May beetle (Khrushch)

May beetle (Khrushch)

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The May beetle insect (Melolontha), which is also called the May beetle, is part of the Lamellar family. In nature, it lives in Europe and Asia. Back in the 19th century until the mid-fifties, May beetle was very widespread, while it could cause significant damage to agriculture. Then there was a sharp decline in the population of such a pest due to the massive use of pesticides. However, this insect to this day can greatly harm both private gardens and orchards, and agricultural plantings.

Features of the beetle


The May beetle is a fairly large insect. Its length can reach 3.15 cm. The body of the May beetle consists of a head, chest, abdomen and legs. The shape of the insect's body is oblong-oval, convex and barrel-shaped. There are small hair-like scales on the surface of the body. On the dorsum and head, the scales are longer, and they form longitudinal stripes. The body can be brown-red or black, and the beetle's elytra are red-brown or brown-yellow. The surface of the head and dorsum has a light green tint.

There are two varieties of May beetles: absolutely black beetles and red beetles, the legs and pre-dorsum of which are pale yellow or red. Most often, red beetles in nature are found in the northern regions in open areas with little shade. And black beetles live in the southern climate in the shade. May beetle is sometimes confused with green bronze, which is listed in the Red Book; this insect is absolutely safe for agriculture.

On the chest of the May beetle there are 3 pairs of walking legs, each of which is attached to a certain segment. There are hairs on the surface of the legs, and they end in claws, with which the beetles cling to the foliage and the surface of the bark. The sense organs and mouth are located on the head, while on the lower lip there are 2 probes, which are the organs of taste and touch. On the sides of the head there are 2 complex faceted eyes, in front of them there are 2 antennae with expanded plates - these are the organs of smell. In the female, these organs are much less developed than in the males. The insect can tilt its head, but it is not able to turn it left and right. In May beetle, the chest is connected to the abdomen. The upper part of the abdomen is closed by the elytra, from under them only the pointed tip of the abdomen protrudes. Under the elytra on the abdomen are the wings, as well as the spiracles, which are small holes.

Depending on the sex of the insect, the structure of the beetle may differ, for example, on the surface of the elytra of females there is a dense coating consisting of white scales. In addition, in males, the antennae have the shape of a large curved club, which consists of seven plates. In females, the club is not as large as in males, and it includes six plates.

Stages of development

May Khrushch has a life cycle of 3-5 years. The life span of a beetle directly depends on climatic conditions. Throughout almost its entire life, the beetle lives underground, and it flies only from 30 to 40 days. After only 15–20 days after emerging from the pupa, the female is already ready for reproduction. When mating occurs, the female arranges egg-laying in the ground at a depth of 100 mm. After that, the female again goes in search of the male and again arranges egg-laying in the ground. There can be up to four such cycles, with only one female in general capable of laying about 70 eggs. When the female makes the last egg-laying, she dies. In length, eggs reach up to 0.3 centimeters, and in width - up to 0.2 centimeters, and they are painted in an off-white color. They are very soft at first, but become hard over time. The duration of egg maturation is from 20 to 35 days, and in some cases, when conditions are extremely unfavorable for their development, then the larvae of them may appear only after about 50 days.

Larvae appear from the eggs, they are thick and have a curved shape, their color is light, and the head is yellowish or brown. The larva has 3 pairs of small legs, which are very tenacious. During the first summer period, the larvae eat humus and roots of various herbs. In winter, they burrow into the soil to a depth of 150 cm, and with the onset of the spring period, they get out closer to the root system of young trees, it is they who eat them during the next season. Already in the third year, the length of the grown larva can vary from 4.5 to 6.5 cm, at which time it is able to gnaw through the strong roots of adult trees. The transformation into a pupa is observed in the fourth year, in the soil it can be found at a depth of 0.2 to 0.4 m. The pupa has a shape that is very similar to the adult May beetle, but its wings and head bent under the chest are slightly shorter. The pupa is about 2.5 cm long and up to 1.8 cm wide. The duration of this phase of development is 15–30 days, and it begins in the last days of July or the first days of August. Then the pupa becomes an adult beetle, and it falls into suspended animation before the onset of spring. Around May, after warm weather sets in and buds bloom on the trees, May beetles come out of the ground, start flying and lay eggs.

