Japanese Beetle

Popillia japonica

Japanese beetle
Japanese beetle [Credit: Foxrosser ]
Japanese beetle [Credit: Foxrosser ]


Host Plants:

In the garden: Roses and numerous other plants
On Crops: Beans, grapes, raspberries

Where Found:

Eastern United States

Description:

Brightly colored half-inch long beetles with copper-colored backs and metallic green heads, Japanese beetles usually feed in small groups. They fly away or drop to the ground when disturbed.

Damage:

Japanese beetles chew holes in leaves, often devouring much of the foliage from roses and other favored plants. When they stop feeding in late summer, the larvae (grubs) become a problem in lawns, where they damage grass by eating roots.

Preventing Problems:

Use row covers to protect plants during the 6 to 8-week period while Japanese beetles are feeding. Plan to hand pick often, by knocking the beetles into a bowl of soapy water. A fungal disease called milky spore can be introduced into lawns, where it infects Japanese beetle larvae.

Managing Outbreaks:

Japanese beetle populations vary from year to year. Although traps will collect hundreds of beetles, they may attract beetles from far beyond your yard.

Tips:

Pole beans often are damaged by Japanese beetles, but because the infested leaves are at eye level, the beetles are easier to gather.

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