Green June Beetles – E Letter
Last Friday afternoon I received from an entomologist an email that included the following suggestion: “I have to believe that lying in wait are millions of green June beetles. The next decent rain event should set off an emergence and buzzing across the landscape and pastures.”
On Tuesday this week, most of our county received a decent rain. On Wednesday I received a phone call from Siler City reporting perhaps hundreds of green June beetles flying about close to the ground. Apparently it’s not unusual for insects that spend a part of their life in the soil to emerge after a major rain. There is probably some ecological advantage for them or perhaps it’s just easier digging out. Or maybe my entomologist friend has powers mere muggles could not hope to understand.
Green June beetles may be a bit late this year, but they are present now. These beetles are metallic green and considerably larger than Japanese beetles. See picture at http://ipm.ncsu.edu/current_ipm/07PestNews/07News13/gjb.jpg The good news is that these beetles do little to no harm to people or plants. Damage is limited primarily to developing fruits – the fruits themselves, not the foliage. Grubs (the soil dwelling, immature stage) are sometimes a problem in pastures or areas of heavy manure applications. Beyond that, the worst we can say is that they can be annoying.
If they are damaging fruit (and perhaps you should have a look – if you have any fruit this year), you could use an insecticide such as sevin or malathion. But you would have to actually put it on the fruit. You could also hire some youngsters to collect them in jars of soapy water. Some kids may enjoy honing their skills with a baseball bat. You may even find a turn at bat enjoyable yourself if you have any tension to release.