Look Out! Japanese Beetles! (Popilia japonica)

If you have noticed the foliage slowly disappearing from your plants, you may have a problem with these bugs.  Are you ready to protect your garden?

Have you noticed 1/2” long, shiny, metallic green beetles in your garden lately? Is the foliage of your plants slowly disappearing?  Chances are you might have Japanese beetles infesting your garden. Most commonly these creatures are found in the eastern half of the United States but they are moving westward.  Since the beetles attack over 250 different kinds of plants, there are a large number of gardens that are going to be at risk.

If there is a light infestation in your garden,  you may be able to get rid of them just by catching them and dropping them into a container of soapy water.

If there is a heavy infestation in your garden, you may need to use an insecticide like Sevin to eliminate them.  Sevin comes in a dust or a spray.  It’s important to follow the directions on the package when applying and a good general rule is to apply in the morning on a day that’s overcast but not raining.  Remember that most all insecticides will also kill the good bugs / beneficial bugs that are in your garden.

The beetle trap is very popular and effective; it draws the beetles in with pheromones and as they land on the slick surface and slide down into the trap. When using a trap make sure that you place it carefully in your yard, high enough and in the right place. The best place for a Japanese beetle trap is at least 100 feet downwind of the plants and above where other animals can’t reach them.  A concern about using traps is that they may actually attract more beetles to your yard.  They are also unattractive.

To prevent the beetles from multiplying, a good tip is to spade your garden because this will help expose the larvae which are food to birds.

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