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How to Get Rid of June Bugs (8 Ways) Traps, Chemical, Natural

June bugs are small insects that belong to the scarab family. These bugs often come out in the summer and can wreak havoc on your lawn and garden. You may even see their larvae eating through your plants and hear the sounds of the bugs hitting your patio or deck. Once you look at how to get rid of June bugs, you’ll find that it’s easier than you might think.

To get rid of June bugs, you can make a June bug trap, use insecticide, June bug repellent, or numerous natural methods. To effectively reduce the June bug population, you’ll want to treat your lawn to kill the June bug larvae in the soil.

June bugs are also known as May bugs and June beetles.

how to get rid of june bugs

Here’s how to get rid of June bugs: with chemicals, naturally, repellents and June bug traps.

Chemical Methods: Insecticides to Kill June Bugs

Many people rely on chemical methods to kill the June bugs living in their yards. Insecticides come in handy if you see serious signs of damage because those signs may indicate that natural remedies won’t work.

The top insecticides contain ingredients such as imidacloprid or chlorantraniliprole, both of which work on June bug grubs as soon as they hatch.

You should apply the insecticide from July through September when the grubs hatch. If you wait until later in the year, you risk the grubs growing and attacking your lawn and garden.

Most insecticides come in a spray form. You can easily apply the spray to all areas of your lawn to make sure you kill the June bugs you see and those that hide in your garden.

There are also powders that are easy to sprinkle. No matter which insecticide you choose, make sure you have enough to cover your entire yard.

Natural Remedies: 4 Ways to Get Rid of June Bugs

Here are four natural methods to get rid of June bugs.

Diatomaceous Earth

There are even more natural remedies to get rid of June bugs such as diatomaceous earth, which is a product that looks like a powder but features fossilized pieces of algae.

These pieces have sharp edges that cut through the June bugs. The bugs cannot eat or drink and will quickly starve to death or die of dehydration.

Diatomaceous earth is best when used near the beginning of summer and is safe to use around pets.


Nematodes also work well on June bugs. You can use them with water from a garden hose or a simple garden can.

The nematodes do not harm humans or pets but enter openings in the larvae stage of June bugs. Once inside the larvae, they release a bacteria that slowly kills the bugs.

Nematodes usually kill those bugs within 48 hours. Here is more about how nematodes work.

Bacillus Thuringiensis

Bacillus Thuringiensis or BT is an organic material that helps you get rid of June bugs. Though it occurs naturally in some types of soils, you can also add a small amount to the soil around your home.

When June bugs are in the larvae stage, they consume the soil and ingest BT. Within 24 hours or less, the infection caused by the material will kill those bugs.

Natural Predators

You can also use natural predators of June bugs such as snakes and toads. All you need is a few trees and plants that attract those predators. Certain types of birds will also eat the bugs.

Learn more about June bugs from

junebug repellent

More reading: Do Slugs Feel Pain? Guide to Slug Brains

How to Make a June Bug Trap (2 Methods)

A homemade June bug trap is a good way to get rid of some of those bugs without wasting a lot of time.

  • Use any type of old jar such as a jam or peanut butter jar.
  • Remove the lid and fill it with a half cup of molasses and an equal amount of hot water.
  • Add the lid and shake until you combine the ingredients.
  • You will then need to dig a small hole in your yard near where you see June bugs.
  • Place the jar inside the hole and remove the lid.
  • Using molasses in a June bug trap produces a rich scent that attracts the bugs.

The molasses is so thick that it keeps the bugs from climbing out and causes them to drown.

You should check the trap every morning and empty it of dead bugs before adding more molasses and water.

As an alternative, you can build a larger June bug trap using light as an attractant.

Here’s a great video about making a large light trap that caught more than 100 over a couple of nights. Jump ahead to 8:00 to see how well it did.

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june bug trap

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June Bug Repellents

You may want to try some repellents to keep June bugs from coming into your yard or coming back if you had an infestation in the past.

Here are four things to try:

  • Try planting tomatoes in your garden. As the plants grow, the tomato leaves will repel both June bugs and other types of bugs.
  • If you have cats, plant catnip as it also serves as a natural repellent.
  • You can also use essential oils such as cedar and lavender. Instead of using oils on their own, dilute the oil you choose by mixing a few drops in a spray bottle with water before using the mixture outside.
  • You’ll also want to keep an eye on your grass and mow often to keep it no higher than three inches. Short grass is a good deterrent to June bugs.

Keep your yard free and safe from June bugs with different remedies that include natural and chemical methods. Learning how to get rid of June bugs and building June bug traps both help you eliminate your insect problem.