Watch out — this could be a heavy Japanese beetle season


If you have been in your garden these last few days, chances are you’ve spotted a few Japanese beetles. The adults have hatched, and I have a feeling we are in for a good beetle season.

I am neither an entomologist, nor a prognosticator, nor do I have a crystal ball. However, I have seen quite a few adult Japanese beetles in the last few days and something tells me I might see a lot more in the future. Just a gut feeling and I hope I am wrong.

RELATED: Start looking for the hungry bagworms on your trees

The adults have bronze wings with a metallic green head. If you look closely at the adult, you will also see five white hair tufts on each side of the body and two tufts on the rear end.

Adult Japanese beetles have a huge appetite for a wide variety of plants. While many insects are host-specific (i.e. they prefer a certain plant), these beetles feed on more than 300 species of plants.

The saying, “if you plant it they will come” holds true for these critters. If you have their preferred food, they will likely pay you a visit at some point.

Populations of adults have been relatively small in my area (northern Miami Valley) but I heard from readers last year in the Beavercreek and Centerville areas that the populations there were quite heavy.

I really haven’t seen a “bad” year with these adults in quite a while — which is another reason why I suspect I may see more this year.

The larvae or grubs feed on turfgrass roots. There are also other white grubs that feed on turfgrass roots as well such as masked chafer, June beetles, May beetles and the black turfgrass aetanius.

MORE GARDENING TIPS: Resolve to put the right plant in the right place

Again, depending on populations, the larvae can damage a lawn to the point of reseeding or complete replacement if populations are extreme.

Controlling the grub does not lead to controlling the adults. If you have the plants that the adults like, they will come from other lawns. Therefore, controlling grubs should be done if there are enough in the lawn to warrant control.

A few grubs feeding won’t cause a lot of problem for the turf. However, if you find nine to 12 per square foot of turf, you will see lawn damage.

There are several sprays on the market for the adult Japanese beetle. They have to be reapplied every so often (follow the label) in order to keep the adults at bay.

I don’t normally worry about Japanese beetles feeding on trees, but I don’t like them on my roses and hibiscus. I will first knock the beetles off of the flowers into a bucket of soapy water. Once populations become damaging to the flowers, I use pesticide sprays.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

WPAFB Wednesday Weather: Breezy, cold conditions continue with possible evening flurries
WPAFB Wednesday Weather: Breezy, cold conditions continue with possible evening flurries

Wednesday will start out breezy and cold with temperatures rising into the 30s, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs. Extra layers to keep warm would be ideal as wind chills will be in the upper teens to lower 20s early. Some morning sun will give way to clouds through the day as a cold front approaches. A few flurries will...
FDA, local schools take steps as teen e-cigarette use surges
FDA, local schools take steps as teen e-cigarette use surges

E-cigarette use by high schoolers increased 80 percent in the past year, prompting the Food and Drug Administration to propose new measures against flavored nicotine products that have spurred the rise. More than 3.6 million American middle and high school students admitted to being e-cigarettes users in 2018, up 1.5 million from last year, according...
Siding for every budget
Siding for every budget

There are many reasons to update your siding: It’s aged out; you want better energy efficiency; or it doesn’t fit your taste. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of options available to you, and there’s more than one material to fit each budget level. Plus, fall is the perfect time of year to complete an exterior project like this...
Interior designer shares ‘The Art of Elegance’
Interior designer shares ‘The Art of Elegance’

Normally, lunch for me during our busy fall and holiday season is a few quick bites squeezed in between appointments. So I couldn’t wait to attend the elegant Committee of 100 annual luncheon a few weeks ago at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo. I love this benefit event, which brings in top name interior designers, who transport...
The do’s and don’ts of fall fragrances
The do’s and don’ts of fall fragrances

What does your home say about you? What is the first or lasting impression? In many instances, the unseen can make a lasting impression, whether positive or negative. We are talking about scent. Fragrance can be powerful when it comes to either attracting or distracting. And for many, infusing scents is part of the experience for guests. When looking...
More Stories