How to manage Japanese Beetle chewing on your plants

Garden Tips

If you have plants or flowers in your yard, eventually, you are going to encounter bugs. Bugs such as caterpillars, worms, or beetles are all types of chewing bugs, and Japanese Beetles are becoming more of a problem. Japanese Beetles are small copper-colored with a metallic blue-green head. They tend to resemble a smaller version of a June bug. For most of the year, Japanese Beetles are fat white grub worms that live in the soil and feed off the roots of your lawn.

In June, they will emerge in their beetle form to feast on leaves and flowers, then mate and lay eggs, and start the cycle over. For starters, you can kill them in their grub form by applying organic or synthetic insecticides to your lawn. These controls are generally easy to do with a granular application.

Once they emerge as beetles, you can do one of three things. First, a trap can be used. These traps do attract more beetles. However, once the beetles are in the trap, they can be disposed of easily. Second, apply contact or systemic sprays to kill the beetle while it feeds. Contact sprays can be tricky because the beetle can fly away from the area you are spraying. Systemic sprays can last longer and kill beetles after they eat. The final thing you can do is to do nothing.

Japanese Beetle damage may look more severe, but plants will put on new leaves before mid to late summer. The beetle won’t kill the plant. However, if you don’t do anything, your problems may be even worse next year.

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