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How to Eradicate June Bugs: Home Remedies Guide (2023)

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When June rolls around, your garden may become the target of a particularly pesky pest. June bugs – also known as May beetles or Phyllophaga longispina – can wreak havoc on your lawn and landscape if left unchecked.

While these small insects are harmless to most people, they can be incredibly destructive to foliage and other vegetation in gardens across the country.

So how do you get rid of them? If you’re looking for a home remedy solution that will help eradicate these pesky critters from your yard while leaving nature undisturbed, then this guide is here to save the day! In it, we’ll cover what attracts June bugs; how to identify them (both adults and grubs); their life cycle; prevention techniques such as proper yard maintenance & wasps; plus several steps on removing adult bugs & preventing damage from grubs so that you can take back control over your outdoor space again!

Key Takeaways

how to get rid of june bugs home remedies

  • Shortening lawns and dethatching periodically can deter June bugs from laying eggs and reduce their population.
  • Attracting natural predators like birds and wasps can help control June bug populations without chemicals.
  • Using milky spores, beneficial nematodes, or curative insecticides can protect the lawn and garden from June bug grubs.
  • Avoid heavy fertilizer applications and maintain proper yard maintenance to prevent increased insect activity and deter June bugs.

What Attracts June Bugs?

What Attracts June Bugs?
You can attract June bugs by providing them with a hospitable environment. This includes maintaining the lawn at a shorter height and dethatching periodically to expose grubs to predators. June bugs are the adult phase of various species of insects in the Phyllophaga genus.

They prefer laying eggs on short grass. Japanese beetles are one type of these pests. They are recognizable for their reddish-brown color and hard shell wings. They aren’t harmful to people, but may cause damage through their larvae – white grubs that feed on plants’ roots.

That’s why it’s important to take preventive measures, like non-toxic control options, against an infestation before late summer when adults emerge from pupae in higher numbers.

Predatory birds will help keep your yard free from these annoying pests, as they naturally hunt for white grubs. Setting up birdhouses or feeding stations could be effective solutions. Wasps also prey upon June bugs while hovering over yards looking for food sources like nectar or sap.

If you’re able to find out where nests have been built near your home, it’s best not to disturb them so that natural pest control can occur without interference! You should also make sure you use organic fertilizers often, along with proper lawn care techniques, including dethatching regularly.

Finally, if all else fails, then investing in curative insecticides containing carbaryl or trichlorfon applied during September might do the trick. However, multiple applications could be needed depending on the severity of the situation.

How to Identify June Bugs and Their Grubs?

How to Identify June Bugs and Their Grubs?
June bugs, also known as Phyllophaga species, are recognizable by their reddish-brown color and hard shell wings. These pests can cause damage to lawns and gardens through larvae known as white grubs that feed on the roots of turfgrass and other plants.

To get rid of these insects, it is important to understand how adult June bugs look like, what kind of environment they prefer for laying eggs, and to identify the signs given off by their grubs.

Adult June Bugs

Spotting adult June bugs is the first step towards controlling their population and preventing damage to lawns and gardens. Recognizable by their reddish-brown color and hard shell wings, these pests are not harmful to people but can cause considerable damage through their larvae – white grubs that feed on plants’ roots.

Adult June beetles have a diet of pollen, nectar, or sap. They have breeding habits consisting of egg laying in early summer months, followed by flight patterns for dispersing from one food source to another until they die off in late fall or winter.

When it comes time for egg laying, female adults will prefer shorter grass than taller grass.

The life cycle of a June beetle takes anywhere between 1-3 years, depending on weather conditions, before the next generation emerges. Understanding how long each stage lasts could help you plan out control measures accordingly.


Grubs are the larvae of June bugs and can cause extensive damage to lawns and gardens by feeding on plant roots. They thrive in poorly maintained yards with thatch, which provides protection from predators.

Female adults prefer laying eggs on shorter grass, so keeping lawns at 3-4 inches is important for prevention.

Dethatching exposes grubs, while attracting birds will draw out their natural predators too. Add bird feeders or houses, plus water sources, to encourage this beneficial habit.

