What is a Japanese beetle?
This pest is half an inch long and half an inch wide, metallic green bug, and may not appear to be much of a threat. However, it has the potential to wreak havoc on your landscape. They prefer roses, grapes, and hibiscus but will eat 350 different species of plants. This beetle is an invasive species in North America. It arrived in 1916 via a shipment of irises. They can be found throughout the United States east of the Mississippi, but also have been found in Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. These bugs lay eggs in the summer, which hatch into grubs around two weeks later. The grubs themselves can be destructive to your lawn, leaving dead patches of grass in the areas that they infest.
Japanese beetle damage is pretty easy to identify. Usually, the bugs can be caught in the act. The telltale signs of Japanese beetles include skeletonized leaves or total defoliation. Japanese beetles also love to eat rosebuds — from the inside out. Keep in mind that Japanese beetles are seldom found west of the Mississippi River, but chances are good that they’re headed your way.
They have no natural predators
The Japanese beetle has done so well in the US because of its lack of natural predators. Some US birds, especially Starlings, will eat the grubs and sometimes even the adult beetle. Attracting these birds to your yard may help control the beetle population in your garden. Many garden centers have traps available specifically for the Japanese Beetle. However, research shows that these traps attract more beetles to the areas in which they are placed. Pesticides are often the most effective option when fighting this garden menace.
How will you fight against this pest if it invades your garden?