Japanese Beetles

How to Identify and Get Rid of Japanese Beetles

japanese-beetle-garden-pest-bug

Use these tips to get rid of Japanese beetles.

Crestock

Share: 

Rate this Article: 

Average: 3.7 (284 votes)

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.

Identification

How to Identify Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetles are ½ inch in length with metallic blue-green heads, copper backs, tan wings, and small white hairs lining each side of the abdomen. Japanese beetles usually feed in small groups. They lay eggs in the soil during June, which develop into tiny white grubs with brown heads and six legs that are up to ¾ inch in length. These grubs will remain under wraps for about 10 months, overwintering and growing in the soil.

They emerge from the soil as adult beetles and begin feeding in June. They usually attack plants in groups, which is why damage is so severe. Although the lifecycle of the adult Japanese beetle is barely 40 days, it can cover a lot of ground. Even if you succeed in controlling your Japanese beetle population, your neighbor’s Japanese beetles might come on over.

Japanese Beetle Damage

Japanese beetles eat a wide variety of flowers and crops (the adult beetles attack more than 300 different kinds of plants), but they are especially common on roses, beans, grapes, and raspberries. They can devour most of the foliage on favored plants like roses. Look for leaves that are “skeletonized” (only have veins remaining). This is a tell-tale sign of Japanese Beetles. Mexican Bean Beetles can also leave foliage skeletonized, though, so be sure to identify them by their appearance as well.

Grubs damage grass when overwintering in the soil, as they eat the roots of lawn grasses and garden plants.

japanese-beetle-damage.jpg
Photo Credit: The Ohio State University. Japanese beetles cause leaves to appear skeletonized.

Control and Prevention

How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles

Good horticultural practices, including watering and fertilizing, will reduce the damage caused by these beetles, but oftentimes you simply need to get rid of them. Here are some ideas:

  • Row Covers: Protect your plants from Japanese beetles with row covers during the 6- to 8-week feeding period.
  • Hand Pick: Unfortunately, the most effective way of getting rid of Japanese beetles is to hand pick them. It’s time consuming, but it works, especially if you are diligent. When you pick them off, put them in a solution of 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and water, which will cause them to drown.
  • Neem Oil: Neem oil and sprays containing potassium bicarbonate are somewhat effective, especially on roses. The adults ingest a chemical in the neem oil and pass it on in their eggs, and the resulting larvae die before they become adults. Neem can be harmful to fish and should be reapplied after rainstorms.
  • Use a Dropcloth: Put down a dropcloth and, in the early morning when they’re most active, shake them off and dump them into a bucket of soapy water.
  • Insecticides: If you wish to spray or dust with insecticides, speak to your local cooperative extension or garden center about approved insecticides in your area.
    • Or, try this safe homemade solution: Mix 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent with 1 cup of vegetable oil and shake well; then add it to 1 quart of water. Add 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and shake vigorously to emulsify. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and use it at ten-day intervals on pests. Homemade sprays can run more of a risk of damaging plant leaves, so be careful.
    • Apply sprays in the morning, never in full sun or at temperatures above 90ºF. If your plants start to wilt, rinse the leaves immediately with clean water.
  • Traps: Japanese beetle traps can be helpful in controlling large numbers of beetles, but they also might attract beetles from beyond your yard. Eugenol and geraniol, aromatic chemicals extracted from plants, are attractive to adult Japanese beetles as well as to other insects. Unfortunately, the traps do not effectively suppress adults and might even result in a higher localized population. If you want to try them, be sure to place traps far away from plants so that the beetles do not land on your favored plants on their way to the traps.
  • Fruit Cocktail: You can buy Japanese beetle traps of all sorts, but most are no more effective than a can of fruit cocktail. Open the can and let it sit in the sun for a week to ferment. Then place it on top of bricks or wood blocks in a light-colored pail, and fill the pail with water to just below the top of the can. Place the pail about 25 feet from the plants you want to protect. The beetles will head for the sweet bait, fall into the water, and drown. If rain dilutes the bait, start over. 
  • Geraniums: Japanese beetles are attracted to geraniums. They eat the blossoms, promptly get dizzy, fall down, and permit you to dispose of them conveniently with a dustpan and brush. Plant geraniums close to more valuable plants which you wish to save from the ravages of Japanese beetles. 
  • Japanese Beetles on Roses? Note that insecticides will not fully protect roses, which unfold too fast and are especially attractive to beetles. When beetles are most abundant on roses, nip the buds and spray the bushes to protect the leaves. When the beetles become scarce, let the bushes bloom again. Timeliness and thoroughness of application are very important. Begin treatment as soon as beetles appear, before damage is done. 

