Khrushch, Or May Beetle - How To Deal With A Pest? Description, Larva, How To Get Rid Of. Photo

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Khrushch, Or May Beetle - How To Deal With A Pest? Description, Larva, How To Get Rid Of. Photo
Khrushch, Or May Beetle - How To Deal With A Pest? Description, Larva, How To Get Rid Of. Photo
Video: Khrushch, Or May Beetle - How To Deal With A Pest? Description, Larva, How To Get Rid Of. Photo
Video: How to Get Rid of Flour Beetles 2023, February

May beetle is a dangerous pest of green plants. It does double harm not only to vegetable and garden plants, but also to tree crops in gardens, forests, parks. Adults of the May beetle can be classified as gourmets. They prefer the leaves of oak, birch, maple, poplar, linden, and mountain ash to other forest and park species. Herbaceous weeds and cultivated plants are not of interest to them. Sometimes on these trees in May you can see short garlands of May beetles. The life period of an adult beetle is rather short and it does not have time to inflict significant harm, but its larvae with a long-term development cycle are less picky in nutrition and are able to destroy large areas occupied by agricultural crops in a short time.

May beetle, or May beetle (Melolontha)
May beetle, or May beetle (Melolontha)


  • May beetle spread
  • May beetle danger level
  • What crops are damaged by the beetle?
  • Description of the May beetle
  • Development cycle and reproduction of May beetles
  • Plant protection measures against the May beetle
  • Signs of damage to plants by the May beetle
  • How to deal with the May beetle?
  • Chemical measures to control the beetle
  • Biological protection measures against the beetle
  • Folk methods of fighting the May beetle

May beetle spread

The May beetle, or the May beetle (Melolontha), is an interesting buzzing buzzer for children and one of the most dangerous pests for its omnivorous and widespread distribution. At present, out of 24 (according to other sources - 74) species, 9 species are widespread in Russia. May beetles have populated the forest-steppe and forest zones of Europe and Asia everywhere. In the Russian Federation, they are found everywhere from the southern outskirts to the Siberian taiga. The distribution area of ​​pests covers almost the entire territory of the European part, including the regions of Central Russia. In the Asian part, it is distributed up to Kamchatka. It is ubiquitous in the Caucasus and Transcaucasia.

May beetle danger level

The danger level of the beetle is quite high. The presence of 1 larva per 1 sq. m of area - the threshold of harmfulness of the May beetle. A survey of forest and park lands, garden plantings in some regions recorded the presence of 2 - 3, and near forest belts - up to 20 or more larvae per sq. m.

Under favorable conditions, there is a rapid increase in the number of the pest and a period begins, approximately in 20-25 years, of mass flight, which lasts up to 3 - 4 years. May beetles need about a 10-year break for enhanced reproduction before the next mass flight with the capture of new areas.

What crops are damaged by the beetle?

Adult May beetles appear in early May when the weather is warm. During this period, they harm, feeding on young leaves and flowers of all garden, park and forest plants. Cold snap causes numbness of imago, and even death when spring frosts return. Most of all adults harm in spring during the period of emergence from the pupa. The main concern of an adult insect is to leave offspring. For 1-2 months a year, adult females of the May beetle feed intensively and lay eggs.

4-6 weeks after the emergence of the imago, the next generation of larvae hatches from the eggs, the larvae of the previous years of hatching are activated. They live in soil for up to 4 years, going through 6 stages of maturation. They constantly migrate in the vertical soil horizon. In winter they go to the lower horizons up to 50 cm, and in spring they return to the root layer with the soil warming up to +10.. + 15 ° С. The larvae of the May beetle throughout their life, except for the pupa stage and the period of hibernation, constantly gnaw everything that is in the soil. Unlike adult May beetles, they gnaw the roots of weeds, vegetable and garden plants, adult trees of garden and forest crops, berries, shrubs and other plant species.

The larvae gnaw at the roots of strawberries / strawberries, black and other currant species. Especially a lot of them are collected at the roots of apple and cherry trees. In parks and on forest edges, May beetle larvae settle at the roots of aspen, birch, cedar, spruce and other plants. Observations have established that a 3-year-old larva is capable of destroying the root system of a 2-year-old pine in 1 day, and a 2-year-old larva will feed on the roots of the tree for a whole week. There is currently a 10-year summer break. New larvae of the May beetle hatch from the laid eggs, the previously born ones grow up, and the larvae reproduce more intensively in soil conditions.

