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10 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ten-Lined June Beetles

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10 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ten-Lined June Beetles

Ten-lined June beetle larvae can do some serious damage to your garden crops. The good news is that there are some natural ways to get rid of them.

You’ll be happy to know you can use common household items and natural repellents to deter these beetles and protect your plants. In this article, we’ll explore several natural methods to control ten-lined June beetles.


These little brown beetles, also known as watermelon beetles, are less than an inch long and have white lines on their backs [1].

At night, you may spot them swarming around outdoor lights or hear them bumping into windows and doors, attracted to the light. Their larvae are white grubs that feed on the roots of grasses and plants, often destroying lawns and crops [2].

The adults chew on the leaves and flowers of various trees and shrubs.

How to Get Rid of Ten-Lined June Beetles Naturally

With some persistence, you can successfully keep ten-lined June beetles under control organically.

1. Pick Them Off

The most natural way to get rid of these beetles is to simply pick them off your plants manually.

Check your garden regularly, especially at dusk or at night when the beetles are most active, and pluck any you see off the plant. Dispose of the beetles in a bucket of soapy water to kill them.

Repeatedly removing the adult beetles will help reduce damage to your plants. It will also decrease the overall population in your yard over time.

Manually removing ten-lined June beetles requires diligence and patience. However, it can be an effective natural control method for small yards or gardens.

2. Make Your Own Soda Bottle Trap

An easy DIY trap you can make to catch ten-lined June beetles is a soda bottle trap.

You’ll need an empty 2-liter plastic soda bottle and some bait like fruit juice, sugar water, or molasses.

Next, cut off the top third of the bottle. Then fill the bottom two-thirds with the bait liquid.

Put the top third of the bottle back onto the base upside down to form a funnel. Now you’re going to bury the trap around the base of the infested plants in your yard. However, ensure that only the funnel part is above the soil.

The beetles will be attracted to the bait and crawl in through the wide opening, but they won’t be able to navigate back out through the narrow opening.

Check the traps regularly and empty out any caught beetles.

3. Till the soil

Tilling your soil will help get rid of the larvae and expose them to natural predators.

The larvae live in the soil during development. So, tilling will disrupt their habitat and make them more vulnerable.

Be sure to till the soil before the larvae pupate into adults, typically in late spring.

4. Treat Your Lawn With Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)

Apply Bt to your lawn, especially in areas where you’ve seen the adult beetles feeding.

The larvae will ingest the Bt as they feed on grass roots, and the bacteria will kill the grubs within a few days or a week.

You can find this organic insecticide at most garden centers or online.

5. Remove Infested Trees

If ten-lined June beetles have heavily infested trees in your yard, removing the trees may be necessary to eliminate the infestation.

However, removing infested trees should always be the last line of defense. Try less invasive methods like insecticide sprays, traps, or natural repellents first.

6. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is very abrasive and dehydrating to insects. When insects come into contact with it, it damages their exoskeleton and dehydrates them.

To use it, simply dust the powder on plants. You can also sprinkle it on the soil around the base of plants. Reapply after rain.

DE will not kill insects instantly but will work overtime as the beetles come into repeated contact with it. It works great at killing June bugs and many other insects that you don’t want around.

7. Neem Oil

Neem oil contains a compound that acts as an insect repellent. It can also kill these beetle grubs.

To use it to make a homemade spray, mix 5 ml of neem oil with 3 ml of liquid soap and a liter of warm water. Shake it up and spray the solution directly on the larvae (grubs) and the plants the adults feed on.

8. Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes prey on soil-dwelling insects like ten-lined June beetle grubs. You can purchase these nematodes and apply them to your lawn or garden.

The nematodes will hunt down the grubs and infect them with bacteria that kill the grubs within 48 hours.

9. Soil Solarization

This technique uses the sun’s energy to heat up the soil, killing the grubs and other soil-dwelling pests.

To perform this method, you’d need to cover the soil with clear plastic for about 4 weeks. However, one downside is that it requires a long stretch of hot, sunny days to work properly.

10. BotaniGard 22WP

BotaniGard 22WP is a biological insecticide containing spores of Beauveria bassiana, a fungus that kills June beetles and other insect pests.

To use BotaniGard 22WP, mix it according to the package instructions.


Listed above are some easy home remedies and natural solutions to get rid of ten-lined June beetles in your yard. The best approach is to start early in the season before their numbers build up. Also, be consistent and vigilant with multiple methods.

Picture via Flickr

Sasha Brown

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

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