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News & Press: OTF News

Night Time Visitors

Tuesday, June 09, 2015  
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Written by Jennifer Andon
The Ohio State University

May/June beetle adult
Do you have frequent night time guests hanging out at on your screen doors? I sure do, and my kids love to flick them off. May/June beetles, or "June bugs”, are one of our larger scarab beetles and they seem to be in quite large numbers this year. During the second week in May, we caught 275 adults in our black light trap, just in a single night. That’s a lot of beetles!!! It appears that these large populations occur in cycles every few years, or so.

Adult beetles feed during the night on foliage and flowers of deciduous trees and shrubs, but show a preference to oak leaves. During large outbreaks of beetles, small oak trees can seemingly be defoliated overnight. Wow!

The larvae, or immature of this beetle is one of the white grubs we occasionally see infesting turfgrass around gardens or ornamental beds. Unlike our annual white grub complex, this species can take up to 5 years to complete a single generation. Typically, these grubs prefer to feed on various rootstock of garden plants and organic matter and are found near heavily wooded areas. Generally speaking, these beetles are of little to no concern and can be a ton of fun for small children and entomologists alike!!!

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