May beetle larva
May beetle larva

Description of the May beetle

May beetle is a large pest. The body length of an adult insect reaches 3.5-4.0 cm. The body of the beetle is barrel-shaped, elongated in the posterior part into a process, black or brown-brown, sometimes reddish in color. The body is covered with fine hairs. They are longer on the head and soft underwings. The beetle is dense due to its strong external chitinous skeleton. Females of May beetles differ from males. Sexual dimorphism on external examination, manifests itself in the length of the antennae: in females they are short, in males they are long, resembling a curved club in shape.

Development cycle and reproduction of May beetles

The development cycle of the May beetle lasts 4-5 years. In the second half of May, adult sexually mature females appear, whose life is limited to mating and laying eggs (50-80 pieces) in the upper 15-20 cm layer of soil. After laying, the females die. White larvae hatch after 1.0-1.5 months. Small and weak, they remain in the place of hatching in the first year and feed mainly on soil organic matter (humus). Starting from the second year, they spread in the soil, occupying new areas.

The larva of the May beetle lives and feeds in the soil for 3-4 years. During this time, several stages of development pass, then, approximately in the middle of the summer of the 4th year, it passes into the stage of a motionless pupa. An adult beetle emerges from the pupa - an imago, which appears on the surface of the earth only in spring, begins to feed intensively and starts a new development cycle. At the same time, a huge number of uneven-aged larvae remain in the soil. Young females replenish egg reserves, increasing the generation of larvae annually by 70-200 pieces each.

Plant protection measures against the May beetle

With protective measures, the main attention is paid to the destruction of larvae, the number of which annually increases by several thousand individuals of different ages. Currently, modern chemical and biological preparations are offered that effectively destroy the pest without harming the soil and plants. In this respect, biological products are the best measure of protection, since they are absolutely harmless to the beneficial soil fauna.

Signs of damage to plants by the May beetle

Adult beetles eat leaf blades, buds, partially ovaries and young needles. When damaged by larvae, for no apparent external reason, the plants begin to wilt, lag behind in development and die. Herbaceous plants are easily pulled out of the soil. The dead seedlings must be carefully excavated, the soil must be checked for the presence of larvae. They are usually large, with a dark head, curled up in the shape of the letter "C". On the underside of the segmented body there are 3 pairs of thoracic and 5 pairs of abdominal legs. If larvae are found, it is necessary to urgently take protective measures against the pest.

Development cycle of the May beetle. Illustration from the II volume of the encyclopedia
Development cycle of the May beetle. Illustration from the II volume of the encyclopedia

How to deal with the May beetle?

An important agronomic measure is the collection and destruction of the larvae of the May beetle during the autumn and spring digging of the site. The optimum temperature for larvae is +24.. + 26 ° С. They still do not deepen for hibernation, and in spring they already move closer to the roots of plants in the upper 10-20 cm layer of soil.

May beetles have natural enemies (entomophages) that feed on insects. To attract them to the garden and the garden, you can sow dill, caraway seeds, fennel, anise, coriander in different parts of the site. Sunflower, phacelia and other nectar-bearing plants are attractive for entomophages.

If it is impossible to carry out systematic maintenance of the garden, it is better to cover it. Females of the May beetle (like winter scoops) will not be able to penetrate the soil through the sod, which means that no eggs will be laid.

If permanent sodding is not foreseen, then insecticide plants can be used. So, beetle larvae cannot tolerate high nitrogen content in the soil and leave such places. You can sow white clover, peas, beans, beans and other crops that are nitrogen fixers under the tree trunks, and in the fall they can be embedded in the soil as green fertilizer when digging.

May beetles and their larvae do not tolerate the smell and secretions of lupine and mustard. The larvae die of hunger, since there are no weeds around the lupine for food, and the beetles immediately fly away from these hated plants. Mustard is an excellent green fertilizer; when embedded in the soil, it will contribute to the death of the larvae.

