I’ve noticed a ton of Japanese Beetles in my yard. Should I be concerned?
You may have spotted Japanese beetles in recent weeks. If you have the beetles in your yard, you already know how destructive they can be to your yard, trees and plants. The beetle measures about half an inch and is recognizable by its metallic head and copper back.
There is no preventative treatment for Japanese beetles, which are relatively new to this area, having arrived within the last five years. When an insect is new to a geographic area, the population typically soars within the first few years, but steadily declines after reaching its peak.
There are many misconceptions about the best options for getting rid of the Japanese beetle, and unfortunately there is no option to eliminate them completely. Japanese beetles lay eggs in the summer months, which overwinter as larvae. Completely eliminating the larvae, which appear as a white grub, is an unrealistic goal. However, the grubs can be controlled to the point that they don’t destroy the turf in your yard.
Controlling the Japanese beetle after you see an adult population is more realistic, but takes time and diligence. An adult female Japanese beetle emits an odor that attracts males, who can fly in from as far as 6 miles away. Eliminating the beetles in your yard is a temporary fix as more are likely to continue to arrive. Using traps with synthetic hormones to attract and capture the beetle is ineffective as they generally only capture about 10% of the beetles in the vicinity, and may actually attract more beetles to your yard.
The most effective treatment is to spray your plants and trees with a registered insecticide. You can spray smaller plants and shrubs with a hand sprayer, but multiple applications within a period of a few weeks will be necessary to reduce the population. If you have larger trees such as a birch or linden, which are favorites of the Japanese beetle, you will need the help of a professional, and multiple applications will be necessary.
Japanese beetles attack plants in groups, and can be extremely destructive to turf, trees, crops and plants, particularly those in the rose species. But with diligence you can control them to the point where they are no longer destructive. And there is more good news. Within the next few weeks, the Japanese beetles will lay their eggs and die soon after. Of course, the egg-larva-pupa-adult cycle will perpetuate, but you will be free of destructive pest for the remainder of the summer!
Call the Turf Care team to help eliminate the Japanese beetles in your large trees today!