May Beetles (Phyllophaga spp.)

May Beetles (Phyllophaga spp.)

May Beetles (Phyllophaga spp.), also called June Bugs and June Beetles, are members of the Scarab Beetle Family (Scarabaeidae). These bugs are nocturnal but are attracted to light. The adults emerge in late spring and are frequently heard hitting lighted windows or screens in May and June, whence their common name. The genus name is from the Greek for "leaf eater." They are noisy fliers emitting a buzzing sound. Although harmless to humans and animals, they can cause damage to plants if they emerge in large numbers and may die flying around porch or patio lights littering the porch or patio.

The June Bug is from ¾ to 1⅜ inches (18 to 35 millimeters) long and metallic brown to black. There are no distinguishing marks on the head or body. The antennae have segments at right angles to the antennae giving them a club-like appearance.

The adults eat vegetation. The larvae, called "White Grubs," hatch from white, cylindrical eggs deposited in earthen nests dug by the female. The female will lay from 30 to 100 eggs. The larvae live in the soil for as long as four years before emerging as adults. While in the ground, the larvae feed on roots. They can be a problem when they infest lawns. There are commercial pesticides to control these grubs but control can be difficult. The adults pose less of a problem and are controlled by natural predation. 

 

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