What are those green garden beetles? Here are tips on how to identify and get rid of Japanese beetles.
What are Japanese Beetles?
Japanese beetles are small bugs that carry a big threat. They do not discriminate on what types of plants they feed on. In fact, they are classified as a pest to hundreds of different species. They are one of the major insect pests in the Eastern and Midwestern United States, causing monumental damage to crops each year.
Prior to the beetle's accidental introduction into the United States earlier in this century, the Japanese beetle was found only on the islands of Japan, isolated by water and kept in check by its natural enemies. In 1912, a law was passed that made it illegal to import plants rooted in soil. Unfortunately, the failure to implement the law immediately allowed the Japanese beetle to arrive in this country.
Most entomologists agree that the beetles entered the country as grubs in soil on Japanese iris roots. In 1916, these coppery-winged pests were first spotted in a nursery near Riverton, New Jersey. By 1920, eradication programs were dropped; the beetle proved to be too prolific a breeder. Not a choosy eater, it dines on over 200 species of plants.