May Beetles

May BeetlesEvery year, we are visited by several May Beetles (Genus Phyllophaga), which are also called June Bugs.  As children, we used to call them ‘Easter bugs’ since they start appearing during the Easter season.

While these bugs are harmless around our home here in Jamaica, elsewhere they are known to be nuisances … causing damage to vegetation in many gardens. As a matter of fact, their Greek name ‘Phyllophaga’ means “Leaf eater”.

I also understand that the larvae (or white grubs) which are hatched from the eggs laid by May Beetles are also harmful as they feed on the roots of grasses and other plants.

The white grubs live in the soil and are known to attack vegetables and other garden plants, causing injury to roots and stunting the growth of plants.  These grubs are very difficult to destroy.  I’ve seen these white grubs in the soil while working in our hillside, but I’ve never killed them.  I do hope they help get rid of our weeds.

May BeetlesMay beetles are known to die after becoming exposed to light for too long. They can be found dead in the morning under the porch lights, and bright windows.

Personally I think the adult May beetles come out to mate and then die, although I see no evidence of this.

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