The European Chafer, Also Known As the June Bug
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The European Chafer, Also Known As the June Bug

The European chafer is a member of the scarab family. They are native to Europe, but in recent years has become an invasive species in North America.

The European chafer is a member of the scarab family. They are native to Europe, but in recent years has become an invasive species in North America. In North America, they are called “June bugs” and have become a fairly serious pest in some places.

The June bug is a scarab capable of flight. They are small beetles, around 11 to 15 millimetres long and about 5 millimetres wide. They have a hard carapace that is light reddish brown and light yellow hair around their necks and on their bellies. June bug larva are larger than adults, being around 20 to 23 millimetres long. They have white bodies with a yellow heads, and six joined legs. These legs resemble a caterpillar’s legs, and they are sometimes mistaken as caterpillars by the uneducated. Chafer larva live much longer than the adults do, they live 8-9 months, while adults only live 1-2 weeks.

Like many insects, the larva and adults have different diets. June bug larva eat the roots of grass and plants, which makes them an enemy of any who strive for a perfect lawn; they have been known to destroy lawns. Birds, moles, mice, and other predatory insects such as ants, beetles and, wasps eat the larva. As adults, they only come out at night and do not eat anything. Adult June bugs only purpose is to reproduce. They travel in large groups or swarms and seem mindless in their search for a mate. They will bang off windows and doors, and have even been known to break windows with their sheer numbers and weight.

The European chafer is prey to numerous animals, ranging from bats, birds, large nocturnal insects, small mammals, ants, and parasitic wasps and flies. Humans also kill them; they crush them by stepping on them, hitting them with a rolled up newspaper or something similar, or with an insecticides.

June bugs are a serious problem in North America as they are not native to the area. They reproduce quickly and are responsible with the death of many native North American insects. Humans and predatory insects and animals need to work together to control their ever increasing populations and if possible to eradicate them from their area. The European chafer is an interesting insect and in its home in Europe where it belongs is an important part of the ecosystem. However, in North America, it is an invasive pest that should be stopped.

Related keywords: spanish moon moth
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