June bugs are quite harmless insects that won’t harm you or your pets. Yet, they do seem to appear in noisy swarms that that be irritating. Never mind cleaning up the dead bugs off your porch each morning. Plus if you’re a gardener they can cause one heck of a mess in your yard. So you’re probably wondering how to get rid of June bugs?
The problem is that if you enjoy your backyard, you’ve probably like to attract wildlife, have pets, or even children playing in the yard. That means you want natural ways to get rid of June bugs.
Well, this guide has you covered. I’ll take you through 9 natural ways you can get rid of June bugs and stop them from coming back. We’ll also look at exactly what attracts the June bugs. Plus I’ll show you what you should not use to get rid of June bugs and why.
Sound good? Then let’s let started.
9 Natural Ways to get rid of June bugs
Getting rid of June bugs is quite easy when you know-how. These methods are all easy to do.
One method may work for you, but you’ll have more success with using a few. That’s because some of these methods are preventions and some are cures.
Use both and you’ll be able to tackle your current June bug infestation as well as prevent them in the future.
1. Use A Trap
One of the best ways to get rid of June bugs from your yard is to catch them in a trap.
A trap will be able to capture June bugs that are crawling around. It’s best to use these in areas of large Jue bug gatherings.
The idea is to entice the June bug to crawl into the trap without having a way of getting back out.
There are 2 ways you can set up June bug traps in your yard.
a. Ready Made Beetle Traps
You can buy readymade beetle traps for your yard.
Here are the bestselling beetle traps you can buy and place around your yard. They attract the beetles with a scented lure.
These traps are convenient and easy to set up and use and will catch a lot of beetles. They also limit your contact with the beetles as you just lock up the back and throw it away.
The problem is that you need to replace these bags every 4-5 days so the beetles don’t detect the smell of the dead bugs. Sometimes animals such as raccoons or skinks may try to get to the beetles inside and damage the bags.
b. DIY June Bug Trap
To save money you can make your own homemade beetle trap. This can be done using mason jars or milk jugs filled with a liquid that traps the June bugs.
Suggestions for a DIY June bug trap include:
- Dish soap and water (to drown the bugs)
- Molasses to make the bugs sticky
- Oil to prevent them from flying off
Here’s a great video on how to make your own beetle traps
2. Collect by hand
One way to get rid of June bugs immediately is to collect any visible bugs by hand.
June bugs are quite slow and clumsy, so you’ll be able to catch them easily.
Don’t worry, June bugs don’t bite. However, it’s best to use a glove when you’re doing this. That’s just in case you mistake another bug for a June beetle and get stung or bitten.
Once you catch the beetles you can place them into a jug of hot soapy water. This will kill off the beetles.
You’ll be able to find the June beetles buzzing around your plants or on leaves.
My advice would be to start doing this as you see the adult bugs in May and early June. That because the adults will start laying eggs as soon as they emerge from the ground.
Catching the adults will help to slow down the number of eggs the female bury into your soil. It’s a great way to keep numbers down in the future.
3. Use Beneficial Nematodes
Removing adult beetles is a great way to prevent eggs the female from laying eggs. But what about the eggs that are already there?
That may not seem like a problem. But, June beetle grubs can live underground for one to two years before they become adults. That whole time they are eating the roots of anything they come into contact with.
So even if you start to get rid of the adult bugs you may still have an infestation for the next two years.
The best way to tackle underground June bugs is to apply beneficial nematodes to your soil. These are the bestselling brand on Amazon and they go like hotcakes.
Beneficial nematodes are parasitic roundworms. They seek out June bugs in their soil-dwelling stages. Using this method will take around 2-4 weeks to kill off the June grubs.
This is a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to harsh chemical insecticides. Plus these parasites will only affect harmful soil-dwelling insects. The nematodes will not attack helpful species such as earthworms.
It’s safe to use beneficial nematodes if you have pets. Even if your dog or cat eats the powder. The nematodes die at temperatures over 86°F (30°C). This is much lower than your pet’s internal body temperature.
You’ll be able to apply beneficial nematodes to your soil whenever when the soil is above 52 °F (11 °C) but below 86°F (30°C). The best times are during spring and fall depending on which state you live in.
4. Use Bacterial control
If you’re not keen on using parasites to control the June bugs in your soil, how about using natural bacteria?
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a biological insecticide. It kills off many insect grubs including June Bugs. It normally takes around 2-3 days for the grubs to die off.
If this sounds like a good solution for you then this brand is the best rated online.
Just like the beneficial nematodes, it’s safe to use around humans and pets. You also won’t harm birds or worms by using Bt.
It’s important to be aware that you may harm the butterfly population by using Bt in your yard. That’s because these bacteria attack caterpillars.