NOTE: Many dusts or sprays are highly toxic to honeybees. If application of these materials to plants is necessary during the bloom period, do not apply during hours when bees are visiting the flowers. If larger than yard and garden plantings are to be treated, you may need to contact nearby beekeepers in advance so that they can protect their colonies. 

japanese-beetle-identification-control.jpg
Photo Credit: Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota. Sometimes the easiest way to get rid of Japanese beetles is to pick them off the plants before they do too much damage.

How to Prevent Japanese Beetles

Unfortunately, there is no magic potion to get rid of this pest. For general preventive maintenance, experts recommend keeping your landscape healthy. Remove diseased and poorly nourished trees as well as any prematurely ripening or diseased fruits, which can attract Japanese beetles. Try these tips:

  • Select plants that Japanese beetles will not be attracted to. See our list of the Best and Worst Plants for Japanese Beetles. Dispersing their favorite plants throughout the landscape, rather than grouping them together, can also help.
  • In the grub stage of late spring and fall (beetles have two life cycles per season), spray the lawn with 2 tablespoons of liquid dishwashing soap diluted in 1 gallon of water per 1,000 square feet. The grubs will surface and the birds will love you. Spray once each week until no more grubs surface.
  • You can introduce the fungal disease milky spore into your lawn to control the Japanese beetle larvae population. The larvae ingest the spores as they feed in the soil. The spore count must be up for two to three years for this method to be effective. Fortunately, the spores remain viable in the soil for years. This is an expensive treatment, as all the soil within five-eights of a mile needs to be treated for good control.
  • You can also drench sod with parasitic nematodes to control the larvae. The nematodes must be applied when the grubs are small and if the lawn is irrigated before and after application. Preparations containing the Heterorhabditis species seem to be most effective.
  • Companion planting can be a useful strategy in preventing pests. Try planting garlic, rue, or tansy near your affected plants to deter Japanese beetles. 
  • You can also attract native species of parasitic wasps (Tiphia vernalis or T. popilliavora) and flies to your garden, as they are predators of the beetles and can be beneficial insects. They will probably attack the larvae, but they are not very effective in reducing the overall beetle population. 

Plants Affected

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

I tried growing roses the

I tried growing roses the first time ever, and the JB's devoured them. Late August now, and they are finally mostly gone, its amazing.
I have read somewhere that if you use a blending container only for this purpose, put a large amount of dead beetles in, and liquify them (I know it's gross), spray your plants, and the smell of the dead ones will repel any more.
also how far is far enough from the garden to put the bait lures? Is 2-3 acres away enough?

Japanese beetles

I have also been bombarded by the beetles and have sprayed and used traps. My question is, do they end up in the traps before or after they have laid eggs? Or both?

what abou tthe eggs?

The answer is a little of both, JL.Many females will lay eggs near the traps, creating problems next year. Read the advice above as well as the comments below. There is a lot of beetle wisdom here!

Detergent method of killing

If I put the mixture of vinegar, sugar and liquid detergent in a small pail with handle, can I hang it on a shepherds hook or does it have to be on the ground?

Detergent Beetle Trap

Yes, you may hang the trap from a hook. The beetles are attracted to the smell, so it doesn’t really matter where the trap is, as long as it’s accessible.

Kill Japanese beetle

Use dawn dish soap, put 1 oz per gallon of water. Spray them . They will drop over dead.
This is the best way I find it out. Try it. It works.
Good luck.
Ron

Japanese Beetles. Grrrrrrr

I have been cutting our lawn about once a week due to all the rain we have had in SE Wi. One week ago my trues looked healthy, in fact we had a lawn service actually servicing our /trees and shrubs. On Tuesday, 7/25, I went out to mow the lawn and I noticed our River Birch had lost 2/3 of it's leaves. They have also attacked our American Larch, Goldrush Redwood, Crabapple Tree, Plum Tree, our Magic Spirea and starting some of the Maples. I am just SICKENED at the amount of damage they have done. So far they have left our Dakota Arborvitae and our Green and Gold Arborvitae alone. We have since called "said" lawn service to come out to re-spray again. Why has this not taken care of them? Will our trees recover? At what point is the decimation beyond the point of no return? We have a LOT of money in these trees/shrubs and the "service" has a guarantee. What do we do now?

japanese beetles

How do you pick the beetles off of a 50 foot tree. And how do you spray or kill the beetles 100feet in the air. I keep them out of my house only by using a electric bell in howell thing that makes a sound through the house and they don't come in but when I go outside they bite and the bite is a serious sore that I now have had on my skin more than 3 months. Nothing works to stop the itching, blisters that burn and run. One bite makes a sore 2 inches in diameter. All leaves are on the ground and the grass is being eaten everything in their path is dead.