May beetle larvae do not tolerate chloride compounds. If larvae are found in the soil, you can switch to the introduction of chlorine-containing fats or, when digging, scatter a little bleach.

Breeding birds and hedgehogs on the site, which actively destroy adult May beetles and their larvae. You can hang bait traps.

At the end of April - May, the May beetles that flew out, at temperatures no higher than +12.. + 15 ° С, sit on tree branches in pre-dawn numbness. At this time, they are shaken off and collected.

In the garden, one should systematically use siderates from crops of mustard, white clover, peas and other crops, especially crucifers. Plant tall plants (potatoes, eggplants, corn, etc.) in the sowing of white clover. Nodule nitrogen on the roots of clover will expel the larvae of May beetle and serve as a green fertilizer for cultivated plants. During the summer (like green manure), the clover is mowed between the rows.

Accumulation of beetle larvae under the sod
Accumulation of beetle larvae under the sod

Chemical measures to control the beetle

Naturally, at the summer cottage, the use of chemicals is not welcome, but for lovers of the rapid destruction of all living things, the following chemicals can be recommended to destroy the larvae of the May beetle.

Pochin and Zemlin are insecticides of contact and intestinal action. When shallowly embedded in the soil, they begin to actively influence the larvae during the day, especially the young, feeding on humus. 10 sq. m of area, 15-20 g of powder or granules of a chemical preparation are introduced. These preparations can be applied to the hole when planting potatoes and other plants.

Akhtar, Bazudin, Vallar - contact-intestinal insecticides that kill soil pests. They are used mainly for the treatment of the roots of planted plants, as well as surface application into the soil in the form of solutions or dry form of the preparation.

When using chemicals, it is imperative to follow the instructions for dilution and application. When using soil-based insecticides, it is not necessary to process the aboveground mass of plants (except for a special indication in the recommendations).

Antichrusch is a drug with a long period of exposure to the pest. Before use, the suspension concentrate is diluted to a working solution according to the practical guidelines for vegetables, seedlings and shrubs. The roots of plants are soaked in the solution and watered with the working solution under the root.

From chemicals, you can use a solution of ammonia water for future planting of strawberries / strawberries. Dissolve 200 g of ammonium nitrate in 10 liters of water per 1 sq. m area 3-4 months before planting seedlings. This technique will relieve beetles and their larvae for many years.

The crustaceans are especially fond of the delicate roots of strawberries. As a preventive measure, a solution of ammonia (a tablespoon / bucket of water) can be added under the roots of strawberries.

May beetles, or May beetles (Melolontha)
May beetles, or May beetles (Melolontha)

Biological protection measures against the beetle

At home, it is better to use appropriate biological products for all garden, berry, vegetable and other crops and flower beds. They purposefully kill pests without harming human and animal health.

One of these biological products is Nemabakt. The biological product, penetrating into the body of the beetle larva, kills the pest within 3 days. The concentrate is diluted in a 1: 100 ratio. They work with the preparation at an air temperature not lower than +25.. + 26 ° С. They are applied to wet soil after watering or under watering.

The biopreparations Aktofit, Boverin, Fitoverm, developed on the basis of soil Effective Microorganisms (EM microflora), effectively destroy the larvae of the May beetle.

Before using biological products, it is imperative to study the recommendations. Self-cultivation with an increase in the concentration of the working solution will not have a negative effect on pests, but it can cause plant disease.

May beetle larva gnaws at the root of the plant
May beetle larva gnaws at the root of the plant

Folk methods of fighting the May beetle

Experienced gardeners advise onion peel infusion in a ratio of 100 g / 10 l of water, leave for a week and cultivate the soil under the plants. To spray the plants, dilute the solution again in a 1: 1 ratio.

If 1-2 larvae or adult beetles were found in the spring, then it is necessary to add to the soil (1%) and treat the plants (0.1%) with a solution of potassium permanganate.

For spring tillage, you can add fresh lime or a chlorine-containing preparation. The smell of lime and chlorine will drive away beetles trying to lay their eggs.

A solution of ammonia will drive away beetles. A solution of 20 ml per 10 liters of water and sprinkle the plants in autumn. The beetles will leave without forming egg-laying at the landing.

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