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How can the May Khrushchev harm?

An adult beetle eats young foliage of various trees, for example: birch, poplar, oak, maple, aspen, mountain ash and linden. And in garden plots, it can harm such fruit shrubs and trees as: sea buckthorn, black currant, cherry, plum and apple tree (the beast loves her the most). An insect can harm even lilacs, while herbaceous crops are not of interest to him at all. Experts noted that once every 3-5 years, there is a massive year of May beetles. Black beetles develop in a five-year cycle, while red beetles develop in a four-year cycle. In these "flying" years, insects are able to eat all the foliage on the trees for 4–8 weeks. However, in the intervals between these "flying" years, it is almost impossible to meet a large number of beetles.

Beetle larvae can also harm various crops. They damage the root system of various vegetable crops (for example: corn, potatoes and any seedlings), strawberries, lawns and parts of weeds, as well as the roots of ornamental and fruit shrubs and trees. One larva, which is 2 years old, can eat the roots of a biennial pine tree in just 7 days. And for an older larva, which is 3 years old, it will only take about 24 hours.

Fighting the beetle (beetle)

With the May beetle, you can fight with several methods, and each of them is effective in its own way. Some of the methods are relatively expensive, and some of them require significant physical effort. Various methods of pest control will be described in detail below, but which one is best to choose in a particular case is up to you.

Catching beetles

To protect garden crops from the beetle, you can catch it. In order to catch an adult beetle, you can use the following methods:

  1. Light trap... Take a basin and coat it from the inside with grease or other viscous substance. Attach any light source to the bottom of the basin (for example, a lantern or a candle, which must be protected from the wind). When the sun goes down, the trap is set up in the garden. Those beetles that fly into the light will get stuck in the solid oil.
  2. Glue traps... Make traps from newspapers that need to be coated with adhesive. They are laid out in strawberry beds, and also hung on trees.

3 6 May Beetle Light Trap - Results

Mechanical method

This method of dealing with beetles is absolutely free, but it is very laborious and time-consuming. To do this, in the summer, dig the site to a depth of 10 to 20 centimeters. But if something grows in this area, this method will not work for you.

Sodding the site

The larvae of the beetle do not tolerate nitrogen; therefore, it is recommended to grow white clover in the near-trunk circles of trees and shrubs. Its root system recycles nitrogen, after which it distributes it to the roots of other crops growing nearby. This method of controlling larvae is distinguished by its high efficiency, as well as absolute safety for horticultural crops. In addition, white clover helps to reduce the amount of weeds in the garden.

Natural enemies

The natural enemies of beetles are various birds and insectivores. Starlings, rooks and other birds can save your site from such a pest. In order for the birds to look at your site more often, they need to be attracted, for this it is recommended to install several feeders and birdhouses.

If hedgehogs live on your site, then this is very good. The fact is that hedgehogs are able to dig grubs from the ground, which they use as food.

May beetle remedies (preparations)

In order to free your garden plot from the beetle larvae, you will need to use special chemicals. According to gardeners, the following tools are most effective:

  1. Zemlin... This product is specially formulated to fight against May beetle larvae and wireworms. To protect the root system of crops from beetle larvae, a glass jar with a volume of 0.5 liters by ¾ is filled with dry sand or sawdust, after which one sachet of the drug is poured into it. Mix everything well and during planting of seedlings, add 1 tsp into each of the planting holes. the resulting mixture.
  2. Bazudin... This drug is used to exterminate insects living in the ground, including beetle larvae. The active substance of this agent is diazinon. The analogues of this drug are Kapkan, Dohlox and Grrom.
  3. Initiative... An insecticidal agent is capable of exterminating all pests living in the ground, for example: a bear, larvae of the May beetle, wireworm, etc. The agent is thoroughly mixed with the ground and poured into each planting hole during planting of various crops.
  4. Aktara... An insecticidal agent with a broad spectrum of action. It is equally effective both when treating plants with a spray gun and when applied to the ground.
  5. Aktofit... Insectoacaricidal preparation of biological origin with intestinal action. It is created on the basis of natural highly specific neurotoxins, which easily penetrate into the pest's body and contribute to the damage to its nervous system.
  6. Antikhrusch... This is a disinfectant, which is a systemic contact two-component insectoacaricidal preparation used to control harmful insects living in the ground. It equally effectively destroys the pest at any stage of development, helping to block its nervous system.


