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10 Natural Ways to Get Rid of June Bugs

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11 Natural Ways to Get Rid of June Bugs

Have you found June bugs swarming and crawling around your outdoor lights? If so, you know that these bugs can be quite annoying.

Unfortunately, these critters don’t just buzz and swarm—they can also damage garden plants.

In this article, we will discuss the best natural methods to control June bugs outside and in the house. We’ll cover some home remedies as well as commercial products that can help keep them away from your property.


June bugs are also called May bugs. They commonly appear in the northern hemisphere during the early summer.

These red-brown bugs are attracted to bright light, which is why you may see them at night flying around porch lights or street lamps. While they don’t bite humans, both adult bugs and grubs can cause great damage to crops [1].

How to Get Rid of June Bugs Naturally

These are the best home remedies and natural methods we could come up with. We hope one or more works for you.

1. Hand-Picking

This is probably the least pleasant option you can think of. It requires you to lay your hands on an annoying bug. However, it may be the most effective.

To catch them and kill them, all you need is a pair of gloves and a container of soapy water. Put on your gloves and carefully capture them by hand.

Next, drop them in some soapy water. This will help ensure that they won’t come back.

If you want to take this approach, do it at night since June bugs are most active after dark.

Look for them on lights and windowsills. You may also find them in vegetation around your home, such as hedges and trees, where they tend to congregate.

2. Natural Predators

Another great natural way to keep June bugs away is to introduce their natural predators. Some birds will go after them.

Frogs, snakes, skunks, lizards, and raccoons also prey on these critters. And parasitic wasps will feed on June bug grubs that are damaging your lawn and grass.

3. Molasses Trap

Make a simple DIY June bug trap. All you need is some molasses, water, and an old bucket or large jar.

Just mix equal parts water and molasses. For example, combine one cup of water with one cup of molasses. Next, place it where these pests are most frequent.

The sweet smell of the molasses will attract the bugs. They’ll drop in and drown as they try to reach for a sip of the sugary substance.

4. Bacillus thuringiensis

Bt kills larvae that hatch from the eggs, so it’s a great solution to preventing future generations of June bugs. Moreover, Bt can also be used to control other pests like moths and mosquitoes by killing their larvae.

The best way to apply Bt is via foliar spray. You can buy an organic solution containing Bacillus thuringiensis from your local garden store or online.

Following the package instructions, spray directly on infested plants or flowers.

5. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Another natural, yet effective, way to kill June bugs is by using diatomaceous earth (DE).

Diatomaceous earth works by destroying the protective wax coating on the June bug’s exoskeleton. It then desiccates (dries out) their bodies.

Just sprinkle some around your plants, porch, and other areas in your yard where you see flying June bugs and their grubs.

The only downside is that you need to reapply it after heavy rain or irrigation because water washes away the powder.

6. Beneficial Nematodes

These are microscopic roundworms that attack and kill soil-dwelling insects like June bug grub worms.

The nematodes seek out their prey. They then release beneficial bacteria into the insect’s body that will kill it in 24 to 48 hours.

To use them, you’ll need to buy them from a garden center or online store and then apply them according to the instructions that come with your order.

However, make sure you water your lawn before applying the nematodes. Moist soil will help them get to where they need to be quicker.

7. Essential Oils

Many types of essential oils will repel June bugs. Some of these are cedar, eucalyptus, lavender, and pennyroyal.

You can use these oils to naturally repel the pesky critters by spraying them directly on areas where the June bug infestations are concentrated.

Make a homemade June bug repellent spray by combining 15 drops of your essential oils of choice in a cup of water.

Use this measurement as a guide when making larger batches of this plant-based repellent. That means you will use 15 drops for every cup of water.

8. Milky Spores

This natural treatment is a bacterium that attacks Japanese beetle white grubs in the soil. However, it may also work for June beetle grubs.

The milky spores are applied to the soil. After the grubs eat the spores, they will die in 7 to 21 days.

This is a non-chemical treatment worth trying. It may be a viable, natural method for controlling June bugs.

9. Tomato Plants

For a satisfying organic way to repel green June beetles on plants, consider planting tomato plants in your garden.

The leaves emit a smell that these bugs are not fond of and will be repelled by.

10. Vinegar

Use vinegar to make a natural bug repellent for June bugs and other bugs on your plants and around the house. Just mix one part water with one part vinegar and add it to a spray bottle.

Spray it on the affected plants and areas around the house to deter the bugs. This homemade bug spray is great to have on hand at home.

11. Mycotrol ESO Insecticide

Mycotrol ESO is an insecticide containing a naturally occurring soil fungus that is very effective in controlling June bugs. It contains the fungus Beauveria bassiana, which is lethal to June bugs but harmless to humans and animals.


Whether you call them June bugs or May beetles, there are natural remedies to deal with them. From natural sprays and traps to picking them off, there are several approaches to take that are kind to the environment.

Try one of these remedies and come back and tell us which one worked best for you.

Picture via Flickr

Sasha Brown

Sasha Brown is a blogger and lover of all things natural.

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