June bugs are also commonly referred to as May beetles or June beetles. These insects belong to the scarab beetle family and comprise the genus Phyllophaga.
Native to North America, these bugs can be found in deciduous forests and woodlands, burrowing beneath logs and fallen trees for shelter and food.
Or, more annoyingly, these little buggers can be found flying around your porch light, banging around constantly during the summer months.
Read on to find out just why they do this and much more.
How did June Bugs Get Their Name?
June bugs got their name because the adult June bugs emerged from the soil at the beginning of the summer.
Female June bugs bury their eggs just below the soil’s surface. The larvae hatch within 3 to 4 weeks and feed on grass and other plants. They can feed and grow for as long as three years! Talk about a late bloomer.
In late spring, or early summer, the larvae will grow into pupae, and within three weeks, they will mature into full-grown adult June bugs.
Are June Bugs Blind?
No, June bugs are not blind. They are very bad at flying, making them appear clumsy and uncoordinated.
Instead of their wings moving up and down like most flying insects, June bugs essentially wiggle their wing by curling and un-curling them rapidly in a figure-8 motion.
This method of flying is called “snap-winging”, and it’s likely because of their elytra. When they do this, they use the hard forewings to break out of their shell by giving themselves room to move around.
So basically, June bugs are not very good at flying because of how awkward they are with moving their wings, so instead, they snap their wings, hoping to gain enough momentum to lift off the ground.
Why Are June Bugs Attracted To Light?
It’s a strange phenomenon because it is the first known instance of an insect being attracted to artificial lights on such a large scale as they all congregate around any light source at night.
What scientists think might be going on is that some June bugs mistake artificial lights for the moon and that they migrate towards them. If you think about it, they may confuse artificial lights with the moon because of how bright some lights are compared to the Moon, which can be so small and far away from Earth.
So if this is all true, then June bugs aren’t necessarily attracted to anything but to bright light sources.
Why Are June Bugs So Noisy?
It’s honestly not very well-known why June bugs make noise. They make a lot of noise in the summer when you’re trying to sleep at night.
What scientists think might be going on here is that there are two types of male June bugs, one that has a “song” and one that doesn’t have songs.
The ones with songs use their song to attract females, and it turns out the noise results from them flexing a membrane in their abdomen called the tymbal, which vibrates at high speeds.
Here’s how it works: A muscle attaches two plates together. When these muscles contract, it causes one plate to snap against the other, making that noise.
So, June bugs are noisiest when trying to attract a mate.
Do June Bugs Bite?
No, June bugs will not bite you. They are harmless and pose no danger to humans and pets because their mouthparts are made for only chewing plant material.
If one does land on you and you feel a slight pinch, it’s only because of the spins on their legs that help them grasp surfaces better.
Where Do June Bugs Go During The Day?
June bugs don’t get up and go anywhere during the day. Sometimes you might catch one crawling on the ground, but for the most part, they’re pretty stationary creatures that sleep under whatever shelter they can find during the day.
The June Bug Life Cycle
June bugs undergo complete metamorphosis during their lifetime. This means they go through four different stages: egg, larva (which is the grub, nymph and finally, an adult.
The life cycle starts when a female June bug lays her eggs in the soil and then covers them up with dirt. The eggs will then stay there until they’re ready to hatch.
In about a month-and-a-half, the eggs will finally start to hatch, and you’ll see a small larva that eats anything it can find, including other June bugs as well as plant roots, fruits, vegetables and even the bark of trees!
This bug may look scary, but you need to remember that it’s only a bug in the sense that it has six legs and two antennae. It looks like a June bug without wings and a little less hair.
For about 2-3 years, these larvae will grow bigger and bigger until they reach their full size. The next stage in its life cycle is when it becomes an adult.
That usually happens sometime in June when these larvae climb out of the ground and wait for their wings to grow back. After they dry off, they’ll take flight, and that’s when people start to notice them everywhere because they can be very loud at night due to their mating ritual.
This cycle repeats itself when they lay eggs that hatch into larvae.
What Is The June Bug Mating Ritual?
Like many other insects, male and female June bugs will perform a mating ritual to attract each other.
During the ritual, the male will hold onto the female June bug with his antennas while she emits a scent to tell him she’s ready for mating.
The two bugs will then begin their mating ritual, which can sometimes take up to 12 hours! It’s common to see four pairs of June bugs holding onto each other in a big group.
The males eventually let go, and afterwards, they usually die within the next day or two after mating because their internal organs are normally located near their wings, which makes it impossible for them to pull away without fatally injuring themselves.
What Eats June Bugs?
June bugs are food for many animals, including birds, mammals and reptiles.
Some animals that eat June bugs include cats, dogs, snakes, owls and hawks.
What Do June Bugs Eat?
June bugs don’t have a picky diet. They sit around all day and sleep most of the time. However, they eat whatever comes their way, such as plants and fruits, especially those growing in gardens and farms.
Are June Bugs Edible?
Yes, June bugs are considered a delicacy in some cultures, most famously from China and Japan, where they deep-fry them until they turn golden brown. They have a nutty flavour with a little sweetness since most of their organs are near their legs.
June bugs contain a lot of protein and very little fat making them a great source for consumption. They also have iron, calcium, and other nutrients, making them a healthy treat, at least to some.
Be careful if you are hankering for fresh uncooked June bugs. June bug consumption has been linked to outbreaks of an infectious form of meningitis. This is because the bacteria living in their gut are what causes this disease.
The good news is that there was only one reported case of June bug-related meningitis in 1999. There’s no reason to fear June bugs unless you tend to eat a lot of them while ignoring the safe cooking instructions.
Are June Bugs Considered Good Luck?
In some cultures, June bugs are considered a sign of good luck because they symbolize friends or family visiting soon.
In other places, however, it’s just the opposite. People consider June bugs a harbinger of bad things to come and try to get rid of them as quickly as possible. They can wreak havoc on crops and gardens.
So there you have it! June bugs are just harmless bugs that aren’t much of a threat. They’re mostly seen as a nuisance since they can easily reproduce and eat all the fruits in your garden, but nothing that would kill you.