Today, gardeners are increasingly using biological agents, for example, Nemabakt. He destroys the larvae of the beetle. At the heart of this drug is an entomopathogenic nematode, which is a round microscopic worm. It lives in the soil and feeds on various insects. Using natural holes, the worm makes its way into the larva, and after 1–3 days it dies. The nematoda leaves the corpse and looks for a new larva. This product is safe for pets, humans, bees, fish, earthworms and other harmless insects.

Also, the biological product Broverin is distinguished by safety and high efficiency. It is a new generation biological insecticidal agent based on an entomopathogenic fungus. This fungus grows inside the pest's body and, gradually growing in it, contributes to the poisoning of the larva with toxins. Then, fungal spores form on the surface of the corpse, which are capable of infecting healthy larvae.

In addition to these chemical and biological agents, gardeners also use drugs: Arrivo, Decis, Confidor Maxi, Sherpa, Fitoferm, Match, etc.

We grow a remedy for wireworm and May beetle at home.

Folk remedies and preventive measures

Folk remedies include sowing on the site of lupine, which is then used as green manure. Where lupine grows, there is no weed, so the larvae are forced to eat the roots of such a green manure, and they are poison for them.

Soil cultivation in spring can be considered as a preventive measure. For this, the earth in the near-trunk circles of trees and shrubs, as well as near strawberry bushes, is spilled with a solution of ammonia (1 to 2 ml of water per 1 liter). You can also dissolve a couple of large spoons of ammonia or 0.2 kg of coarse salt in 10 liters of water, this solution can be used to shed the beds.

To destroy the larvae in the spring, it is recommended to dig up the site. You also need to regularly loosen the surface of the soil, in the aisles of the potatoes, starting in May and ending in the last summer weeks, because it is at this time that the beetles arrange egg-laying, pupate and molt. A solution of potassium permanganate (5 grams per bucket of water) will also help to save the potato crop from the beetle larvae, they spill soil near the plants. If you keep chickens, then they can be driven out to the potato field. They will not touch the potatoes, but they will dig up the larvae of the beetle and eat them.

The use of iodine in the fight against the beetle larva.

How to deal with the beetle and its larvae

In early May, gardens and orchards begin to slowly fill with May beetles. However, summer residents are not at all happy about such uninvited guests. And this is not surprising, because the May beetle and its larvae are capable of causing irreparable damage to garden plantings. Needless to say, but it is necessary to fight the invasion of the beetle in a timely manner.

May beetle life cycle

The full development cycle of the May beetle (another name for the insect is May beetle) lasts 3-5 years and depends on the region: the further north, the more time it takes for the insect to go through all the stages of development.

The imago (adult) of the May beetle is rather large in size: it reaches a length of 31-32 mm. Most often has red-brown wings.

Many people confuse the May beetle with another insect - the bronze, which flies at about the same time. However, the bronze has wings of a different color - black with a greenish tint.

The flight of the May beetle begins at different latitudes in different months: the farther south the region, the earlier it happens. In the middle lane, beetles usually fly out in late April (in warm years) or in early May (in cool years). This period coincides with the blooming of oak leaves and the massive flowering of apricots.

The largest number of flying beetles is observed at night. During the day they sit on plants and eat them. The May beetle has no special preferences: it relishes with the same pleasure both forest trees and shrubs, and ornamental or fruit and berry plants. Eats leaves, flowers and ovaries, does not like only needles. In the garden, plum and apple trees are at the greatest risk: they are most often damaged by May beetles.

