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

Studying 2.0: 6 homework apps to help your kid through the school year
Studying 2.0: 6 homework apps to help your kid through the school year

Homework can make or break your kid's school year, not to mention set a positive or dreary tone at your home on school nights. To get off on the right foot with your student's homework, consider the appeal of technology. » RELATED: Back-to-school sales starting early as first day approaches » Ohio teachers can get school supply...
Back-to-school selfies may spread super lice, expert says
Back-to-school selfies may spread super lice, expert says

Parents may want to add super lice remedies to the back-to-school shopping list. A 2013 study in the Journal of Medical Entomology found that in North America, most head lice has evolved into a new, more powerful strain that is immune to traditional lice treatments, hence the name “super lice.” » RELATED: Back-to-school...
Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies slay it in Lip Sync Challenge 
Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies slay it in Lip Sync Challenge 

Challenge accepted and mic dropped.  Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies jumped  lip first into the police lip sync challenge  started about a month ago by Alexander Mena,  a deputy from the Bexar County sheriff’s office in Texas.  Officers from around the nation have taken the challenge, lip syncing...
Get ahead of the foodie game at Wednesday’s sneak peek to Restaurant Week 
Get ahead of the foodie game at Wednesday’s sneak peek to Restaurant Week 

When summer ushers in warmer weather there are several things in the world of food that you can count on — seasonal produce and dishes being at the top of the list. A close second is the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Summer Restaurant Week promotion, which this year runs July 22-29 offering meals from more than 40 restaurants ranging...
How 2 dogs found their royalty
How 2 dogs found their royalty

The TV networks covered the wedding of England’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle extensively, focusing on the dress, the cathedral and, of course, the bride and groom. While it was fun to watch, my family wanted to see more images of the bride’s rescued Beagle, Guy. Teddy, our Lab, also a rescue has a lot in common with...
More Stories