling a jar with a few inches of vegetable oil. Use a white light of some sort to hang over the jar which will attract the bugs. The bugs will swarm, and some will fall into the oil.

While it can be annoying to have dozens of June bugs flying around, getting rid of them isn’t too difficult. You can choose to use natural or chemical methods to cut down on the grubs and adult bugs. You’ll be happily sitting back out on your porch in the evenings enjoying the night free of insects.