May beetles and June beetles are closely related. They are also very similar and can easily be confused. June beetles are usually a little smaller than May beetles. However, both are equally dangerous for the native plants in the garden. Because the larvae and the beetles can cause great damage to the roots and leaves. Therefore, the larvae should also be fought, as the following article explains.

fight grubs

In order to take action against the beetles and drive them away, the larvae, which are also dangerous, must be rendered harmless. It makes more sense to track down the grubs of both species, Melolontha and Amphimallon solstitiale , directly in the ground and fight them directly here. The beetles flying above ground, on the other hand, can possibly be driven away by preventive measures. Here are the following useful tools:

  • use home remedies
  • natural solution predators
  • nematodes
  • Protect plants from beetles
  • prevent larvae
  • Better to avoid chemicals

Why so dangerous?


The may beetle (Melolontha) is better known than the June beetle (Amphimallon solstitiale), but the latter is no less harmful. Because the term June beetle is a bit misleading, as the insect can survive well into autumn. Both beetle species have the same distribution and are therefore twice as dangerous. But why is it that the beetles don’t like to be seen in the local gardens? This can be explained as follows:

  • Eggs of both beetle species are laid in the ground
    • this is also where the larvae hatch
  • Cockchafer larva stays in the ground twice as long
    • four years and more
  • June beetle larva only two years
  • warm, moist soil causes the larvae to multiply explosively
  • Larvae eat the roots of lawns and other plants
    • are thereby destroyed
  • hatched may beetles eat leaves
  • nocturnal June beetles eat leaves and grass

Individual beetles of both species are not too bad, if there is a plague, the garden can suffer a lot. It is important to know that the beetles can hardly be fought, that driving them away is usually very difficult and it makes more sense to render the grubs harmless in the ground.

Note: If you take good care of your garden and your plants, always provide them with plenty of nutrients and keep the soil evenly moist, then unfortunately you also create the perfect living environment for the larvae of both beetle species. Therefore you will have to fight with the beetles every year.

Use home remedies

The chemical club in a garden should be handled with care as much as possible. However, there are various measures that can be taken to combat the larvae suspected of being in the ground when May or June beetles are sighted. If these are prevented from developing, then fighting has been a complete success. You can use the following home remedies to prevent the further development of grubs of both Melolontha and Amphimallon solstitiale:

  • Work the floor with a tiller
    • Larvae rise to the surface and die
  • alternatively use pronged cultivator
    • loosens and aerates the soil
    • this also exposes larvae to the sun
  • sun exposure and drought is not tolerated
  • Plant out fungi as parasites
    • well suited for a lawn
  • Fungi remain on the area for many years
  • June beetles in particular prefer the lawn

Natural predators

The larvae of cockchafers and June beetles also have natural predators that are worth luring into the garden. Especially in a larger garden that is close to nature, it is easier to use predators against the grubs in the ground than in a small garden. This is because the natural predators usually do not find enough shelter here and are often disturbed by people when looking for food. The following are among the predators in particular:

  • cats
    • Attract outdoor cats to the garden
    • with cat food
    • let your own outdoor cats into the garden
  • native birds
    • for example blackbirds
    • hang up many nesting boxes in the garden
  • bats
    • You can also hang up special boxes for this
  • pile shelter with rocks for shrews
Tip: If you manage to make your garden less sterile and let nature take its course, then some of the predators can also be settled, which provide effective protection against May beetles and June beetles and their larvae.


Unfortunately, the larvae of Melolontha and Amphimallon solstitiale are very tough and can often survive well even in adverse living conditions. Therefore, if home remedies and preventive measures do not help and if the adult beetles cannot be easily driven out of the garden, then it could be helpful to use nematodes. This is not chemical control, as nematodes are roundworms that feed on the larvae in the soil. Once all the larvae have been destroyed, the nematodes also die and the soil is pest-free again. When using nematodes, proceed as follows:

  • Obtain roundworms in stores
    • is usually sold as a powder
  • For application, pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • pour into the ground with the irrigation water
  • The process usually does not have to be repeated
Note: If you buy the nematodes commercially, you have to consider that these are also small creatures that could die. Therefore, you should pour the mixture into the soil as soon as possible after purchase, otherwise there may be no success.

Protect plants against beetles

If you discover a plague, which is easier with May beetles than with nocturnal June beetles, then we can only advise you to protect the plants in the garden in such a way that the insects take off and drive them away through various measures. Because the animals in the garden can no longer find food and can no longer lay their eggs, they look for a new habitat. Such a plague can be recognized by the fact that the leaves of the plants have been nibbled on and, in the worst case, completely nibbled off. June beetles also love the lawn grass, the lawn looks plucked after a few nights. When first detected, the following steps should be taken immediately:

  • cover all plants
  • ideally most of the garden
  • use large lengths of plant fleece
    • dense networks better
    • Plants still get light
  • If possible, do not water the soil during this time
  • bugs under the tarpaulin cannot fly
  • Mating becomes impossible
  • Beetles cannot get to the plants from the outside
  • Cover lawn every evening

In this way, the May beetles and the June beetles are deprived of their habitat without being destroyed. They have no way of getting food and this also prevents them from laying eggs again in the ground. Driving them out of your own garden can be quite successful in this way.

Tip: If you have covered your garden with tarpaulins and nets, you should only water the plants very selectively during this time so that they receive enough water while the rest of the soil remains dry. In this way you can prevent new larvae and fight them at the same time.

Prevention against larvae in the soil

When there was a beetle plague, the larvae found the optimal conditions in the garden, so that all of the laid eggs hatched and multiplied explosively. Two (June beetles) and four (June beetles) years later, the beetle plague occurs. But the effects of many grubs in the earth can be seen much earlier. However, so that it doesn’t get that far in the first place, you can also prevent it sensibly every year. To do this, you can worsen the conditions for the larvae as follows:

  • Allow the soil to dry out for some time in spring and early summer
  • Finding balance for the care of the plants
  • possibly water each plant individually directly to the roots
  • Keep soil dry all around
  • in dry soil the larvae die
  • mix sand under loamy soil when planting new soil

Should chemicals be used?

In any case, it is always better to protect a garden naturally. Because chemical agents are usually not ideal, even if pests are to be combated. But the grubs of Amphimallon solstitiale and Melolontha populate a large part of the garden. The chemicals used would have to be spread throughout the garden. Here, however, it also gets into the soil and it takes years for it to be completely degraded again. Especially when it comes to a fruit or vegetable garden, the chemical agents then get into the plant via the roots and are then absorbed by people who could be harmed by this.

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