The content of the article:
May bug (horsetail) is a common pest of green plantations. At the end of spring, they can often be seen on trees. During the flight, the insect buzzes loudly, and by this sound they can be easily identified. Adult individuals eat leaves of trees in gardens and parks. The larvae of the May beetle eat roots of plants, which leads to their death.
A three-year-old larva is capable of completely destroying the root system of a young tree in an hour. Given that one female horsetail lays up to 70 eggs, the appearance on the site of these insects threatens with almost complete destruction of green plantations.
Description of the insect
What a beetle looks like, we all know from childhood. Someone saw them live, and someone in the pictures to the fairy tale "Thumbelina".
The body of the beetle is barrel-shaped, black or brownish-brown, elongated in the posterior part. The length reaches - 4 cm. From other insects it is distinguished by antennae with long bristles.
The larva of the May bug, also known as the furrow, has a thick white body, bent in the middle, three pairs of legs and a large brown head.
The pupa of the beetle is more like an adult, but with shorter wings.
Reproduction of May beetles and growth stage
The cycle of development of the May beetle lasts five years. At the end of May, adult individuals crawl out of the earth to the surface, females mate with males and lay about 70 eggs in the soil to a depth of 15-20 cm. After that, the females die. A month and a half later, small white larvae appear from the eggs. They spend four years in the earth, continuously feeding on plant roots. In the summer of the fourth year, the larva turns into a pupa, and a year later adults appear from the earth.
What harm does the May beetle and its larva bring?
The adult specimen of the May beetle does not have time to inflict great harm, since it lives only about two months. Larvae cause much more damage to plants.
If plants begin to wilt one after another without any apparent cause, most likely larvae live under its roots. They can be found by digging a hole in the ground with a depth on the spade bayonet.
How to distinguish the larva of the May beetle from similar
Before starting the fight with the larva of the May bug (Melolontha sp.), You should make sure that it is she, and not other insects. Most often confuse larvae:
- The rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes nasicornis L.). Lives in compost piles.
- Bronze the golden (Cetonia aurata). Also prefers compost heaps.
- Beetle-deer (Lucanus cervus L.). Occurs in dead wood.
Below is a comparative photo of the larvae of the May beetle and bronze:
Carefully looking closely, you can see the difference between them. The difference exists in the places where the larvae accumulate. Thus, immature individuals of the May beetle feed on the roots of plants, respectively, and live there. Bronze larvae have weaker jaws, live in compost piles and feed on dead organic matter.
Below is a comparative photo of larvae of rhinoceros beetle and deer:
In the compost piles, the larvae of the May beetle do not occur, since they feed only on living roots.
Folk ways to combat the May bug and larvae
In order to successfully combat the beetle of May, you need to know how it behaves:
- Early in the morning, the cracks are usually inactive and easily shaken off the trees on a specially spread litter. The collected pests are then destroyed.
- In the dark, beetles fly into the light, so they can be collected in light traps. It must be prepared in advance - any shallow container is coated with a sticky substance and a light bulb is placed in the middle. In the evening, the trap is exposed to the street. Not only May beetles adhere to such traps, but also butterflies, scoops, caterpillars that destroy the planting of cabbage, beets and green tomatoes.
- Starlings also will not give up fleshy delicacies, so a birdhouse on the site is needed.
- The ground under the trees is sown with a white clover or lupine. These plants enrich the soil with nitrogen, which frightens off the larvae.
- The ground under plantings is sprayed with infusion of onion husk or pink solution of potassium permanganate.
Ordinary hedgehogs are great larvae lovers. If the barbed family settles down nearby, the number of pests will begin to decline rapidly.
Also, the larvae are collected manually during the digging of the soil.
All of the above measures of struggle are effective only with a small number of pests. If your plantations are rapidly dying, it's time to turn to chemical agents to get rid of the May beetle. How to use them, and what drugs they include:
- "Zemlin". It refers to insecticides of contact and intestinal action. The active substance is diazinon. It affects soil pests, retaining its effect for two months. It is introduced into the soil during planting and in the autumn with a preventive purpose after harvesting.
- The Nemabakt. The drug is biological and completely safe to use. It infests the soil with a predatory nematode and special bacteria that enter the body of the larvae through the respiratory organs and destroy it. Then the nematode leaves the empty shell and goes in search of new victims. In winter, these worms fall into anabiosis, and with the arrival of heat they come to life again and begin to feed. The agent is diluted with water and applied to the previously moistened and loosened ground.
- "The beginning." Analog "Zemlin" on the basis of diazinon. The drug is available in the form of granules, which increase the duration of its action. It is introduced into the soil in early spring and is active throughout the season.
- «Aktara». Means with active ingredient thiamethoxam. A day after entering the soil, all pests are killed in it. Can be used at any time of year and in any weather. Increased humidity is not an obstacle and does not affect its properties.
- "Anti-Khrushch." It is produced in the form of a concentrated emulsion with two active substances - imidacloprid and bifenthrin. The product has a prolonged action, high efficiency, it is resistant to precipitation and is not addictive. It acts on both adults and larvae.
- "Bazudin". The drug based on diazinon has a long-lasting effect and is economical: a 30-gram sachet is enough to handle 20 square meters. The product is mixed with sand in a liter jar and added a little under each bush or tuber when planting.
- Vallar. The drug is diluted in water and immersed in it the roots of the seedling before planting. Thus, the larva quickly perishes when eating roots.
To effectively combat the beetle of May, it is necessary to use a set of measures for plant protection. It is even better to combine protective measures with preventive measures. So, it is very likely that the larvae will be brought to the site along with the manure, because in the first year of their life they feed on non-permeated organics. Before applying manure to the beds, it is necessary to sift it to avoid pest. If the horsetail is found in neighboring areas, it is better to replace the manure with compost or liquid nettle fertilizer, which is not guaranteed to have larvae. Observance of all these measures will help protect their planting and preserve the harvest.