Milky spores can also be effective against these pests, along with chemical insecticides containing carbaryl or trichlorfon applied after September.

Small holes appearing alongside brown patches indicate heavy use of surface pesticides isn’t enough though. Pest control professionals or DIY programs such as Sunday Lawn Care provide better guidance when tackling an infestation caused by June bug grubs effectively.

The Life Cycle of June Bugs

The Life Cycle of June Bugs
Understanding the life cycle of June bugs can help you decide which approach to take for effective control. The larvae development period is the longest part of their lifecycle, lasting one to three years underground while they feed on plant roots.

In early or mid-summer, adult June bugs will lay eggs in soil, and these hatch into white grubs that spend winters hibernating. They become active again in spring. During this stage, pupae form inside a cocoon often found buried deep within turfgrass roots.

Eventually, they transform into an adult beetle before emerging from their chrysalis during springtime when temperatures are warm enough.

It’s important to remove any attractants, such as old tree stumps or piles of grass clippings, that could draw beetles towards your property. They prefer laying eggs on shorter grass than fully grown lawns with dense root systems.

This preference is mainly due to the Popillia japonica species being attracted by heavy infestations of their larvae grub counterparts already present there priorly.

Predator attraction measures, like setting up bird feeders, water sources, and birdhouses, help reduce populations by encouraging birds who naturally hunt for them. Wasps also act as natural predators. Proper maintenance, like keeping lawns at 3-4 inches long and dethatching periodically, eliminates protective barriers provided by thick layers.

These layers otherwise serve them through winter months, thus exposing grubs out under open skies, easily accessible now by other means instead.

Finally, taking preventive insecticidal measures containing imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and chlorantraniliprole applied around late summer would be advised. Additionally, if needed, curative measures using carbaryl and trichlorfon are available throughout September.

These measures cut off food supplies necessary for survival, ensuring complete removal while protecting both plants and animals alike near vicinity safe from further harm caused henceforth forthwith.

How to Prevent June Bugs

How to Prevent June Bugs
Maintaining your yard properly is key to preventing June bugs. To discourage them from laying eggs, avoid allowing thatch to accumulate in the lawn and keep the grass cut at 3-4 inches high. Additionally, attract birds by setting up bird feeders and water sources, as well as encourage wasps, can help reduce populations naturally, making your property less attractive for these pests.

Proper Yard Maintenance

Maintaining your yard properly is key to preventing an infestation of June bugs, and dethatching can help reduce the grub population by up to 50%.

Take these steps for effective prevention:

  1. Eliminate wasp nests.
  2. Mow grass at 3-4 inches.
  3. Attract birds with bird feeders, water sources, and birdhouses.
  4. Encourage predators like wasps hunting for grubs.
  5. Apply preventative insecticides in late summer.

Thatch removal exposes larvae to natural predators while shortening lawns discourages adult beetles from laying eggs. Bird species attracted will feast on a variety of pests, including various commercial beetle traps that may have been set out too late, as well as nearly summer hatchings occurring too early.


Taking the time to dethatch your lawn can help reduce grub population by up to 50%, making it an important step in preventing June bugs. Wasps hunting for grubs may hover over the yard, so leaving them alone can be beneficial when trying to control grubs and pests from the lawn.

Attracting birds with bird feeders, water sources, and birdhouses also helps as they feast on a variety of insects, including June bug larvae. Shortening lawns discourages adult beetles from laying eggs while encouraging natural predators like wasps that hunt for food.

Make sure not to let wasp nests near your home, as this could lead to more problems down the line! Try using bacillus thuringiensis or setting out June bug traps or repellent if you’re seeing signs of infestation—just make sure you do all these things together in combination for effective prevention against June bugs!

Bird Feeders

Attract birds to your yard with bird feeders and other sources of food to help control the June bug population naturally! Bird houses, nesting boxes, and wildflower patches all act as attractive homes for insect-eating birds.

Wasps hunting grubs are also a natural predator of June bugs; leaving them undisturbed allows them to do their job in controlling pests.

Dethatching the lawn exposes grub populations while DIY programs like Sunday Lawn Care can further aid in proper maintenance.


