What You Need To Know About The Japanese Beetle

It seems to always be something when trying to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful, healthy, and weed free. So what now!?japbeetledamage

Japanese Beetles have arrived in West Tennessee and parts of Missouri with a vengeance. The victims of their arrival often ends up being our rose bushes, crepe myrtles, ferns, and many more trees and shrubs. They actually have been known to feed on over 300 species of plants including poison ivy. We spend much of our time and money trying to keep our lawn and landscapes beautiful only to have another pest to worry about destroying our progress.

Even though the Japanese Beetle has a short life cycle as an adult, (30-45 days) that does not mean they can’t do damage to your landscape and sometimes even to cause death to plants in a very short period of time. This unwanted pest starts its journey in life as a grub in the soil and can often times feed on the roots of your lawn before becoming an adult only to destroy your landscape.

japbeetlesAs warmer temperatures arrive the grub moves closer to the soil and usually turns into an adult and emerges around the end of May. They can travel long distances, up to five miles, in search for food. They feed on the foliage of plants in between the veins, leaving a skelentonized appearance. Typically, around early to mid-July the Japanese Beetle returns into the soil only to start this cycle again.

So what can we do to minimize and hopefully prevent their damage? Well here are 4 different strategies’ you can consider to help keep your landscapes safe.

We have seen the Spectracide Bags people have up that traps the beetles. Most people are amazed how quick the bags fill up with the beetles only to be dumped out and fill back up again. Where this often appears to be successful, it may bring in many beetles from a long range into the area since there is a natural pheromone in the bag that attracts them. Pheromones are a sexual excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species.

Another way to control this pest is through controlling the pest at an earlier stage of its life cycle. In late summer when the beetle has returned to the soil and other grubs are close to the surface of the ground, Clothianidin can be applied to clean up your soil from grub worms and other soil pests. Where this will control insects in the soil, there is no guarantee that you won’t have any issues the following season since the adult beetles can travel long distances by air.

At 4-EverGreen, we know that preventative maintenance is often times the best way to control the Japanese Beetle. We recommend to apply a systemic insecticide around the first part of April. Systemic insecticides are applied to the foliage of plants or as a soil drench inside the drip lines of the tree or shrub. It is absorbed through the foliage or taken up through the roots and works its way throughout the plant. It takes about 45-60 days after application before the active ingredient is throughout the entire plant. The insecticide becomes active and waits for pests to feed on the plant. And when they do, “dooms day”.

The most common way people control Japanese Beetles is from more of a reactive approach, as oppose to a proactive approach. Once the activity has been identified, action is then taken. Pyrethroid insecticides are effective as a contact killer only when the pests are present and active feeding on your landscape.

Landscapes are a large investment for homeowners and commercial properties to install and maintain, not to mention the pride we take in keeping our properties looking nice.

If you would like more information on what we can do to help you control your Japanese Beetle problem, please call our office for a free consultation or visit our web site for a “Quick Quote”.

Scott Riley



Scott and Heather 2


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