Japanese Beetles And How To Control Them

Japanese Beetles can be a serious problem-they destroy your flowers and skeletonize the leaves


Photo courtesy of Denise Rosser

The ½-inch long beetles are pretty beautiful, have metallic green heads and copper-colored wing-covers.

The beetle damage is easily to identify, and usually the bugs can be caught in action.

They feed on flower buds as well as on foliage and rigorously crop the leaves, reducing them to a lacelike appearance.

The beetles appear mid-summer and can be found until early fall. The first severe frost will kill them.

Combat Japanese Beetles

It is not easy to control these beetles.

Handpick Them

One way is to handpick them from the roses and put them in a bucket of soapy water. Do it early in the morning when the beetles are slow and less alert.

Beetle Trap

Another way to control them is to use Japanese beetle traps. Since these traps contain a food-floral attractant and a sex lure attractant, they will bring in other beetles from neighbor gardens.

Keep the traps at least 100 feet away from the plants you want to protect from the beetles.

Prevention by Treating your Lawn

The grubs are the larvae of the beetles and feed on underground roots like grass-roots.

Apply a natural Grub Guard on the lawn in spring before the beetles emerge. That will kill the grubs that turn into the beetles pest.

The second half of the prevention is to apply Milky Spores to the ground. Both appliances will not have an immediate impact. It will take a year to be established in the soil but will work for several years.

The downside with that treatment is that the beetles can fly in from over a mile to feed on your roses. 

Alternative Sprays

I do not like to spray my roses, but if I can use some natural products to get rid of the beetle’s pests I will do it to save my roses.

I will treat my flowers with the pyrethrin-based Japanese and other Beetles Killer or Neem Oil at the first sign of a beetle-attack.

One word to Neem oil

Neem oil comes from neem-trees and is an organic product. The oil has a strong aroma, tastes bitter and is yellowish colored.

Applied on roses, it reduces the feeding frenzy of many insect pests like aphids, lace bugs, scale, mites, earwigs, sawflies and many more.

I also use Neem oil to control diseases on roses like black spot or powdery mildew. This useful oil should be in every garden pharmacy. 


› Japanese Beetles

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