Japanese Beetle Infestation. How do we stop them?

Japanese Beetles are one of the most destructive garden pests a plant lover can face. First arriving from Japan about 100 years ago, these pests feed on more than 300 species of plants, ranging from roses to poison ivy. They are particularly destructive to linden trees, fruit trees, crepe myrtles and many vegetable plants.

Life Cycle

Japanese Beetles start as grubs about 5-6″ below the surface and move nearer the surface as spring arrives. The beetles will usually mature mid-late June and will begin feeding on landscape plants. Within the first 48 hours of feeding, the females will lay 40-60 eggs just below the soil’s surface. Once laid, the eggs will hatch within 2 weeks and the process will begin for the next season.

Feeding Patterns

These pests feed in groups and the damage is very characteristic and extensive. The beetles start feeding at the top of the plant and work downward. This feeding pattern gives the leaves a skeletonized or lace-like appearance.

Control

Many store bought traps use a sweet smelling food-type lure that attracts the beetles. The combination of ingredients is a such a powerful attractant that it can draw thousands of beetles in a day. Therefore, susceptible plants within the vicinity of the traps will suffer much more damage than if no traps are used at all.

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