Leave wasps undisturbed to help control June bug populations naturally! Attracting these predators provides benefits for grub control, June bug eggs, and DIY programs. Neem oil can repel brown chafer beetles and green iridescent Japanese beetles, while beneficial bacteria like Bacillus thuringiensis helps eliminate ten-lined June beetle larvae.

Before You Begin Removing June Bugs

Before You Begin Removing June Bugs
Before you begin tackling the June bug problem, remember that having birds and wasps in your yard can help reduce their population naturally. Attracting birds to your property with bird feeders, water sources, and birdhouses is a great way to keep these pests at bay.

Wasps are also natural predators of grubs, so leaving them alone will be beneficial for controlling June bugs as well.

Dethatching the lawn or garden bed may expose grubs to predation from other insects such as ants or beetles, which could lead to a decrease in June bug populations over time too.

You should also consider applying Milky Spores or Beneficial Nematodes directly into soil areas where large flying insect activity has been noticed. This will kill off any existing white grub infestations while discouraging future invasions by a number of other common beetles like June bugs of all phases.

Finally, if all else fails, then curative insecticides containing carbaryl or trichlorfon applied during September could provide an effective solution – just be careful not to cover more than 500 square feet with pesticide per application.

STEP 1: Remove the Adult Bugs

STEP 1: Remove the Adult Bugs
To start addressing the June bug problem, set up a sweet concoction to attract and trap adult beetles before they lay eggs. This is not only more effective than waiting for the grubs to hatch, but also prevents further damage and disruption of your lawn or garden by eliminating adult beetles.

Here are some tips for setting up a successful June bug trap:

  1. Make sure you have an area with a heavy infestation of grubs. This will draw in more flying insects and provide food sources when adults land on it.
  2. Place traps near where you see the most activity – usually around lights at night or along pathways during daytime hours.
  3. Use materials like ripe fruit (bananas work great!), sugary syrup solutions, beer/wine mixtures, and other sweet treats that will lure them in!
  4. Check traps often so that if any do get caught, they can be disposed of properly without leaving behind an unwanted mess on your property.
  5. Set multiple traps throughout your yard if needed. This way, you’ll be able to cover all areas where these pests might congregate while getting rid of them quickly!

Additionally, taking preventive measures such as proper yard care, including dethatching periodically, helps reduce their numbers significantly by removing habitat from which larvae feed on roots beneath grasses and plants.

Attracting birds (and even beneficial wasps!) can help eliminate populations through natural predation while providing a real reason why maintaining turfgrass heights between 3-4 inches may deter female June bugs from laying eggs there in the first place.

Lastly, insecticides containing Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Clothianidin, Chlorantraniliprole, etc., can also be used when necessary. However, remember that curative products should never be applied until after the larval stage has passed since they do not target adult stages directly, unlike many preventives out there nowadays.

STEP 2: Prevent Damage From Grubs

STEP 2: Prevent Damage From Grubs
Take action now to protect your lawn and garden from grubs by using beneficial nematodes, milky spores, or curative insecticides. Attracting predators is the best way to eliminate a June bug infestation without the use of chemicals.

Beneficial nematodes are microscopic worms that can be applied directly to soil surfaces where they will seek out larvae and other pests like Isphyllophaga longispina (June bugs).

Milky spores are bacteria that infect slightly curled white grubs in three different types of larvae – June Beetle, Japanese beetle, and Chafers – killing them within 72 hours after contact while also providing protection against future generations for up to 10 years!

Curative insecticides containing carbaryl or trichlorfon should be used in September when populations have reached their peak activity levels as preventive options such as those with imidacloprid may actually attract more beetles if applied too early.

To further reduce the number of adult insects present on your property, you can create a trap by filling large jars with sweet concoctions such as ripe fruit or sugary syrup mixtures which female June bugs find irresistible! Place these near areas known for high concentrations during nighttime hours; then check often so any captured individuals can be disposed of properly afterwards.

With all these methods combined, you’ll have no problem getting rid of pesky pests fast!

The Main Causes of June Bug Infestations

The Main Causes of June Bug Infestations
By maintaining your lawn properly and encouraging predators, you can make it less habitable for June bugs and help prevent infestations. Attracting birds such as robins, bluebirds, wrens, swallows, or jays can be beneficial in eliminating grubs from the yard.

