Local News

June Bugs Revel in July Heat

Posted July 29, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— This summer heat might really bug you, but it's just the ticket for June bugs. And while they're having summer fun in record numbers, the condition of your lawn could give you heatstroke.

The ground is all a-buzz with the critters you probably tied strings to as a child, watching them fly around your head like tiny remote airplanes. Fayetteville resident Bobbi Kramer says she finds them rather annoying.

The green buzzers known as June bugs are typically at least one-and-a-half times the size of a Japanese beetle. They sound like bees, but they don't sting.

Agricultural Extension agent Kenny Bailey says the adult beetles feed on shrubs, but it's difficult to tell which ones they like.

By the time a June bug reaches adulthood, most of the damage it does has already been done. An adult lays its eggs in the grass, and when those eggs hatch the infant beetles feed off the root system, often killing the grass.

Bailey says by the time the bugs are all grown up, the worst is over.

The kind of heat we've been experiencing lately is just what June bugs love most. That's why you may have seen more of them this year. It's also likely your lawn and bushes aren't entirely in the clear yet, since all of them may not have hatched yet.

Extension agents say you can protect your lawn from the larvae by spraying pesticide on your grass in the fall and again in the spring.

Photographer:Mike Joyner