Saturday, April 11, 2020

J is for June Bug

This is a Missouri June bug. In other parts of the country, they may look differently than this, but this is what we have:

Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew! 

They are about one-half to three-quarters of an inch long, have scratchy legs, fly, are attracted to light, and will run smack into you and possibly get tangled in your hair if you are between them and a light source. They have pretty substantial bodies, and if you have your window open and a lamp on inside, you will hear them ping into the screen, where they hang on with those scritchy, scratchy legs. 

The female lays eggs on the ground in mid-summer, and the larvae, known as grubs, live under the ground for around 9 months, munching on the roots of your grass and other plants. Above the ground, they spend their lives chomping on plants and shrubs and flowers when they aren't flying into your hair. Truly, there is nothing positive you can say about them, except that they don't bite, aren't poisonous, and are food for birds and toads.

When I was a toddler, I loved them. I even caught them and carried them around in my hands. My dad called me "June Bug" as a term of endearment. 

My mom used to tell a story about me coming in the house with my hands cupped together, and when she asked me what I had in there, I answered, "A mouse." "A mouse?!" she said, getting a little concerned. I peeked into cupped hands, then answered, "Yes, a mouse." "Let me see your mouse," she said nervously, and when I opened my hands, there sat a scritchy, scratchy June bug.

My mother was greatly relieved it was not really a mouse.

In hindsight, I'm not sure which would have been worse!


  1. Awww. That is so much better than some kids who run screaming at the sight of a bug.

  2. I'm not a fan of big bugs although glad to hear they're harmless. Funny how something that can intrigue you as a child is often less appealing as an adult. Weekends In Maine