Don’t confuse Bt for another bacteria called milky spores. The difference between the two is that milky spores target only one type of June beetle known as Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica). That means grub from other beetles won’t be affected.
Bacillus thuringiensis is much more effective and will kill off all types of June beetles.
5. Spread diatomaceous earth
If the thought of using bacteria or parasites to kill June beetles doesn’t sound appealing, then this option just might.
Diatomaceous earth is pieces of dust with rough edges. It causes the grub to dry out by absorbing the oils and fats the grubs need to survive. The rough edges help speed up the process.
The best place to use the diatomaceous earth is around plants crops or grassy areas. That’s because the June bug grubs are likely to emerge from these areas after devouring the roots.
Diatomaceous earth is quite easy to use as you just sprinkle it onto the existing soil.
The problem is it can be a bit hit and miss to kill off the grubs. That’s because you have to have it ready as the June bugs emerge. Also, diatomaceous earth only works if it’s dry, so you’ll need to reapply it after any spell of rain. If you live in a particularly wet state, it’s maybe best to give this solution a miss.
You’ll find diatomaceous earth at most garden stores. However, you can easily buy it online (This is Amazon’s bestseller).
6. Regular Lawn maintenance
Removing adult beetles and using products is a great way to get rid of bugs now. But, you’ll see better results if you regularly maintain your lawn.
The idea is to make your yard as unwelcoming as possible. For both the female laying eggs and for the grubs to live underground.
Keep your grass at least 3 inches tall during June bug season. That’s because the females like to lay their eggs in short grassy areas. A longer patch of grass will deter them from laying eggs there.
Regularly raking your lawn will help to remove the thatch. And it will expose any emerging June bug grubs to predators. Do this more on the areas that look like they are yellowing, this is likely to be where the grubs are.
Try to remove grass clipping, leaf piles of fallen fruit from your yard as often as possible. These will all attract adult June bugs to your yard and encourage them to lay eggs.
7. Change the Light
June bugs are nocturnal insects which means they come at night. Despite this, they are attracted to bright light sources during the nighttime. That includes porch lights, security lights and well-lit windows.
The good news is that this is a behavior you can use to get rid of the June bugs at night.
The first and easiest step is to try and reduce the light pollution in your yard as much as possible. That means drawing curtains and cutting down on the amount of light available to the June bugs.
Of course, you may still need to have light available around your home at night.
The good news is that you can buy bulbs that aren’t so attractive to the June bugs.
Opt for bulbs that have a yellow hue to them. June bugs don’t see the red-yellow spectrum to well, which means this light appears dull to them.
LED bulbs are a much better option than incandescent light bulbs. That’s because LED bulbs don’t emit UV light which attracts the bugs. Plus LED lights don’t give out as much heat which can also attract the June bugs.
These Feit Electric bulbs are perfect for keeping June bugs away from your porch lights.
8. Use Smells
One of the most natural and easy ways to get rid of June bugs is by using smells that they don’t like. Spraying these around areas where the June bugs gather will help to keep them away from your yard. Let’s look at the different smells you can use to deter June bug from your yard
a. Essential oils
You can mix up your own June bug repellent spray using the essential oils you have around your home. Essential oil the June bugs hate are:
- Lemon grass
- Tea tree
Mix 30 drops of these oils (or a combination) in a spray bottle with water (or vinegar) and 1 tablespoon of a mineral base. Then spray around the affected areas. This mix will be potent enough to keep the June bugs away.
If you’re a keen gardener you can opt for adding plants to your yard that will naturally deter the June bugs. There are a few plants that June bugs don’t like due to the strong smells. These can also keep away other pest insects such as boxelder bugs.
Plant these to keep June bugs away:
Although you may need to be careful about what plants you use to deter the June bugs. Some plants may come with their own issues of attracting unwanted bugs (like rosemary beetles) to your yard.
Using food scraps to create homemade June bug repellent is a great cheap way to look after your yard. You can also create a food ‘wash’ to rub on areas such as window frames if you find a lot of June bugs gathering there.
I don’t recommend leaving out food scraps in your yard as they may attract rodents or pests.
Food smells that June bugs dont like are:
These can also be effective for keeping any other pests such as ants.
9. Attract wildlife
One of my most favorite ways to keep June bugs at bay is to attract their natural predators to your yard.
The best way to do this is attracting grubs and beetle eating birds such as:
- Blue jays
Encourage them by putting up a bird feeder and a birdbath in your yard. This helps to keep the ecosystem naturally in check. Plus it provides a great food source for young birds to thrive.
You can encourage animal predators to your yard such as:
- Parasitic wasps
There are other animals that enjoy eating June grubs. But, attracting these animals to your yard may be just as much of a nuisance as the bugs. This includes:
Just be mindful that having a large uncontrolled June bug problem can lead to these animals coming into your yard to feast on them.
