How to Successfully Get Rid of and Prevent Japanese Beetle Grubs

A portrait Japanese Beetle grub
A portrait Japanese Beetle grub

Japanese Beetle: two words that strike fear into the heart of every lawn-lover and gardener in the United States. 

Japanese Beetle grubs have become one of the biggest problems Minnesotans face each summer. Instead of living in fear of them, you can get to work by trying to control their massive population.  

Environmental Pest Management is here to help you successfully reduce Japanese Beetle Grub populations. They utilize integrated preventive measures along every stage of the beetle’s life cycle. 

When the bugs get to be too much, it’s time to call in the professionals. If you find yourself infested with pests like Japanese beetles, contact Environmental Pest Management. Your free consultation awaits!

Where to Begin? 

japanese beetle portrait

Treating your yard for beetle infestations can be a bit tricky. Like the infamous chicken and egg question, it’s hard to pinpoint where to start. Let’s begin! 

Identification

First, be aware of what creature you are up against. The predator that strips plants to the bone and leaves lawns aghast is a creature no bigger than your fingernail. 

The beetle’s shells have a shimmery-green head and rust-colored wings. Deceptively mundane looking, they can be highly destructive. You can see evidence of its presence from early Spring to late Fall. 

Life Cycle

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Photo courtesy of Japanese Beetle Management in Minnesota, University of Minnesota

Once identified, it’s helpful to know the Japanese beetle’s entire life cycle from start to finish. 

During the summer mating season, female Japanese beetles can lay eggs. They can lay up to 60 at a time into the soil. This process can happen anywhere from July-September when adult beetles emerge. 

After the eggs hatch, they become grubs. The grubs quickly grow, and white grubs feed on the root systems of lawns and gardens, creating turf damage. Homeowners will commonly see spotty dead spots and patches on lawns

Once grubs have formed and begun their harmful eating, they essentially go through a two-staged process before emerging into adults. The first grub stage is in the Fall when they are new grubs. 

When temperatures begin to drop, the grubs will then burrow deep underground and lay dormant through the winter months. 

The second grub stage begins after the ground thaws. Destruction begins when these slightly more mature grubs viciously feed on root systems in lawns once again.  

After this, the mature grub then begins its metamorphosis into the pupa. Quickly after that, the adult beetle emerges, wreaking havoc on just about every edible plant around. Mating happens, and the process begins all over again. 

Countless plants are susceptible to beetle damage. Gardeners will notice the almost immediate destruction of roses, raspberries, apple trees, beans, and other plants; all brought about by adult beetles. 

The entire life cycle process from start to finish goes largely unnoticed until it’s too late. 

Don’t be discouraged! With Environmental Pest Management here to help, there is still time to disrupt and kill the pests during any stage of their life cycle. 

Japanese Beetle Reduction Process

A Japanese Beetle on a leaf

Even though it takes an entire year or more, the whole life cycle of the Japanese beetle from start to finish is quite simple. However, the means to eradicate them can get a bit tricky. 

Timing is everything. 

Once again, the chicken/egg problem emerges. Thankfully, prevention can start at virtually any stage of its life cycle. As long as it is continued and maintained, beetle population reduction is possible. 

For this example, we will go through the stages starting at the second grub stage when ground thaw occurs in the Spring. 

Spring Grub Stage 

Grub control products for lawn care are found at many home and garden stores. Most of these are chemical-based except for Milky Spore and Neem oils. 

Milky Spore is a natural product that can provide benefits. Even though the product claims to provide lawn assistance, unfortunately, no science currently backs its success. 

Adult Stage

A shiny Japanese Beetle in the adult stage

The next stage to attempt population reduction is the adult stage. This happens in early to mid-July when adults emerge from the ground. Their destructive presence is unmistakable. Gardeners across the US want them as far away from plants as possible. 

Using Japanese beetle traps is an easy and effective option. These contain pheromones which produce an attractive scent the beetle follows right into the well-designed trap. 

It’s best to place the traps in multiple locations around your yard. Traps can fill quickly, so you will want to make sure you have backups as well. 

There are also protective products you can put on your plants to kill or deter the beetles. Conventional and organic options are available at most stores. However, if you have the time, the absolute best option is to hand-pick them off into a bucket of soapy water. 

Breeding and Egg-Laying Stage

Once the egg stage begins, control measures get slightly more advanced. Popular insecticides work well for turf, but they will need re-application after any rainfall. This can get time-consuming for homeowners trying to keep up with endless to-do lists. 

Fall Grub Stage 

Finally, in our example, we reach the fall primary grub stage. Treatment is the same as spring mature grub control. You can apply more granular grub control products from late August into early November or until the ground freezes. 

Prevention is Possible! 

A pest control specialist spray a lawn to help prevent Japanese Beetle grubs

Though it can be challenging, controlling the Japanese beetle population is possible. It takes proper timing, dedication, and persistence. Prevention is always best when it comes to any pest type. 

Knowing your enemy and the ways to combat them are great tools to have in your arsenal. Sometimes even the best defense is no match for the plethora of Japanese beetles. 

When the bugs get to be too much, it’s time to call in the professionals! If you are struggling with your Japanese beetle population, contact the experts at Environmental Pest Management. 

Minnesotans only get a few months to relish, don’t waste yours battling a never-ending enemy. Don’t let Japanese beetles ruin any more of your yard or precious ornamentals. 

Contact us at Environmental Pest Management for a free quote today! Let us help you have a stress-free and Japanese beetle-free summer!

