How to Get Rid of June Bugs and June Beetles

If you’ve ever been outside during the summer months, chances are you’ve encountered a June bug. These brown beetles are harmless to humans, but their grubs can wreak havoc on your lawn and garden. 

June bug on leaf

Why Are They Called June Bugs?

June bugs, also known as May or June beetles, are a common sight in North America during the summer months. These beetles get their name from their emergence during the month of June.

They are brownish-red in color with a hard outer shell and are about an inch in size. June bugs are part of the scarab beetle family and can be found in gardens, meadows, and forests.

They are attracted to light and can often be seen flying around outdoor light sources at night. While they may be considered a nuisance to some, they play an important role as pollinators and decomposers in the ecosystem.

Some cultures even consider them a symbol of good luck and fertility. Overall, the name June bug is a fitting title for these fascinating insects that grace our skies in the early summer months. 

How Are June Bugs Destructive?

While they aren’t dangerous to humans, these insects have a serious appetite and enjoy eating the leaves of plants and trees, causing extensive damage. They particularly favor fruit trees, which can lead to a significant reduction in fruit yield. 

But that’s not all. The larvae of June bugs, more commonly known as white grubs, are even more destructive. They hang out underground and feed on the roots of plants, causing them to wither and die.

This can ultimately result in the death of the entire plant, making them a menace for farmers and professional gardeners. In addition to their destructive nature, June bugs are a nuisance to homeowners due to their incessant buzzing and flying in circles around lights at night. 

Identifying June Bug Infestation in Your Yard

If you notice brown patches of grass and damage to the leaves on your trees and plants, you may have a June bug infestation in your yard. Here are some additional signs to look out for:

  • June bugs are most active at night, so take a flashlight and look for them on your plants and trees.
  • June bugs are attracted to lights, so keep an eye out for them near your outdoor light fixtures.

If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to get rid of June bugs in your yard.

Ways to Get Rid of June Bugs

If you’re looking for a more natural way to address a June bug infestation, try these remedies:

Molasses Milk Jug

  • Take a used milk jug or similarly shaped bottle.
  • Pour into it a half-cup of molasses along with a half cup of hot water.
  • Cap the bottle and shake it until everything is mixed well.
  • Open the jar back up and bury is near plants that attract June bugs, like roses, so that only the jar’s neck is above ground.

<h3″>Bird Bath

Add a bird bath or two to your yard to attract birds, who will feast on the June bugs before the June bugs feast on your plants.

Make a Garlic Insecticide

This will also get rid of Japanese beetles, an invasive species that can devour your garden before you turn around three times.

  • Mix 3 ounces of minced garlic with one ounce of mineral oil.
  • Let the mixture sit overnight.
  • Strain out the pieces of garlic, add them to a pint of water
  • Then strain out the garlic bits and set them aside.
  • Put a teaspoon of dish soap or castille soap into a pint of water and add the garlic.

This is a concentrate. You can either put 2-4 teaspoons in a hose sprayed and spray it at the bugs and on any plant they’ve been eating, or you can put it a couple of teaspoons of it in a spray bottle full of water and use that.


To use nematodes to kill June bugs, you can follow these steps:

  1. Buy nematodes from a garden center or online.
  2. Before applying the nematodes, make sure the soil is damp and soft. Water the area where you plan to apply the nematodes thoroughly.
  3. Mix the nematodes with water according to package instructions, and spray them over the area where you want to target June bugs. Make sure to cover the entire area evenly.
  4. Depending on how severe your June bug infestation is, you may need to repeat applications every few weeks throughout the summer.

Note that while using nematodes can help control June bug populations, it may not completely eliminate them. Additionally, it’s important to follow package instructions carefully and wear gloves when handling nematodes as they can be harmful if ingested or come in contact with open wounds.

Bucket of Soapy Water

Place a bucket of soapy water underneath an outdoor light to trap and drown June bugs attracted to the light. 

While these remedies may not completely eliminate a June bug infestation, they can help reduce the number of bugs and limit the damage they can cause to your plants and lawn.

Prevent June Bugs Coming Around

These steps will reduce the chances of a June bug infestation in your yard from happening again.

  • Turn off outdoor lights: June bugs are attracted to light, so keep your outdoor lights turned off as much as possible.
  • Maintain your lawn: Keep your lawn well-maintained, well-drained, and free of thatch to discourage June bugs.
  • Encourage beneficial insects: Ladybugs and praying mantises are great natural predators that can help keep harmful insects at bay. Planting certain flowers and herbs can help attract these beneficial bugs to your yard.
  • Plant herbs and flowers: Certain herbs and flowers, such as lavender and marigold, are natural insect repellents and can help keep your yard bug-free.
  • Use yellow or amber light bulbs: Instead of using white light bulbs in your outdoor fixtures, use yellow or amber bulbs that attract fewer bugs.

By following these preventative measures, you can help keep June bugs away from your yard and plants.

Chemical Treatments for June Bug Removal

If natural remedies and preventative measures don’t do the trick, chemical treatments can be effective in getting rid of June bugs. Here are some options:


Apply insecticide containing imidacloprid, chlorantraniliprole, or carbaryl in the early morning or late evening when June bugs are most active. Follow the instructions carefully and avoid using near food crops or water sources.

Insecticidal Soap or Neem Oil

These natural insecticides can help kill off June bugs and their larvae without harming other beneficial insects in your yard. Apply directly onto affected plants and trees.

Granular Insecticide

For lawn infestations, use a granular insecticide with imidacloprid or clothianidin to kill off any hidden June bugs or larvae in the soil. Follow the instructions carefully and apply in the early morning or late evening.

Remember to always wear protective gloves and clothing when using any type of insecticide and keep children and pets away from treated areas.

you can help keep your yard free of pesky bugs and enjoy the great outdoors without any unwanted visitors!

Enjoy Your Yard!

Once you take care of your June bug infestation, you can keep your yard healthy and beautiful. Natural remedies and preventative measures can be effective at keeping these pests away, but chemical options may be necessary for severe infestations.

These tips will help you enjoy a bug-free outdoor space all season long.