Bag A Bug, does it really do the job?

Why would you do this?  Well, there are many people out there that claim it works well.  It does.  The Bag A Bug system from Spectracide works great as a lure.  Its floral scent smells very similar to the Ragosa Rosebush as far as I’m concerned, but does it protect your ornamentals and lawn from grubs?

There is a big misconception out there that if you are catching bag fulls of these beetles you are winning the battle.  HA!  Not a chance!  They say that each Bag A Bug is good for 5000 square feet.  Ok so if your entire turf area is 10,000 square feet and you put out 2 of these what does that tell the beetles?  “This property has quite the party going on”  That is the last thing you want these guys to be thinking.  IF (and that is a big IF) you do use these, you want them as far away from what you are trying to protect as possible!  Since Japanese beetles are flying insects, they will move around looking to mate and to find food.  If they are hungry, they will try to eat what is close.  If that is the case, then putting a bag a bug directly onto one of their primary food sources is not the most intelligent idea.  “Maybe I’ll have a few bites of this nice Maple leaf before I try to find that good looking lady beetle”.  Not a good idea when one bag can hold upwards of 4000 beetles.  If they sense that there are a bunch of dead beetles around they may not want to enter anyway.

Some people claim to have good success.  Good for them!  But what they don’t understand is that 1 beetle can lay up to 300 eggs in your lawn.  They lay their eggs in TURF GRASS ONLY!  This means all it takes is a couple of females to lay eggs in your lawn and that’s it, game over!  300 grubs in a 15′ radius are way over threshold.  They will chew the roots of your lawn and mow it from underneath.  Not to mention once the Raccoons, skunks, and birds catch a whiff of them, your lawn will be rototilled.  Between the European Chaffer, May-June Beetle Complex & the Japanese Beetle there are way too many threats out there for turfgrass nowadays.  You should be protecting what you wish to keep with a barrier not a trap.  You’re simply outnumbered.

We recommend treating your ornamentals when the beetles first show up with a protective spray that you can pick up at your local hardware store.  READ THE LABEL!  If you don’t you shouldn’t be using it.  But if you do, you’ll find that the products are very effective and quite safe when used appropriately.  If you don’t like messing with those products, you should call a professional.  As far as your lawn is concerned, preventative grub control is the only protection.  Treatment before the females lay their eggs is best as this allows the product to be absorbed by the grass plants and protect the plant.  There isn’t a curative control that the State of Maine allows being used unless you have special permission and adhere to the strict rules that they set up.  So, the only option for protecting your turfgrass is to have preventative treatment each year.  Late July and August are usually the best times to do this.

So,  in conclusion, we don’t recommend using the bag bugs.  Especially, if you are in a tight neighborhood.  You are just drawing the beetles to that part of the neighborhood and creating more of a problem for yourself and your neighbors.

Related Services you should consider.

Sub Surface Grub Control – With this service your lawn will be protected year after year from all grubs.  We do not recommend taking one treatment and skipping the next year.  This should be an ongoing protection plan for your turf provided you have seen beetles or have seen grub activity in your area.  Call us if you have any questions!

Slice Seeding – If your lawn has fallen prey to the lawn enemy #1, then you may need to do some reseeding.  If this is the case, the quickest way to reestablish turf without a huge investment would be slice seeding.


  1. John B Root

    Any suggestions for our vegetable garden? We live very rural.

    • Jeremy Legasse

      You can use a bag a bug but you must make sure it is set far away from your desirables.

  2. John B Root

    Another note because we do not spray out vegetables we must catch the bugs.
    Any other suggestions?


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