Bugs at the Windows: What are they?

When the weather starts to warm up it’s only a matter of time before those evening porch lights are bombarded by seemingly every insect under the moon.  What you’re going to see will change throughout the season though there will be some familiar faces showing up again and again.  Common Armyworm and Black Cutworm moths are here at the moment and will slow down for a bit then pick back up.  These are both common pests of turf and other grasses (corn, etc).

6 May, 2013 Light trap catch. Over 170 May-June Beetles!
Light trap from a week or so ago (~28 April, 2013). A TON of carabidae beetles and some other common moths.
Left to Right:
Common Armyworm : Variegated Cutworm : Black Cutworm

But!….I bet you aren’t here to see those moths.  You’ve probably noticed these little orangy-brown-red beetles flapping into your windows.  This time of year what we have are called the May-June Beetles.  These little buggers don’t seem to have any real ‘awareness’ as to where they are flying and will just bounce around until they hit something they’re interested in.  But lordy, aren’t they adorable!?!  I mean look at that face!!!  How can you not find that cute?


May-June Beetles

These beetles are part of the genus Phyllophaga are have what’s called a complete (holometabolous) life cycle.  In other words, they go from egg, to larvae to a pupal stage and finally become adults with the adult looking strikingly different than its juvenile stage.  The larval stage lives in turfgrass and can be a significant pest in some areas.  There are a variety of species within this genus (a part of the Scarab beetle family) that you will see throughout the summer and into the fall.  These May-June Beetles will die down soon enough and be replaced by the very similar looking Northern and European Masked Chafers.

Snap some pictures and send them on in!  I’d love to see what’s flying around your homes.


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