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Old 30.06.2007, 22:12
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June Beetle or Humming Bird Moth

Has anyone any experience of june beetles ? or Junikäfer? Never seen anything like this in england - once I was attacked in Namibia when I was camping under a cliff by a swarm of mating beetles - they dug in their claws and tried to mate with my skin..

Just been watching the swiss version of these "hatch" from under my newly planted hedge.
Fascinating watching them as they emerge from out of the mulch on the ground, opening their backs and getting out their new wings for the first time.
They are really crazy when they take to the air - like drunken bees.
Checked out google - http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junik%C3%A4fer
Apparently related to the scarab beetle. Are they considered a pest over in switzerland?
Apparently they feed on roots for two years while they are underground then they eat leaves when they are in flying mode. Looks like I picked the wrong place to start growing a hedge. Explains why some of them grew perfect and some stunted.
Anyone any experience or advice on these crazy critters.
Also, anyone ever seen the humming bird moths? - these are unbelievable insects - we have 2 or 3 in my garden each year.
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Old 30.06.2007, 23:46
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Re: June Beetle or Humming Bird Moth

I've never heard of the Junikäfer. In my part of Switzerland, we see lots of Maikäfer emerging from sleep. There are loads of them. Here's a Wiki article on them http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maik%C3%A4fer

I wonder if they have other bugs with names derived from the months of the year?
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Old 30.06.2007, 23:58
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Re: June Beetle or Humming Bird Moth

I was wondering this also - a neighbour today told me that these were June Beetles and last year - actually in may, another old guy told me that the flying beetles were May Bees.
I have never seen two of them together (well I don't suppose you would unless it was maybe the 31st May).
Both have entries in Wikipedia.
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Old 01.07.2007, 00:01
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Re: June Beetle or Humming Bird Moth

We've a whole load of moth-like things swarming outside our house this evening. There's loads of them! They certainly look like the humming bird moths. Why they've come to my house to copulate I can't imagine, but there's definitely an insect orgy going on out there.

Being a good brit, I simply closed the curtains and left them to it.
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Old 01.07.2007, 00:27
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Re: June Beetle or Humming Bird Moth

When I first moved into my house I dug out all the soil (50 cm) and manually sifted it for bulbs, stones, dead crows and lots of strange creatures.
I found hundreds and hundreds of these :-

Just been looking around and have now found out that these are the May/June Beetles before they get their wings. I destroyed most of them. I would hate to know many there would have been if I hadn't done this. Also found that the best time to get rid of these is about now - when they lay the new larvae. I will try and find out the best way to do this and post any info.
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Old 01.07.2007, 01:10
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Re: June Beetle or Humming Bird Moth

I moved over to Switzerland to work in a role in insect pest control research so this is a really interesting post.

So, the June bugs, that you're seeing, are they green or brown? I think the green ones tend to fly during the day and brown ones at night, when they like hanging around lights and ofeten fly into windows. I seem to remember when I was a kid hearing hearing taps on the window some evenings and mum said it was probably May bugs.

Because they burrow in the ground, June bugs have little spines on them to help them dig, and I think they have a hook on the nose, so that's probalby why it feels like they dig into your skin if they land on you!

One particular attribute of succesful insect pests is a quick lifecycle, which June Bugs don't have. Despite this, they are known pests but I imagine they'd be relatively easy to control in a garden. If you find they're a bit of a problem you could keep picking up the adults as they come to the surface (at night or when the ground is watered) perhaps this might work to reduce the population. Or they respond quite well to garden pesticides (look for something like a Pyrethroid/Deltamethrin active ingredient, should be toxic to any non-target creatures).

As for the hummingbird moths - they're amazing aren't they? I saw one for the first time at my parents house near Salisbury last summer. I couldn't believe how bird like it was. Hope I get to see some out here too!
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Old 01.07.2007, 01:12
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Re: June Beetle or Humming Bird Moth

I meant to add that MAy and June bugs are the same thing. People just tend to name them according to when they're used to seeing them, and there are a few different species of them, so their timing may vary a bit.
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Old 01.07.2007, 08:06
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Re: June Beetle or Humming Bird Moth

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Anyone any experience or advice on these crazy critters.
Also, anyone ever seen the humming bird moths? - these are unbelievable insects - we have 2 or 3 in my garden each year.

we have a few of these visiting the balcony every year to nuzzle around the flowers ... fantastic to watch ...
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Old 01.07.2007, 08:12
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Re: June Beetle or Humming Bird Moth

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When I first moved into my house I dug out all the soil (50 cm) and manually sifted it for bulbs, stones, dead crows and lots of strange creatures.
I found hundreds and hundreds of these :-

Just been looking around and have now found out that these are the May/June Beetles before they get their wings. I destroyed most of them. I would hate to know many there would have been if I hadn't done this. Also found that the best time to get rid of these is about now - when they lay the new larvae. I will try and find out the best way to do this and post any info.
the other one to be looking out for if you have nice lawns is this little bugger :



which be a leatherjacket, which is a Daddy Longlegs / Crane Fly larvae, they will be busy chomping the roots of your carefully groomed lawn juat around now.
as we have had a ridiculously mild Autumn-Winter-Spring, there is talk of an epidemic this year.
to get rid, water a patch of grass & place a tarp pr plastic sheeting over the area, leatherjackets will rise to the surface & you can just pick them up ... if you have a trout pond / river ... happy fish
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Old 01.07.2007, 09:08
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Re: June Beetle or Humming Bird Moth

Hello ScientistMel - the ones I have been describing are the brown night variety.
Don't get me wrong - I do not want to decimate every insect in sight - just do a bit of thinning out. Part of my garden is a "wild reserve" - so they are more than welcome to eek out their life cycle there. Once my hedge begins to mature a little more then I will leave them alone.

I wish I could do a job like yours - it sounds much more full-filling than sitting behind my computer looking after other peoples endless database problems.
Insect control must be a subject where you can actually see quantify-able results and your customers really appreciate your efforts. It is just the Latin which would cause me a problem.
The investigation and experimental elements of your work would really appeal to me.
Since I have had my garden, my whole perspective on (pond) life has altered.
I think there will be many more insect/garden related posts in the future. I have already written something about cockroaches

Last edited by jbrady; 02.07.2007 at 21:23.
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