The Japanese Beetle is a copper colored beetle most commonly seen on plants starting in late June to early July and spanning well through August. The adults particularly love Lindens, Roses, Grapes, Canna Lily, Raspberries, and Apple Trees. They devour the leaf material between the veins and can make a plant or tree look like “swiss cheese” in a matter of a few days.
So what are these pests, and where do they come from? Japanese Beetle came to the U.S. on the Eastern seaboard in the early 1900’s, and have gradually spread to Minnesota and the surrounding Midwestern states. They are continuing their migration across America and leaving devastation in their path. The adult beetles are very destructive, however, the young larvae (grubs) do even more damage to the lawn in the spring by ravaging turf roots as they grow.
The best control of Japanese Beetle occurs early in the season. Grubs thrive in lush, damp soil so treating your lawn for grubs is an important first step to preventing adult beetles. Contact your local lawn service and set up a treatment as soon as possible in the spring, this will eliminate them at their source.
If you do have adult Japanese Beetles using Pyrethrin based treatments on plants they are known to attack is helpful. For the avid gardener, regular treatments of soap and water in a spray bottle will help deter hungry adults. Removing and submerging adult beetles in buckets of soapy water will also help eliminate them and control the damage. A caution would be to not use the scented traps that you can hang for other beetles, as this will just attract Japanese Beetles.
For more questions on this growing issue, please feel free to contact us.