July 25, 2017

Japanese Garden Beetles are Here!

Japanese beetles have lived in New Jersey for over 100 years! These shiny pests show up in July and love to feed on summer gardens, trees and flowers. Japanese beetles are not hard to find, as they arrive in large numbers and like to reproduce out in the open. If you’ve noticed the pests in your garden, you may be wondering what you can do. Are these iridescent beetles anything to worry about? And if so, how do you get rid of them?

They Come for the Roses – and Stay for the Rest

Japanese beetles can fly as far as two miles when they smell something tasty. The beetles feed off 300+ plant species, preferring those with direct sunlight and a strong scent. This is why roses are at the top of their list. By the time July rolls around, plants and flowers are established and the beetles know it. They release a pheromone that lets their friends know they’ve found food.

Even if you’re not bothered by the sight of swarming beetles, you won’t want them around your garden or trees. The beetles will feed on your yard, leaving everything tattered. Their favorite things to eat include roses, fruit trees, grapes and hollyhocks.

How to Get a Hold on Japanese Beetle Populations

One of the most popular ways to get rid of JBs is to buy a pheromone-baited trap. However, popular does not mean effective. The problem with these traps is that they end up attracting more beetles to your property. Pesticides and insecticides are available, too, but they can cause harm to the soil, pets, children and other wildlife.

You can also try hand picking the beetles and placing them into a soapy bucket of water. Dead beetles keep live ones away, so it’s best to keep the bucket of water near your plants and shrubs. (It’s quite the eyesore, of course!) Unfortunately, picking beetles is a tedious and tiresome task.

Sometimes, a small population of Japanese beetles will be handled naturally by the circle of life. Natural enemies include catbirds, robins and crows. Milky spore is also a good preventative measure, though it needs to build up over several years and is only recommended for new lawns that are younger than 8 years.

If Japanese beetles return year after year or you have a large number of them, call Heritage Pest Control. There’s no reason to lose your lawn or stop planting the things you love because of stubborn, destructive pests. We offer comprehensive pest control services that are safe and humane. Let us deal with the beetles so that you can enjoy your yard!