Green June Beetle
A large conspicuous beetle that will be emerging from the ground in the next couple weeks is the Green June beetle (Cotinis nitida). Once they emerge the Green June beetle generally swarm around grassy areas looking for a mate. After mating, the female will bury 20 – 30 eggs in the ground. These eggs will hatch in about 2 to 3 weeks and the young grubs will live in the soil from August until next May when they will pupate and change into the adult beetle. The developing grubs feed on mulch, decomposing plant material, roots, and other organic matter. The grub feeding activity can cause localized damage in turf grass usually resulting in dead patches throughout the lawn. These grubs also burrow throughout the soil and make small mounds of dirt next to their holes. This burrowing and mounding of dirt is also unsightly. The grubs have an unusual means of moving about in that they often crawl on their back rather than using their small legs to get around. The adults are very colorful and stout insects. These beetles prefer to feed on tree sap, flowers, and overripe fruit. The Green June Beetle is more of a pest of turf grass especially if there is a large population present that create numerous mounds in a lawn.
Article by Mike Kay, FCFCDB member