View Full Version : What is the purpose of the June Bug\May Beetle?

06-21-2000, 12:43 AM
I'm a newbie here...but LOVE the forum and the site. I have a question that everyone in the south (not sure about the northern states or not) can relate to....

What in the heck is the purpose of the June Bug besides to bug you? I have watched them fly repeatily into the window, (light source seeking their "moon")fall backwards onto their backs and struggle to get up again only for the process to repeat. I'm not sure but I think they are pretty harmful (as grubs) to your lawn. What is their mission? And how can I get rid of them???? I'm so tired of opening up the door to have a swarm of them meet me!

06-21-2000, 08:25 AM
Like all life, it's only purpose is to survive. Whatever benefit or detriment it causes humans is incidental.

06-21-2000, 11:51 AM
I must agree with revtim.
Besides, they were probably less foolish-looking while they were around millions of years ago, flying according to the moon instead of being all screwed up by artificial light.
Lots of animals eat them, that's serves a purpose.
There are swarms of them, but if they all ceased to exist,
doncha think we would suffer?

06-21-2000, 12:43 PM
This reminds me of the old joke that God made mosquitoes so we would appreciate flies.

I will say that from my personal perspective june bugs are a particularly unattractive creature. In certain places at certain times of the year they are just everywhere AND they are sticky (not gooey-sticky, prickly-sticky) and cling to everything, including you and your clothes, hair, etc. Plus they make this repulsive heaving-hissing sound just in case seeing and touching them isn't annoying enough. (Not that they're especially ugly -- they're just relatively big, i.e., scary, for an insect.)

But they are one of several zillion species of beetles which are, based on the number of different species, the most successful family(?) of animals.

They were an occasional nuisance when I was a child growing up in Spokane but there largest invasion into my life was when we lived in Peoria. (Another good reason NOT to live in the Midwest.) Here in Seattle, fortunately, they are not among the local fauna. We got the slugs instead.

06-21-2000, 01:28 PM
There are swarms of them, but if they all ceased to exist,
doncha think we would suffer?

I honestly agree that they were less foolish looking before the upper food chain decided to invade their territory....but I don't think we would suffer from them not being here. They do more harm to our "material" needs (i.e. our lawn, crops, attract crows) than they do to help our needs. Actually I don't think they provide any help to humans....or at least I haven't found anything yet. Crows eat them before they turn themselves into a beetle (in the grub state)...but there are so many of them they can't seem to get them all. I understand the main mission is to survive...I feel they could accomplish that as a grub (living in ground!)..They don't repoduce when they turn into a beetle and they die within 24 hours...So exactly why do they turn into a beetle in the first place?

They are harmless to humans as a whole...they won't sting..just annoy us...and I do suppose they provide hours of idiot entertainment....I have to admit if I can get far enough away to enjoy watching them without them hooking themselves on me....I laugh my butt off at their endless attempts at getting to light....reminds me alot of how humans take one step forward to be knocked back 4 steps....

Wood Thrush
06-21-2000, 02:56 PM
paigeb25 said:

They don't repoduce when they turn into a beetle …

I believe all Coleoptera reproduce only in the adult stage.

Arnold Winkelried
06-21-2000, 03:57 PM
From the Encyclopædia Britannica article on June Beetles (http://britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/4/0,5716,45174+1+44151,00.html)

A natural enemy of the June beetle is the pyrgota fly larva (Pyrgota undata), which feeds on the beetle, eventually killing it. June beetle larvae are considered excellent fish bait.

So there you go, in addition to making you "laugh your butt off", you can use them as fish bait. Who says they're useless?

If you get too irritated, import a whole bunch of pyrgota flies. Of course, when the pyrgota flies run amuck and take over your back yard, you'll have to think of something else.

The June beetles do a lot of damage to crops, gardens and lawns according to EB.

06-21-2000, 06:31 PM
The larvae of the June Beetle are in the ground. They can cause damage to your yard if there is a high enough concentation of them. I have always waited until I started seeing damage and sprayed down my turf with Dursban. That always took care of them, but now that Dursban is going off the market…I don't know what you can do about the adults coming from neighbors' yards.

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