Plants damaged by the May beetle can be recognized by the "leaky" leaves, flowers or ovaries. Sometimes, after an invasion of insects, only thick veins remain instead of leaf blades.

When the flowering of apple trees ends, insects begin to lay eggs. They do this about 4 times per season. In one clutch there are from 5 to 20 eggs, they are located at a depth of 20-40 cm. About a month later (under unfavorable conditions, later, within 50 days), May beetle larvae appear - dangerous plant pests.If an adult insect damages the aboveground part of any crop, then its larvae harm underground organs, because they feed on plant roots.

In the first year, the larvae, which are at a depth of 10-40 cm, eat mainly thin roots and humus. In autumn, they go lower, to 1-1.5 m, they hibernate there and in spring they rise again closer to the surface, spending warm time at a depth of about 10 cm. Larvae of the second or fourth year feed on larger roots, causing irreparable harm to plants. Depending on the degree of root damage, some plants begin to lag behind in development, while others die altogether.

In the last year of the life cycle, before pupation, the larvae are especially voracious. In mid-June - early July, they sink deep into the soil, where they create special "cradles" for the development of pupae. After about a month, pupae appear. The pupa turns into an adult insect in 30-40 days, by the beginning of autumn. If autumn is dry, then young beetles can begin their flight immediately, without waiting for the next spring. The bulk of the adults does not emerge from the soil, but remains there to winter and emerges only in April-May.

Folk ways to get rid of the May beetle

Many gardeners, in addition to chemical and biological preparations, practice other ways to get rid of the May beetle:

  • Digging the soil,
  • Sodding the soil,
  • Growing lupine,
  • Onion tincture.

The simplest and least effective way is to dig up the soil. To achieve the result, it is necessary to loosen the soil throughout the summer. The eggs are crushed during digging and loosening of the soil, the conditions for pupation of the larvae are violated, as a result of which they die.

May beetle larvae do not tolerate nitrogen, therefore, to get rid of them, the plots are sown with clover. The roots of this plant are home to bacteria that assimilate nitrogen. Later, it accumulates in the ground and prevents the appearance and development of the beetle larvae.

Weeds do not grow on crops of perennial lupine. The larvae will have to feed on the roots of this plant, which are poison for them.

During the period of vegetative development, the soil must be watered with prepared onion husk tincture: put onion husks (1/3 of the bucket) on the bottom of the bucket and pour water to the top.

Leave in this state for 5 days. After the time has elapsed, the tincture is diluted in equal proportions with water.

You can also treat the soil with a chlorine solution. Only the aisles should be processed. It is important not to damage the plants: the distance from the root should be 5-10 cm. Half a liter of water will require 100 g of chlorine. This amount of solution is enough to process several bushes. The same composition will help to get rid of weeds, which mainly grow between the rows.

A good remedy for bugs is salt and ammonia. Add 200 g of coarse salt and 2 large tablespoons of ammonia to a bucket of water. Stir everything well until the salt is completely dissolved. It is necessary to water the beds with the prepared solution. This method is good to use during the flowering of potatoes for preventive purposes.

For best results, the best time to deal with May beetles is in summer. It is in the summer that the beetles are as close as possible to the surface of the earth.

How to get rid of the beetle larva in the garden. How to get rid of beetle larvae in the garden and vegetable garden forever

For summer residents and gardeners, the question of how to get rid of the May beetle larvae is relevant. These insects are capable of causing significant damage to the crop by damaging the fruits, roots or roots of cultivated plants. You can get rid of an annoying pest in various ways, folk and chemical means.

The article contains the most effective, safe and easy-to-use methods of dealing with beetles.

Adult May beetles / beetles feed on foliage of trees and shrubs, flowers and young fruit ovaries. Larvae do more harm

Features of pests

Spring pleases summer residents with the opening of the next season, but with the onset of warmth, very unpleasant "guests" appear on the plots - May beetles. Adult insects and their larvae pose a danger to garden and horticultural crops, therefore, having found them on your site, take measures to catch and destroy. For the fight to be effective, it is important to know the characteristics of beetles, their life cycle, habits and preferences.

