Treating for Japanese Beetles (Popilia japonica)

Have you noticed 1/2” long, shiny, metallic green beetles in your garden? Is your plant foliage becoming lacy? Chances are your garden is infested with Japanese beetles. These insects are most commonly found in the eastern half of the United States. Their infestations seem to be cyclic. After suffering a year of severe damage we sometimes go several years with minimal problems.

These beetles attack over 250 different kinds of plants. Therefore, a large number of gardeners are at risk of having to deal with them. Even though these beetles can be a large problem in a season they seldom will cause the death of a plant.

If there is a light infestation one of the easiest ways to get rid of these intruders is to crush them as you would any bug or drop or flick them into a container of soapy water.

Beetle traps are very effective in attracting this insect using pheromones. As they land on the slick surface they slide into the trap and cannot get back out. When using a trap make sure to place it carefully in your yard. The best place for a Japanese beetle trap is at least 100 feet downwind of the plants you are trying to protect. Make sure to place traps high enough that animals can’t reach them.

One other quick tip for controlling the population is to spade gardens to kill larvae and expose others to birds for food.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email