The onset of summer is often associated with a disturbing wave of June bedbugs. You may already have run into a couple banging outside your window during the night or spotted them in your backyard during the day.
Although they are typically harmless to humans, they are a complete disaster to your vegetation and lawn. The effects of their arrival are seen especially during the summer season when it is hot because this is the time when they are most active.
If you are having a problem getting rid of June bedbugs, stick around to find out how to nib this at the bud and get your backyard back to tip-top shape.
What are June Bedbugs?
The name is a collective terminology for roughly over 300 species of bugs originating from the Northern Hemisphere. What they have in common is their sheer size and red-brown appearance except for a few uniquely colored species. Amongst this huge family, some bugs tend to be frequent than others and these are what you are likely to spot on your lawn.
They include the green iridescent Japanese beetle, ten-lined June beetle, the green June beetle, brown chafer beetle, and the brown-and-white. Judging from their habits, these species tend to come out to play during the months of May to July.
To know you have June bedbugs, the quickest evidence is a degradation in the quality of your vegetation. Both the adults and larvae stages are detrimental to the well-being of your lawn. Adult bugs will feast fast on leaves from trees, flowers, and shrubs leaving gaping holes in the foliage. The larvae on the other hand focus on the grassroots instead and the outcome is a dry brown patch on the ground.
To physically test this, lift a patch of dead lawn from the soil and if you notice some grayish worms curled up inside the soil particles, there’s your evidence. They curl in a C shape when disturbed and can grow very fat.
June bedbugs are a nuisance and will have your once healthy green lush looking sickly and unsightly. The good news is you can terminate them naturally or with the help of commercial insecticides.
How to Get Rid of June Bugs
Step 1: Get Rid of the Adults Ahead of Time
The females lay their eggs around midsummer so if you can get to them before they multiply, you stand a better chance of achieving a healthier lawn that season.
Create Overnight Traps
For this, all you need is a handful of ingredients and a large jar. Create a solution by mixing half a cup of molasses and half a cup of hot water. Do this thoroughly with a nice shake before transferring into the open jar. Burry the jar into the soil leaving only the neck out and let it sit in the night close to shrubs and other plants.
Be back the next morning to check for drowned beetles while replenishing the solution for the next catch.
Use Your Hands
Only if you do not mind contact with huge creepy insects. June bed bugs move generally slowly and this makes it possible to pluck them from plantations and roses. Have your gloves on for protection because their legs get spiky. And while at it, use a mild soap solution to drown the bugs rather than kill them brutally.
Eco- friendly Insecticides
Natural insecticides are a friendlier option to the environment and still do a good job of terminating June bed bugs. An effective insecticide you can make at home comprises minced garlic, mineral oil, a pint of water, and mild liquid dish soap. Grab about 4 cloves of garlic and crush them before mixing with one tablespoon of mineral oil.
Strain the garlic particles and add the solution into a pint of water and top it off with 2 tablespoons of dish soap. The smell of the solution naturally repels the bugs and will draw them out. Look for evidence where they have been and spray the insecticide generously.
If the domestic way proves futile, you could try a more powerful insecticide instead. The only downside to this is that it also eradicates beneficial pests along the way too ie: ladybugs.
Attract June Bedbug Predators
Big birds enjoy snacking on these pests and will decrease their population at no expense to you. Have birdbaths out in your backyard as a way of attracting them into your territory. Snakes and toads to are part of the food chain so grow some shrubs around as housing for these reptiles and maybe a few swampy spots for cooling when it gets hot.
Step 2: Terminate the Larvae
It’s easier dealing with grubs than when they have matured into fully-fledged adults. The moment you notice your lawn dying out, it’s time to take action by;
Keeping Your Grass Relatively Longer
Females hatch where the grass is short because it’s convenient. You can discourage this by not mowing your lawn too much. About 3 inches long is a good stopping point especially when early to mid-summer comes knocking.
These are beneficial microscopic worms that feed on the grubs. They are easy to find online or shop in large garden stores for some. Nematodes are effective because they do not harm the soil or surrounding plants, just the destructive pests. Follow instructions on how to use them and let the worms eat away.
Just like full-grown adults, commercial insecticides also tame larvae. You may want to come to this as a last resort because of the side effects it has. Alternatively, prioritize neem oil insecticides because they are less averse to the environment.
The best time to spray is late in the summer when the grubs are still very close to the surface of the soil. Miss this window and the larvae will burrow deep inside where the insecticides cannot reach them.
How about Bacteria
Not just any bacteria but Bacillus thuringiensis. It does the trick when applied directly to the affected plantation. The bacteria usually abbreviated as Bt is sold either in liquid or powder form and will not harm you or your pets. The frequency of use will depend on how heavy an infestation you’re dealing with.