Providing bird feeders with a variety of seeds will attract these insect-eating birds that search for food on the ground, like beetle larvae, including the green June beetle.

Beneficial nematodes are microscopic worms that seek out larvae, such as those of Isphyllophaga longispina (June bug), when applied directly to soil surfaces.

Milky spores are bacteria that infect slightly curled white grubs found both under turfgrass roots and in ornamental trees. This bacterium kills them quickly while preventing further pest invasions over time.

Curative insecticides containing carbaryl or trichlorfon should be used in September when populations have reached their peak activity levels. On the other hand, preventive options using imidacloprid may actually attract more scarab beetles if applied too early.

This is because large brown patches of dead grass caused by root destruction are attractive targets for laying eggs near larval food sources.

How to Prevent June Bugs From Colonizing

How to Prevent June Bugs From Colonizing
Prevent June bugs from colonizing your yard by maintaining a bird-friendly environment and encouraging natural predators like wasps to hunt for grubs – just make sure they don’t build nests near the home! To get rid of June Bugs naturally, start with proper lawn maintenance.

Thatch removal exposes grubs to their natural predators while keeping lawns short (3-4 inches) discourages adults from laying eggs nearby. Wasp control is also an effective way to reduce populations of these pests as well, however it may be wise not to kill them off completely since they can still help eliminate larvae in the ground.

Lastly, attracting birds such as robins or bluebirds helps keep away adult beetles and other insects that lay eggs on grass turf or ornamental plants.

Properly maintain your lawn through dethatching periodically.

Keep grass at 3–4” height.

Reduce presence of small predatory creatures around the house (wasps).

Attract birds with different food sources like berries or seeds.

Additionally, avoid heavy applications of fertilizers which can increase insect activity due primarily to nitrogen content stimulating growth in common name larvae found in soil under turfgrass roots – especially when combined with warm temperatures during peak summer months.

A combination approach using good landscape practices alongside beneficial nematodes, milky spores, and curative/preventive insecticides will help prevent further infestations throughout the season and restore balance within any given yard full of June bug colonies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What natural predators can be used to control June bugs?

You can combat June bugs by attracting natural predators such as birds and wasps. Dethatching your yard exposes grubs to predators, while keeping the lawn at a height of 3-4 inches deters adults from laying eggs.

Encouraging beneficial insects like wasps helps eliminate pests, but be sure not to let them nest near the home! Maintain your yard properly for best results; Sunday Lawn Care is an excellent DIY program for this purpose.

What is the best DIY program for lawn care to prevent June bugs?

Discover the power of Sunday Lawn Care – a DIY program for lawn care that helps prevent June bugs. Maintain your turf with this alliterative, knowledgeable approach to keeping pests away and enjoying an inviting outdoor space.

Masterful maintenance adds life to lawns without sacrificing liberation or control over your home’s greenery.

Are June bugs harmful to humans?

No, June bugs are not harmful to humans. They can be unpleasant due to their sticky legs, but they provide a source of food for wildlife and birds. Damage is caused by their larvae (white grubs), which feed on plant roots. Taking preventive action against them will keep your yard safe from infestations and damage.

Are there any special instructions for applying insecticides to control June bugs?

June bugs can have a life cycle of up to three years. Control them with insecticides containing carbaryl or trichlorfon for curative control, and imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, or chlorantraniliprole for preventive applications.

How can I attract birds to my yard to help control June bugs?

Attract birds to your yard by setting up bird feeders, providing water sources, and installing birdhouses. Offer them a safe haven from predators with lush vegetation nearby. This will help control June bug populations naturally without the need for insecticides or other treatments.


It’s important to take the necessary steps to prevent June bugs from colonizing your yard and home. Proper yard maintenance can go a long way in deterring these pests. Keeping the grass shorter than 3-4 inches and dethatching periodically can make your yard less attractive to June bugs.

Attracting birds and wasps with bird feeders and water sources can also help eliminate the grubs. If all else fails, there are a variety of insecticides available to control grubs and adult bugs.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.