There’s a reason June bugs are called, well, June bugs. It’s because these inch-long, slow-flying beetles emerge in force in June, often crashing into you on a summer evening outdoors. The males dive bomb through the air as a way to attract females during the summer mating season.

June bugs are actually a reference to the more than 260 species of scarab beetles, with the four most common being the brown chafer beetle, the brown-and-white, ten-lined June beetle, the green June beetle, and the green iridescent Japanese beetle. Despite their name, they actually start appearing in May and remain active through July.

Not Dangerous to You, But Dangerous to Your Plants

June bugs, while an annoyance, don’t bite, sting, or spread disease. So, they are harmless to you, your family, and your pets. That said, they are voracious eaters and dine on plants both above and below ground. The adults – which are the ones buzzing your head in the evening – feast on the foliage of trees and shrubs, while the grubs (which spend as long as three years in the soil before emerging as adults) chomp on plant roots. Their root of choice is grass.

Grubs are white, have a c-shaped body with three sets of legs, an orange-colored head, and a worm-like appearance. This makes them fairly easy to identify. Occasionally, grubs will emerge from the ground at night in search of more food.

From there, it only gets worse.

Many animals find June bugs to be very tasty, and because June bugs are slow and clumsy, they make for easy prey. Raccoons and skunks are known to dig up yards in search of grubs, compounding your June bug problem.

How Do I Know if I Have a June Bug Problem?

Adult June bugs are attracted to light. In addition, most species are partly nocturnal, which means you can see them flying and crashing into things in the early evening hours. To check if you have adult June bugs in your yard, all you need to do is walk outside after sunset and look at the porch lights. If you have June bugs, they will likely be flying near the light.

The best preventative measure to take against grubs is to avoid over-watering your yard and to limit the use of fertilizer. The more moisture and thriving plants that you have, the more adult June bugs you will attract to your yard.