What attracts June bugs?
Like most insects, June bugs are attracted to a good source of food and habitat. With those things, they can easily live out their life cycle and mate to keep the species going.
So if you have the following things in your yard, you’re going to attract a lot of June bugs:
- Bright night lights
- Grass, fruit, and plants
The problem is that having a few June bug in your yard soon turn into lots of June bugs if they go unchecked. That because other June bugs realize is it great food and habitat source for them. Plus they have lots of other June bugs to mate with.
So if you start to see signs of June bugs in your yard, your best to deal with it as soon as possible before it get out of hand.
What is the fastest way to get rid of June bugs?
The fastest way to get rid of adult June bugs is to pick them up and remove them from your plants.
The fastest way to get rid of June bug grubs is to use Bacillus thuringiensis spray on your soil.
Using these methods can get rid of an infestation quickly. However, the June bug may not stay away for too long if your neighbors also have an issue with June bugs. If that happens, try to encourage your neighbor to treat their June bug infestation too.
You can give them the advice you’ve discovered in this guide.
How Not To Get Rid Of June Bugs (4 Ways)
We’ve already discussed 9 natural ways to get rid of June bugs from your yard.
There is a lot of advice about how to get rid of June bugs, but some suggestions are not always good ones.
You may have noticed that there are a few methods, that other guides suggest, missing from the main list.
That’s because these methods aren’t the best. Let’s take a look at what they are and why I don’t recommend them.
1. Bug zapper lights
You’ve seen bug zapper lights before. It’s the blue lights that hang outside, flickering and buzzing away. Then when an enchanted bug come alone it zaps it with an electric shock.
Don’t get me wrong, bug zapper are very effective at what they do.
The problem is that if you have a huge number of June bugs in your yard during the summer, you’ll be cleaning up a lot of dead bugs from your porch each morning.
Even if you get one with a bug-catching tray, you’re going the have to clean up those dead bugs regularly.
That ok if it suits you, but it seems like an awful lot of work when there are easier methods out there.
If you take away anything from this article, make it this.
Do not use harsh chemical insecticides to kill June bugs.
Insecticides are extremely harmful to the environment and the surrounding wildlife.
Do not use insecticides if you have pets or birds visiting your yard. You risk contaminating them with the poisonous chemicals the insecticides leave behind.
It’s not worth the risk, and can even harm the bird population in your area.
Insecticides are usually recommended to control large June bug infestations. I would tell you to wait out the season. Then use a biological method such as beneficial nematodes to attack the eggs and grubs underground.
3. Glue traps
You may have seen insect glue traps or sticky tape the catch and traps the June bugs.
Do not use these types of insect traps as they are extremely harmful to bird and wildlife that come into your yards.
The stuck insects attract other animals and birds. Those animals can then become trapped themselves.
Glue traps lead to death and injury to other wildlife snakes, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and bats.
4. Neem oil
Neem oil is another natural-based June bug repellent that your find available online.
I don’t recommend using neem oil to get rid of June bugs from your yard. That’s not because neem oil doesn’t work, but because it can be harmful to bees that visit your yard.
Bees are extremely helpful insects and you should try to do as much as you can to help their populations thrive.
Although neem oil is not toxic, incorrect use of neem oil can be fatal for bees. The active ingredient azadirachtin can cause disorientation and affect the hive.
Neem oil can only be used at certain times of day to prevent it coming into direct contact with any bees.
These are much easier methods out there that won’t harm the bees, so id opt for these before using neem oil.
Other related questions
When do June bugs go away?
Adult June bug will start to die off at the beginning of fall, once the females have laid their eggs.
That means you won’t see any June bugs from fall through to May when the grubs start to emerge from the soil.
Even if you can wait out the June bug season, you’re going to have the same problem on you hands next year. As all those eggs are going to hatch as adult June bugs.
What keeps the June bugs away?
The best thing for keeping June bugs away is regularly maintaining your lawn. This keeps the grubs from completing their life cycle. You can then add beneficial nematodes, spray Bacillus thuringiensis or spread diatomaceous earth. This will make sure any existing grubs don’t make it to adulthood.
It’s unrealistic to think you’ll get rid of all June bugs with these treatments. However, you can keep the adults under control to prevent them from laying eggs in your yard.
Try to encourage your neighbors to tackle their June bug infestations too. That way you’re not left dealing with the consequences year after year.
There are plenty of natural ways you can get rid of June bugs from you yard. Simple methods include making your yard less attractive by removing light, and using smells which they dislike. These solutions may work short term.
If you want a long-term solution you need to remove the adults and tackle the underground grubs. Otherwise, you’ll never get rid of the problem.
Just follow these suggestions and you’ll start to see your June bug issue disappear, year after year.