12 Common Minnesota Bugs

A black and white Weevil on a white background
A black and white Weevil on a white background

Though it does not feel like it, our Minnesota winter is coming to an end. As we approach summer, our crawly friends will be coming out to make their presence known. 

Or some of us may have some winter visitors holed up in our homes to escape the cold outdoors. It is important to know if your house guest is a friendly flyer or a harmful home invader. 

Take a look at these common Minnesota bugs that you are likely to find all year round. 

If you find any of these pests in your home and want them to vacate the premises, call Environmental Pest Management. We will send your pests packing!

A Stink Bug on a bright green leaf. Stink Bugs are a common Minnesota bug.

1. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

These guys were unintentionally brought to North America from South-East Asia. You will find these common Minnesota bugs hiding out in your home during the wintertime to escape the low temperatures. 

The stink bug will sneak through cracks and crevices in your home’s siding or door and window frames. Though they are not harmful, these guys do stink (both literally and figuratively). 

A red male tick on a white background.

2. Ticks

I think it’s safe to say we all know about these pests. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, there are roughly twelve different kinds of ticks.

The three main types you might encounter are the American dog tick (or wood tick), the black-legged tick (or deer tick), and the lone star tick. Each of these carries the possibility of a tick-borne disease.

Ticks are crawlies you do not want to have around. If you do experience a tick bite, be careful with removal.

A Silverfish close up on a white background. Silverfish are a common Minnesota bug.

3. Silverfish

These pests have a suitable name for these flightless bugs with fish-like movements. Although they are very otherworldly looking, they are more of a nuisance than anything. 

Their destructive tendencies can make them a major annoyance. The silverfish’s discarded exoskeleton can also trigger allergies in some cases. 

Two ants on a white background

4. Ants

Ants are a common pest found in and around Minnesota homes. The best way to control an ant infestation is to identify them correctly. 

Most ants are more of a home-owner headache than disease-carrying and destructive. The University of Minnesota has a lot of great information on ant identification.

A cockroach on a sink

5. Cockroaches

Yes, of course, these guys made the list. Four types of cockroaches can infest Minnesota homes: the brown-banded cockroach, oriental cockroach, American cockroach, and the German cockroach. 

The best way to avoid these guys is to keep your kitchen and pantry clean. Store pantry foods in air-tight containers and clean dirty dishes frequently. 

They can carry diseases and can trigger allergies and asthma.

An earwig isolated on a white background

6. Earwigs

These guys are mostly a problem during Minnesota summers (July and August). They can come in large numbers. 

They do not cause any harm to humans or property damage but can give off an awful odor. One earwig will not live long inside the home. If you’re unprepared, earwigs will continue to enter the home through the summer months. 

A close up photo of Weevils on grains of rice.

7. Weevils 

These insects are a small, pear-shaped beetle with a noticeable snout. Weevils will seek shelter in your home from unfavorable weather conditions, especially dry, hot weather. 

These guys are classified as pantry pests and may try and find a home in your rice or grains. Store your grains and other weevil-loving food in air-tight glass or plastic storage containers. 

A Boxelder bug is a dark beetle with orange markings

8. Boxelder Bug

These common Minnesota bugs are black with orange or red markings. You can identify them by the three stripes on their back right behind their head. 

These bugs like warmth and are unlikely to cause you a problem during the summer months. They can become an issue in the fall and winter months when they are seeking warmth and shelter. 

They are primarily a nuisance as they often enter homes or buildings in large numbers. 

A wasp on a leaf

9. Wasps

Yellowjackets (including baldfaced hornets) and paper wasps are two common wasps you can find in Minnesota.

Wasps will construct their nests on the inside or outside of buildings, inside trees, and in the ground. Usually, wasps do not cause a problem if they are not near human activity. 

If you find a wasps nest inside or outside your home, it should be eliminated to reduce the risk of stings. 

A multi-colored carpet beetle close up

10. Carpet Beetles

These small guys can be found indoors throughout the year. They are commonly spotted during the spring and summer. 

Carpet beetles can be tricky because adults feed on pollen and are not pests alone. However, their larvae are destructive because they feed on natural fibers of animal origin.

They are not so much a concern for your carpet as they are your closet and items containing materials such as feather, wool, fur, or silk.

A large larder beetle on a white background.  

11. Larder Beetles

These oval-shaped dark brown beetle can be identified by the cream or yellow-colored band with six dark spots that run across the top of their wings.

These guys were fittingly named larder beetles (think lard) because of their attraction to food pantries and animal by-products. Both the adults and the larvae feed on high-protein materials or products. 

They will eat furs, feathers, wool, dead animals and insects, cured meats, dry pet food, and cheese.

Indianmeal moth on a white background

12. Indianmeal Moths 

Indianmeal moths have light gray wings that darken near the hind with no distinguishing markings. They may have a reddish-brown or coppery color on the outer portion of their wings. 

These pantry predators get their names from their diet of “Indian corn” or maize. They can be found in homes living in stored food products including, grains, dried fruit, seeds, spices, or pet foods. 

To help prevent these common Minnesota bugs, it is important to keep your pantry clean and store dry food products in glass or plastic air-tight containers. 

Environmental Pest Management Battles Minnesota Bugs

A pest control worker spraying a cabinet under a bathroom sink

All year long is a bug battle. Pests enter and exit homes depending on weather, life cycles, or other habits. 

If you find yourself with one or any of these common Minnesota bugs, Environmental Pest Management can help. We are proud to service Burnsville, MN, and surrounding cities

Contact us today for safe and effective pest management.