June Bugs, damage landscaping, lawn care tipsJune bugs are harmless to people since they don’t bite or sting. However, they aren’t so safe for your landscape. What exactly are they, how do June Bugs damage landscaping, and how can you lessen the impact?

What are June Bugs?

June bugs are beetles in the scarab family. Over 400 species of June Bugs belong to the Phyllophaga genus which makes them hard to tell apart.

Why are they called that?

Well, if you said it’s because they come out in June, you’d be correct. These beetles are most active in May and June. Another name for them is May beetles or May bugs.

These pesky little beetles are ½ to ⅝ inches in length and can vary in color from a reddish-brown to almost back. However, some are green, but these are much smaller or numerous than the ones you see buzzing around your porch lights in the evening.

How do June Bugs damage landscaping?  

While the adult June Bugs can be a nuisance with their constant swarming around lights, it’s their larvae that post a threat to your landscaping.

Their larvae are whitish, C-shaped grubs that live underground.  Females lay up to 75 eggs in their short life and lay them in midsummer in sunny areas of your lawn. The larvae deprive your grass of water and nutrients as they munch on the roots of your grass.

How do I know if my lawn is affected?

Lawns suffering from an infestation of these grubs will exhibit the following signs or symptoms:

  1. If the grass appears to be experiencing drought stress with yellowing or a wilted appearance.
  2. Patches of brown grass in an otherwise green yard can be a sign of the grubs.
  3. If the turf rolls up like a carpet. (indicates roots eaten away)
  4. Your yard becomes spongy.
  5. Wildlife begins showing up to dig and forage in the lawn.

When do I need to treat my lawn?

Treating your lawn depends on the number of grubs per square foot.

  • 0-5 Grubs = No treatment Required.
  • 6-9 Grubs = Maybe. If the lawn is less than healthy or you have animals digging up the grass, then treatment may be beneficial.
  • 10+ Grubs = Time to treat.

How do I lessen their impact?

Timing is key to lessening the impact. Apply the pesticide in midsummer to early fall because the larvae are small and closer to the surface. Young grubs are more susceptible to pesticides. Be sure to water well after applying the treatment to move it deeper into the root bed.

Here are some other suggestions that discourage beetles from laying their eggs in the yard:

  • Raise the summer mowing height to as high as possible, around 7.5 cm (3 inches). Females prefer to lay eggs in very short grass.
  • Aerate the soil.
  • Install birdhouses to attract birds to eat grubs.
  • Fertilize.
  • Install red-yellow light color spectrum bulbs in outdoor fixtures. Beetles tend to have trouble seeing these shades of light.

Do you need help safeguarding your lawn from June Bugs that damage landscaping? We are happy to help. If you live in the Northwest Arkansas area and need lawn care services, call Nichols Lawn Care & More at 479.502.2192 or visit our website.