It's about that time when you'll start seeing June bugs, or June beetles, all over your yard. Sometimes it can feel like an invasion. So what exactly are these critters and do they cause any damage?
June bugs are a beetle and a member of the scarab beetle family. There are actually more than 100 different species of scarab beetle and several are commonly found in Texas gardens. In fact, the common name "June bug" can be a bit confusing because many people think of totally different insects when they use that common name. Some people refer to the large green scarab beetles that emerge here in spring as June bugs. More often though, the brown species, Phyllophaga crinita, is what many of us here in Dallas consider to be June bugs and is typically the most abundant.
These adults begin to emerge en masse in early- to mid-June, but where are they coming from? These beetles go through several stages of development before they mature. When you see the adult beetles flying around, they are also getting busy laying eggs in the soil. In 3 to 4 weeks, small white grubs, or larvae, will hatch and grow in the soil.
As these grubs develop in late summer and fall, they feed on plant roots and can do a lot damage to the roots of your lawn grass and other ornamental plants. For prevention of root damage, grubs are best treated for in mid-July to early August, when the small, young grubs are most susceptible to treatment. Beneficial nematodes can be an effective green treatment for larval pests in the soil.
The last larval stage keeps them in the soil all the way through fall, winter and spring. If you're digging around in your garden beds in spring, you'll often encounter these large white grubs. In spring, these large larvae will pupate and emerge as adults about 3 weeks later, which puts us back to about mid-June. The life cycle then starts all over again!
Adult June bugs can cause damage to your garden plants, as they do feed on leaves of plants and trees. If you have a large infestation in your landscape, give us a call!