Japanese Beetles and What You Need to Know

Japanese Beetle eating raspberry leaves

You have likely seen these annoying pests, whether or not you knew the name. These flying beetles with green bodies and brown wings seem to invade when the weather gets warm, and plants are blooming.

But what do you do if you see these insects destroying your plants and eating everything in your garden? Before buying Japanese beetle traps, speak with a pro. a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.bettercallbugtech.com/” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Environmental Pest Management is here to help rid you of pests around your home, whether they be inside or out. Check us out for a free quote today!

Japanese beetle

Japanese Beetle Facts

Japanese beetles are relatively easy to spot. As an adult has a body that is a metallic green color with brownish, almost copper, wings. 

These beetles can’t resist your plants, especially ones growing in the warm sunshine. They will descend upon your yard and devour sweet-smelling fauna. 

Certain plants are more attractive, like apple and black walnut trees, or plums and grapes. It is hard to miss their work. Your once luscious yard might take on the look of a haunted patch. Japanese beetles eat the flesh of plants, leaving skeletons behind.

Thankfully, Japanese beetles prefer to be outside in the fresh air and don’t often enter homes. That doesn’t mean you will never see a stray that accidentally slipped inside, though. 

Just because they aren’t inside doesn’t mean you want them on your property. Anyone with a green thumb will take particular offense to the presence of these pests. Even if you don’t consider yourself a gardener, you likely enjoy your green yard and don’t want to see the wreckage of the plants left behind.

A pressing problem with Japanese beetles is that some years there seems to be a surge in population. You might go a year or two and hardly notice them, and then the next year your yard is destroyed by a vast number.

There are four stages to the life cycle of a Japanese Beetle.

  1. Eggs- The eggs are small and white, and shaped like an oval.
  2. Larvae- These white grubs are incredibly damaging to yards.
  3. Pupae- This stage is where the transformation to a full-grown beetle takes place.
  4. Adult- The adult beetle is no more than ½ inch long and lives for up to 50 days.

To reproduce, Japanese beetles dig small holes or burrows in the ground.  A female will lay anywhere from 40 to 60 eggs throughout her lifetime. Larvae are called grubs, and they eat roots and other food in the soil leading up to winter, then are dormant during cold months.

When the weather warms up, the grubs wake up and begin eating and growing. In the late spring and summer, adults dig out of the ground to mate. Of course, this is when they attack your yard, as well.

Japanese Beetle on leaf

Japanese Beetle Behavior

Japanese beetles likely originated in Japan, hence the name. They were first found in the United States on the East Coast in the early 20th century. A common belief is that they arrived on our shores through trade and other forms of commerce.

As previously mentioned, they thrive in areas with plentiful vegetation. Whether you have a lush, green lawn, and vegetable garden, a fruit orchard, or just abundant trees, Japenese beetles will likely find your yard.

Japanese beetles are considered transient, meaning they rarely stay in one place. They can travel miles, depending on wind and availability of food. They tend to stay close to areas with an abundance of food, however.

You are most likely to notice these hungry pests in the early summer when the weather is getting nice and warm, and your plants are most fragrant. They peak anywhere from late June to early September. The colder temperatures of the fall will begin to kill them off, however.

japanese beetle flying

How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles

Because Japanese beetles are dangerous at both the larvae, or grub, and adult stage, it is essential to fight them on both fronts. You will likely need to utilize a variety of methods to effectively exterminate a population of Japanese beetles in your yard and keep them out.

You will want to be on the lookout for signs of Japanese beetles and be taking steps to prevent them. Japanese beetles can travel miles, as previously mentioned, so you might not realize you have a problem until they have done a bit of damage.

The first critical step is to apply a soil insecticide at the correct time. Besides treating your soil to prevent grubs from thriving, you will want to make changes to your yard to prevent Japanese beetles from settling. 

Replacing plants and trees they are attracted to with strands they stay away from is an excellent way to keep these pests out of your yard. If they don’t want the food, they won’t settle as your um-wanted neighbors.

If you physically see Japanese beetles in your yard, attack them when they are at their weakest, i.e., early morning. These beetles are sluggish and lazy in the early morning hours. Taking a few minutes to shake the branches of the trees they are in and catching the falling beetles in buckets of water will take care of a good part of the population.

Japanese beetle traps use pheromones to attract the beetles and then kill them. The problem here is that the traps do their job, attract beetles. This likely means you will end up with more Japanese beetles in your yard than before.

If you prefer using chemicals, there are a variety of products aimed specifically for Japanese beetles. A quick trip to your local nursery will yield you a variety of results. As always, be extremely cautious using any chemicals and ensure you read the entire label before use.

A close-up of a small Japanese beetle standing alone on a green leafy plant

Call the Professionals at Environmental Pest Management

If you have noticed Japanese beetles in your yard, give us a call at Environmental Pest Management. We will tackle the problem on all fronts, ensuring that the larvae and adult stages are addressed. Unlike Japanese beetle traps, we won’t attract more pests to your yard.

We are aware that families, along with their kids and dogs, live in homes, and ensure we use safe methods. We have families of our own and only use products and practices that we would use around our own homes. You can feel safe letting us into your home and yard.

Don’t tackle this problem alone! Let the experts at Environmental Pest Management help.

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