When the June beetles have their peak season, it is already a true spectacle of nature. The interesting beetles fly around everywhere, delighting children in particular. Others, however, consider them a nuisance and would like to get rid of them immediately. And although the damage caused by this garden visitor is not too great, and it is also a good source of food for birds, moles, hedgehogs and co, you can do something to reduce its population for the coming year. We explain how you can control June beetles.
Table of Contents
Why the beetle is not really harmful, but the larvae are
The ribbed ground beetle or summer beetle, as it is also called, is usually only a nuisance because it often gets stuck in your hair or on your clothes during its flight maneuvers. And most people do not like insects. In the garden itself, however, it does not cause any major or long-term damage. The beetles feed mainly on the leaves of fruit trees. This causes them to become slightly damaged and visually less attractive, but the insects live for a very short time (males die right after fertilization, females after laying eggs), so the plants can recover quickly and your harvest will not be affected.
More harmful is the June beetle larva, which is called a grub . The larva of the June beetle is dangerous because it feeds on the roots and tubers of the plants, and even so successfully that the garden plants die in the end. They attack not only useful plants, but also ornamental plants and even lawns. Therefore, it is worth not only to take preventive measures. You can also fight the June beetle with home remedies.
Note: Many confuse the summer beetle with the cockchafer, because they are visually very similar. However, cockchafer is much larger and has a brown color unlike the ocher-colored summer beetle.
Fighting June beetles with home remedies
The bad news is that there are no home remedies in the sense of products from the kitchen or the herb garden that you can use against the pests, as with mosquitoes, for example. However, you can find them in stores, and without any chemical products that would also harm the beneficial microorganisms. We explain what you can do.
Fighting the grubs with beneficial insects
So-called nematodes are extremely helpful in the fight against a wide variety of pests. These are nematodes that penetrate the inside of your victim (in our case, the grubs) and feed on them from the inside. In a short time, the larvae are killed. If you want to fight the June beetle, it is especially recommended to use the genus Heterorhabditis bacteriophora , which will simultaneously eliminate other harmful larvae. After you buy nematodes , apply them in the following way:
- As soon as you have detected grubs.
- Only in the morning or in the evening, when the light is no longer so strong
- Apply nematodes with the irrigation water
- From a soil temperature of 12 degrees
- Keep soil moist during this time
Protect lawn from infestation
To avoid dry patches as a result of voracious grubs, you should make sure that the beetles have a hard time laying their eggs in the soil in the first place. For this purpose, it must be solid. How do you achieve this? Quite simply through proper care ! If you mow and fertilize the grass regularly, it can form a firm turf that the June beetles will have a hard time penetrating. You can further support this effect of proper lawn care by never mowing the lawn too short.
Fighting June beetles – tilling the soil as the last measure
If the above methods have not brought anything, you can also resort to a more radical variant. Namely, the garden soil can be worked to depth with a tiller. This is especially necessary if your property is located, for example, on the outskirts of a village, and even wild boars are attracted to the garden, for which the white grubs are a real delicacy. So instead of letting your beds and lawns be ravaged by wild boars again and again, or losing valuable plants to the larvae every year, you can reach for the tiller.
To bring out the larvae, you should dig up the soil to a depth of about 10 inches. However, keep in mind that in this way you could also kill or at least disturb other living organisms. Also, by doing this, you will change the soil structure and until it recovers, it will take some time like this.
Ribbed fallow beetle in the pot?
Have you spotted a white grub in your flower pot? It may well not be the larvae of the June beetle at all. In fact, it is the rose chafer , which likes to lay its eggs in planters. You do not have to worry in this case, because unlike the June beetle larvae, those of the rose beetle do not feed on the living roots of the plant, but on dead parts of the plant, but they can also damage the healthy roots.
In this case, make sure the soil isn’t too moist, because that’s what the rosebug larvae love and it makes them a favorite place to lay their eggs. You can also try a distraction maneuver: Push rotten pieces of wood into the soil, because the beetle larvae will definitely prefer these to the roots. If it’s really a June beetle grub, you can plant out the plant, remove the larvae, and plant the plant in new soil.