Roses, trees, and berry gardens are especially vulnerable to damage by Japanese beetles. Even though humans aren’t directly affected by Japanese beetles, having them around isn’t ideal. Penn State Extension estimates that controlling this invasive bug, which feeds on more than 300 plant species, costs the United States more than $460 million annually.
Even flowers and leaves aren’t safe from their voracious appetites. Even though their name suggests otherwise, these insects originally hail from Japan. Still, they have since spread over most of the U. S. The backs of adult specimens often display a metallic golden or emerald sheen.
They have coppery front wings and measure around 13 mm (1/2 inch) in total length. It’s likely that if you locate one Japanese beetle, you’ll find several. However, there are several easy steps you can follow. Several methods for eliminating Japanese beetles will be outlined for you.
How to Identify Japanese Beetles
The metallic blue-green of a Japanese beetle’s head takes about half its total length. Their backs are a coppery color, their wings are a tan tint, and little white hairs run along the sides of their bellies. The Japanese beetle typically forages for food in clusters.
They are 1-inch long, white, c-shaped grubs that feed on the roots of various plants until they pupate into adult beetles in June. These grubs are a common issue for grassy areas.
Adults don’t have much time left to eat before they die. Because of their coordinated attacks, plants can suffer irreparable harm. The mature Japanese beetle only lives for around 40 days, but it may traverse a lot of ground in that time. They may move next door if you get rid of the Japanese beetles in your yard.
Japanese Beetle Trap
The dispute over whether or not traps work stems from the fact that they attract additional beetles to your yard. Since traps only catch 75% of the beetles they attract, most specialists agree that they are not the best option. Seventy-five percent won’t bother your valuable plants in the least.
To get the most out of whatever Japanese beetle traps you employ, whether store-bought or homemade, place them early in the season to catch beetles while they lay eggs. Put the trap at least 50 feet from any crops you want to protect.
Take out the trash every day. The accumulated insect corpses in the trap serve as a deterrent. Use the beetles as bait for fish in ponds or fowl as pets. Beetles can be frozen in bulk and used later as a convenient snack for fish or poultry.
Physical Removal: Hand-picking Works
Adult beetles can be removed from infected plants by hand, which may be the most time and cost-effective method for households with smaller yards and fewer plants. The damage to the plant’s leaves and flowers, caused by the harvesting process, reduces its ability to release chemicals that indicate they are a nutritious food source.
Aim for adult Japanese beetles first thing in the morning or last thing at night. They are the most peaceful and simple to eliminate at this time. As you remove the beetles from the plants, you can toss them into a pail of foamy water to drown and kill them.
Use Neem Oil
For many years, neem oil has effectively deterred adult Japanese beetles. Pests have been fought with this natural pesticide in the neem tree‘s seeds for generations. Neem oil can be purchased from an online retailer or a hardware shop near you.
Make your spray with a gallon of water, several drops of neem oil, and a few drops of dish soap. Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle to treat the plants. This method is very useful and will help you get rid of Japanese beetles.
Japanese beetles will lay their larvae in the ground, and by early autumn, the resulting grubs will be feasting on the stems of your grass or plants. In addition to their original use, lawn evaporative cooler shoes can be used to skewer grubs by strolling around the lawn in them.
The spikes’ lethal length is optimal for eliminating larvae. If you find a pair of aerator shoes collecting dust in the back of your closet, it’s time to put them to use again.
Embrace the Flies
The use of tachinid insects to combat Japanese beetles may appear strange at first, yet they are quite successful. They congregate in big swarms of Japanese beetles, depositing eggs on the beetles’ heads and eventually causing their demise.
Tachinid flies are nectar-feeding insects attracted to flowers such as fennel, coriander, minty, sweet weed, and gomphrena. You can reduce the number of Japanese beetles in your garden by planting those along the perimeter.
How to Use Pesticides for Japanese Beetles
Synthetic pesticides of all kinds will eliminate Japanese beetles, but they ought to be sprayed in copious amounts; they will also eliminate beneficial insects and contaminate the environment. Neem oil or a pesticide comprising pyrethrin, a chemical extracted from chrysanthemums that decompose in the environment, are far superior options.
It is still important to target only the beetles with the pyrethrin insecticide, as it will have a broad-spectrum effect. One of the safest insecticides available, this chemical leaves no trace once used.
How to Stop Japanese Beetles from Coming Back
To keep your lawn free of Japanese beetles, try these measures:
Employ Row Covers
Row coverings are high-quality nets that protect vegetation from pests like the Japanese beetle. These coverings are available in a range of sizes to perfectly fit the proportions of your plants, and they are at their most effective in the summer heat.
Introduce Helpful Nematodes
A spray of beneficial nematodes can be used to prevent Japanese beetle grubs from maturing and taking over your yard.
Although geraniums are a favorite plant of Japanese beetles, the plant’s natural compounds partially immobilize the beetle, forcing it to descend to the ground, where it eventually dies. If you want to keep your geraniums safe, plant them near your more expensive flowers and trees.
The Final Thoughts
Humans won’t get hurt by Japanese beetles, but that doesn’t mean you should welcome them with open arms. Damage to trees and shrubs in your yard and garden may be left in the wake of Japanese beetles.
While it’s ideal for preventing an infestation from starting in the first place, when one does occur, several tried-and-true techniques for getting rid of the diseases and parasites have shown up. These include hand removal, a soap, and water remedy that will overpower the pests, spraying the impacted plants with neem oil, and using beetle traps.