A Bugs Life

Japanese Beetles & Control

Japanese beetles are coming!  They can be very damaging to plants, especially roses, grape vines, Virginia creeper vines.  Adults feed on leaves, buds and flowers of many common garden and landscape plants.  Feeding on leaves is usually restricted to the softer tissues between the larger leaf veins, which results in a characteristic feeding pattern known and described as ‘skeletonizing’.  More generalized ragged feeding occurs on softer tissues, notably flower petals; rose flowers are particularly susceptible to Japanese beetle injury. Damage on individual plants may be patchy, concentrated where aggregations of feeding beetles occur.  Now is the time to put your control strategy together.

Japanese Beetle Life Cycle info here

Hand Picking Control

Hand picking beetles is effective in small plantings. The beetles are easily picked or dislodged into a container of soapy water, especially in early morning and again in the evening. Regular removal of beetles prevents the feeding damage by those beetles and deters other beetles from aggregating on the plant. Beetle presence on plants and prior injury is attractive to other beetles.

Spray Control

Adult Japanese beetles can be effectively controlled by use of sprayed insecticides which either kill and/or repel beetles and are particularly effective and may provide protection of plants for 2-3 weeks following a single application.  As with all pesticide applications, read the label and follow the directions carefully.  Make your application in the evening, after the sun has gone down so as not to disturb the honeybees.  Check with our Green Team Garden experts for their suggestion of what might work best for you.  See below:

Natural Guard Spinosad Soap Ready To Use trigger spray or Ready To Spray hose end application – Spinosad with insecticidal soap – organic control

Bonide Eight Ready To Use trigger spray or Ready To Spray hose end application – synthetic pyrethrin – safer and softer in the environment than Sevin

Fertilome Indoor/Outdoor Multi-Purpose Aerosol Spray – synthetic pyrethrin – for convenient applications

Fertilome Triple Action Ready To Use trigger spray or Ready To Spray hose end application – Neem oil, pyrethrins

Fertilome Tree & Shrub Drench – mix with water in watering can, apply to soil – systemic action for roses

Rescue Japanese Beetle Trap – very effective but best used away from your garden so as not to attract beetles to your plants