What Do June Bugs Eat?

June bugs can be a bit of a nuisance during the warmer months. If they’re causing problems in your garden you may be wondering if there is a food source that’s attracting them. So what do June bugs eat?

June bugs mainly eat grass, leaves, plant foliage, flowers, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Common June bugs prefer to eat grass and leaves. Each June bug species has its own preferences for these types of foods. Some species are drawn more to foliage, whereas others eat more crops or grains. June bug grubs feed on turf and plant roots.

If you want to know more about what June bugs prefer to eat then keep reading. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about the June bugs diet.

Let’s get started.

What Do June bugs Eat?

June bugs are herbivores which means their diet consists of mainly plants, foliage, and crops. June bugs will eat various parts of a plant including the leaves, flowers, fruits, and roots.

The June bugs get their name from the fact that they emerge from the soil in large numbers in the summer months. Once the June bugs emerge they will start looking for plant matter to feed on.

June bugs lay their eggs just under the soil of your lawn. These eggs hatch into June bug grubs and can take around 2 years to reach adulthood. June bug grubs have voracious appetites and need a lot of energy to grow and develop into adults.

These grubs will make their way through any soil nutrient or plant roots they can find. That means that June bug grubs can cause a lot of damage to your lawn or plants in your yard.

June bugs are particularly attracted to oak and walnut trees, so you may see larger swarms in your yard if you have these close by. Yet they only need grassy lawns to complete their life cycle so your yard will attract them regardless of what plants you have.

How do June Bugs feed?

June bugs have a mandible mouth which means they are able to use it to hold food, cut it and chew.

Their mouths are very small and will only piece through soft surfaces of leaves, plants, fruit, and roots. They bite small pieces of the food off, chew and swallow. An individual adult June bug will usually only take a few bits from a plant at a time and cause a small area of localized damage.

June bug grubs can cause a lot more damage than adult June bugs do. The grub stage of their lifecycle is pretty destructive for nearby grass and plants. June bug grubs will eat the roots and take any nutrients from the plants, destroying them from the root up. Usually, this results in patches of yellow, dead grass or young plants dying off if their roots aren’t well established.

Do June bugs eat insects?

June bugs are herbivores and they do not eat other insects as part of their diet. They do have mandibles that can chew smaller insects, but, they are only attracted to plant matter. A June bug may unintentionally eat a small insect such as an aphid if they are on the plant the June bug is eating.

June bugs do not eat any insects including:

  • Aphids
  • Caterpillars
  • Spiders
  • Ants
  • Mites
  • Ladybugs
  • Other June Bugs

June bugs have the ability to bite other insects. Yet this action may only be used against other insects as a method of self-defense if they feel threatened.

June bugs can be prey for other insects and animals and may try to defend themselves if they are attacked.

Do June bugs Eat Plants?

June bugs mainly feed on plants and their foliage. The June bugs do eat the plant, but usually only very small parts. At most, they may cause a bit of superficial discoloration, leaf curling, or bruising. Even in swarms, June bug adults cause very little overall damage to plants.

Despite the fact that adult bugs mainly cause cosmetic damage they are still considered pests by gardeners. This usually has more to do with the grubs killing off grass and plants from underneath the soil.

June bug grubs are a concern to gardeners as a grub infestation can lead to bigger problems. Animals such as raccoons or skunks love to eat grubs and will dig holes in your lawn to find them. This can be really frustrating and cause a lot of damage in your yard.

If you have this issue then check out our guide to getting rid of June bugs from your yard.

Do June bugs eat Fruit?

Many species of June bugs are attracted to fruit, particularly soft or overly ripe fruits. The June bugs like to eat the sweet flesh as it gives them a good source of energy and nutrients.

You’re likely to see June bugs eat fruits such as:

  • Apricots
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

June bugs will leave a small area of damage on the surface of the fruits where they’ve been chewing. The good news is the June bugs prefer fruits when they are just past their fresh point and are starting to rot. This means you’ll be able to harvest most of your fruit before the June bugs have a nibble.

Be careful when you’re harvesting your fruit and try to inspect it beforehand. The June bugs can work their way inside the fruits and gorge themselves on the juicy flesh inside.

Large swarms of June bugs can cause quite a lot of damage to overripe fruit trees. If you don’t eat the fruit yourself it may be best to collect the fruit before it starts to rot as it will encourage the June bugs to lay eggs in your nearby lawn.

Do June bugs eat Vegetables?

June bugs much prefer to eat plants and fruits, but, they do seem attracted to some vegetable crops too. It’s unclear if this is because they like to feed on the leaves and make their way onto the vegetable.

Vegetables and grains that June bugs eat are:

  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Maize
  • Potatoes

Do June bugs eat flowers?

June bugs will eat the flowers on your ornamental plants and bushes. Usually, they will opt to eat the leaves first, yet, they can cause some damage to flower heads. This can be frustrating if you’re trying to keep your flowers looking healthy without parts dying off or wilting prematurely.

Roses are a particular favorite of the June bug to eat. You may need to consider using preventative sprays or nets to keep them protected during the height of June bug season.

What do June bugs eat in the winter?

Adult June bugs will die off in the winter months. That means you don’t have to worry about the adults in the winter.

However, the problem is that any eggs they’ve laid in your soil in the summer months will start to hatch. The larvae will then start to work their way through any plant roots they come across underneath the soil.

Some June bug species can remain in the soil for a few years before they fully emerge in the summer.

What do June bugs drink?

June bugs will get most of the water they need from the plants that they feed on. Plants are a rich source of water so will provide the June bugs with their water requirements.

June bugs may also get some extra hydration from dew on plants as they eat.

Fruits and vegetables are another rich source of hydration for adult June bugs. The June bug grubs will get most of their hydration from plant roots that have absorbed water from the soil.

What do June bugs eat in my home?

If you find June bugs in your home in the summer months. Don’t worry, they are not there to cause any property damage. June bugs are nocturnal insects and are likely in your home due to disorientation from artificial light.

Adult June bugs won’t hibernate in your home over winter as they die off before the cold sets in. June bug grubs are under the soil during this time so you won’t find them in your home.

June bugs will not eat your clothing or any wood in your home. They are not attracted to these materials. The most damage you’ll find is a June bug eating a house plant.

What do June bugs hate?

Although June bugs will have a go at most plants there are a few you can plants that will naturally repel them from your yard.

These are great to place around other prized plants to stop the June bugs from having a nibble.

Plants that repel June bugs are:

  • Catnip
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint
  • Rosemary

These plants all have strong scents that make it uncomfortable for the June bugs to be around. Placing some of these plants throughout your yard can help to reduce the risk of large swarms infesting your yard in the summer months.

Final thoughts

You’ll see that June bugs are mainly herbivores that are attracted to plant matter. This can be anything from leaves to foliage, roots, fruits, and crops

Despite them arriving in large swarms at times they don’t usually do too much damage to your plants. Yet if you have prized plants the damage can be enough for them to be a nuisance for you.

June bugs are attracted to most plant and grassy lawns, so most yards will be affected by them. Yet if you are growing roses, fruit trees, vegetables or have an oak or walnut tree nearby, you may see them in larger swarms.

Using strong-smelling plants can help you to keep their number down, but keeping your yard well maintained is the best line of defense against them.

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