The flight of the beetle in the middle lane begins in late May-early June

May beetle is a large insect 3.5-4 cm long. The body is covered with a strong chitinous shell. The long elytra are brownish-brown, chocolate or reddish, the segmented abdomen and small head are usually darker. The body and head are covered with numerous hairs, and the end of each of the 6 legs is equipped with a curved claw. The edges of the antennae are decorated with “fans” consisting of several long plates. Adults (adults) feed on foliage of trees and shrubs, flowers and young fruit ovaries.

The flight of the May beetle in the middle lane begins in late May and early June. Different-sex individuals mate, and then each female buries 20-30 cm in loose soil and lays about 20 whitish, rounded eggs with a diameter of 1.5-2.5 mm. For one and a half to two months, she repeats the clutch 2-3 more times, in between, she actively feeds, and then dies.

The larvae hatch after 30-40 days. They look like large, yellowish-white worms with hard, light brown heads and sparse dots of the same color on their sides. They develop slowly: in a warm climate it takes 3 years, and in a cooler one - 4 years. In summer, they feed, and closer to winter they leave the upper soil layer and settle for wintering at a depth of 100-150 cm. At the end of the summer of the last year of development, the larvae, already 45-65 mm long, rise closer to the ground and pupate. After 30-45 days, full-fledged beetles emerge from the pupae, which remain to winter in the ground. Only next spring they wait for the necessary heating of the soil and dig holes to the surface.

In the first season of life, the larvae feed mainly on humus, but starting from the second year they begin to actively eat the roots of trees and shrubs, as well as garden plants. Crops such as potatoes, beets, carrots, onions, corn and strawberries are severely affected by their gluttony. Berry bushes (raspberries, currants, gooseberries, grapes, honeysuckle) and young fruit trees (cherries, plums, apple trees, cherries and sea buckthorn) are in danger. From ornamental plants, conifers (larch, fir, pine, etc.), deciduous trees (including acacia, chestnuts and hazel), as well as flowering perennials (lilies, clematis, roses, etc.) are strongly affected.

It has been established that one older larva is capable of completely devouring the roots of a two-year-old pine in just a day.

The larvae develop slowly: in a warm climate it takes 3 years, and in a cooler one - 4 years.

In order to preserve vegetables and other crops, it is important to start the fight against beetles and their offspring in a timely manner, using an integrated approach.

Drugs that help fight crustaceans

Today, there are many products on the market, the use of which allows you to largely cleanse a heavily infested area from pests.

Common means of multidirectional action

Most often, summer residents use:

  • contact-intestinal insecticides, acting mainly on the larvae of the first year of life - "Zemlin", "Pochin" ("Pochin"). Produced in the form of powder or microgranules, which are embedded in the topsoil during spring digging, approximately 15-20 g per 10 sq. m. Young pests absorb the poison along with humus and die within 3 days
  • preparations of contact-intestinal action ("Vallar", "Bazudin", "Aktara"), which are active not only against crustaceans, but also against other soil pests - wireworm, etc. Produced in both dry and liquid versions. They can also be applied to the surface layer of the soil, or used to treat plant roots before planting. For example, they do this when they want to get rid of the beetle larvae on strawberries as much as possible. Prepare a solution of the drug according to the instructions on the package, and etch the roots of young bushes with it, intended for planting on a new bed
  • means of long-term influence (for example, "Antikhrushch") It is sold in the form of a suspension, which must be diluted with water (the norm of the drug content in the solution for each culture is indicated on the package). The resulting liquid is treated with the roots of the seedlings, and the plants already on the site are shed under the root
  • "Ammonia water" working solution is prepared from ammonium nitrate (200 g per 10 l of water). This amount is enough for 1 sq. m. of the future garden. 3-4 months before planting the plants, the soil is thoroughly dug up and spilled with the preparation. The method is very effective. It allows you to get rid of the May beetle larvae in the ground for several years, but in the middle lane it is suitable only for summer-autumn plantings.

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