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Maybugs & Cockchafers

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The Sun 🌞 is shining and yes it’s April β›±, every year we get calls about these little chaps “Maybugs or Cockchafers” NO you do not have flying cockroaches! These flying walnuts although scary to some do no harm therefore don’t be alarmed and there is no need to call out pest control for them as there is nothing we can do.

Cockchafers, Melolontha melolontha, are relatively large beetles belonging to the scarab family. Adults are 2.5-3cm long, and are common in the Somerset & Devon.

The name cockchafer means ‘Big beetle’ in Old English. 

Although one of their common names is the May bug, if climate conditions are right, adult cockchafer beetles are often seen flying from April onwards 

Cockchafers have whitish triangles on their sides areΒ  reddish-brown and have large orange fan-like antennae.

Noisy Bugs ! 

Adult cockchafers only live for about  6 weeks. During that time, they look for a mate and fly into the tree tops to feed on leaves. They fly at dusk on warm evenings, making a noisy hum, and are attracted to light.

Not bugs.

Although they are known as bugs, cockchafers are not true bugs, which belong to another group of insects that includes shield bugs, water bugs, aphids and scale insects. 

True bugs that can fly have wings that usually overlap when folded, instead of meeting in a mid-line as cockchafer wings do.

Life underground

Cockchafers spend most of their lives (three to four years) underground as larvae, or grubs. The grubs are white and C-shaped with six legs and reddish-brown heads. 

They can be larger than the adults, growing to up to 4cm and are a food source for owls and bats.

Grubs/Larvae  eat the roots of a variety of plants and in large numbers can become pests on farms  damaging pastures and crops.For any other pest issues give us a call πŸ“ž