June bugs are often a nuisance during the late spring and summer months, particularly at night when they become the most active and are drawn toward light sources in people’s homes and gardens. There are over 100 different species of June bugs, and they are all a little different. However, one thing they have in common is that they seem to appear out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly at the end of the summer. Learning more about the life cycle of June bugs, as well as their eating and mating habits, makes it easier to understand where they come from, why they stay awhile and where they go.
June Bug Eggs
June bugs begin their life cycle as eggs. These eggs are most commonly laid between two and five inches underground near the root systems of plants or grasses. These are white, with a thin, flexible outer shell. They start out as an oblong shape, but become more round as the larvae inside develops. Depending on the species, June bugs stay in their eggs for anywhere between two and six weeks.
June Bug Larvae
June bug larvae are small white grubs with brown heads. They grow exponentially and molt twice before moving on to the next stage of their life cycle. The larval stage is when June bugs are the most harmful to lawns and gardens. They have extremely fast metabolisms, and eat nearly constantly. Roots of your plants and grasses become their main food source, which can severely damage or even kill the plants. Some species of June bugs complete their larval stage within a single year, while others take up to three years to complete this stage and become pupae.
June Bug Pupae
June bug pupae start out a dark brown color and gradually lighten and take on an iridescent tone as they mature. During the pupal stage, June bugs do not move at all, and they cause next to no impact to their environment. They remain underground throughout this entire stage, which lasts an average of three weeks, and then they emerge as adults and make their way above ground. This is one of the main reasons that June bugs seem to appear from nowhere.
Adult June Bugs
After making their way above ground, adult June bugs are fully capable of flight and begin searching for food. They primarily feed on the leaves of your plants and trees. For the most part, they do not eat enough of any one plant or tree to cause serious damage. They are primarily active at night and hide under leaves or in the bark of trees during the day. In late summer, female June bugs burrow into the dirt to lay their eggs, and by the beginning of fall, the June bugs’ life cycle comes to an end and they die off. This is what makes it seem as though they suddenly disappear — that is until the next summer, when the cycle begins again.