Japanese beeltes

Japanese beetles are so bad in central Illinois they just move fron tree to tree eating every leaf and killing everything in their path. The bite from these bugs causes an infection on your skin that is painful and is hard to heal. It turns red, blisters, does not heal well. Leaves a large sore on the skin, itches and burns to touch, nothing stops the pain and blisters. The trees are dying everywhere from these beetles as they eat everything in sight. What will stop them, how do you kill them. Huge trees dying from town to town. What can be done?

Japanese beetles

I noticed we have Japanese beetles in our apple tree, the apples are falling and the leaves are getting eaten, what would you recommend ?

Japanese beetles and apple trees

Traps are not always effective for fruit crops because they attract the beetles from miles around and many females will lay eggs nearby, creating problems next year. To get rid of the beetles, there is a wide range of insecticides for the immediate control of beetles—from the broad-spectrum insecticides (eg., Sevin) to the organic options. See this page for examples: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/managing_japanese_beetles_in_fruit_crops but check with your state’s cooperative extension to see what’s permissible and advised where you live. In the future, to avoid this pest: 1. Reduce weeds. Apply an herbicide in the fall. 2. If you put down any sod between apple trees, remove grass and use a non-grass cover crop and restrict irrigation in areas near the tree(s) and use a drip system to reduce the habitat for these beetles.

I have effectively controlled them with

I have used a bag trap with pheromone attractant. But I cut the bottom off the bag, put a three inch pvc pipe going into a 55 gallon barrel and bag. It brings in a ton of beetles but they all come off my foliage and trees. It will fill up a couple of barrels in a season, but it saves my garden. I garden an acre of vegetables and fruit trees. I also use a kaolin clay called surroundDT from Johhny's Seeds. Totally non toxic.

When I put the modified bag trap out the beetles come in swarms, go into the trap, down the pipe, into the barrel, and they die in the barrel. I have a hole for the pvc pipe cut into the lid of the barrel. This method has worked for a few years

Mountain Ash

The are devouring the tree, will they kill it?

Variation on Fruit Cocktail attractant for Japanese Beetles

A simpler and cheaper alternative to the Fruit Cocktail attractant is Apple Cider Vinegar, dishwashing detergent, and sugar. I use about a cup of vinegar, a spoonful of sugar, and a few drops of detergent in a large open can. The fruity vinegar and the sugar attract them and they drown in the soapy water. No waiting for fermentation and there's only one container.

Japanese Beetle

Does the vinegar mixture get mixed into the water? Or put the mixture into a can to sit in the water?

japanese bettles in our American Elm

How do you get rid of them out of a large tree. It is to tall to spray. They are stripping all the leaves. How long do they feed?

Japanese Beetles in Trees

If the beetles are up too high to reach with sprays, then there’s not much you can do this season, unfortunately. There are some insecticides, known as systemic insecticides, that can be applied to the soil and will be absorbed by the tree, but these may take up to two months to be effective, by which point this year’s Japanese beetle populations will be gone. Japanese beetles typically feed between mid-June and late August. (NOTE: Before you decide to use a systemic pesticide, you should look carefully at the possible side effects, such as its impact on important pollinators like bees!)

They are BAD this year-2017!

They have attacked my grape leaves, devoured my wisteria and my crape myrtle. And of course, roses! I have sprayed seven dust liquid and powder and they do not care!!! I have also used the dishwashing solution and nothing has kept them off my plants this year!
The Junebugs are also horrible this year. Well every bug really, because we have had such mild winters in the last few years.
Any other suggestions????

getting the best of beetles

You will find all of our best advice above, April. We also checked readers’ comments below and—well, once more with feeling—review the options:

Milky spore, a bacteria the kills the grub of the Japanese Beetle, and beneficial nematodes are a natural way of getting rid of grubs in the soil. Check your local garden center or do a quick search online to find out more about how to use them. Be aware that these treatments can take a year or two to be effective.

 

You could try diatomaceous earth. It is available in a food grade version and would be safe for your pets to ingest (even beneficial in killing fleas and other insects that bother pets). It is a powder (ground, fossilized phytoplankton) and you can purchase a small pump to dust it on your plants with. It is not a poison, but an irritant to the bugs. It works its way into their exoskeletons and kills them.

 

One reader used a spray bottle filled with hydrogen peroxide and sprayed the roses; the beetles dropped instantly.

 

You might want to make some fermentation traps out of plastic milk jugs (with top off) holding a cup or so each of water, sugar, and mashed fruit of some kind (e.g., banana), plus a packet of yeast. Put some of these in your plants and see if they can attract the beetles.

 

And another comment suggests that neem oil and sprays containing potassium bicarbonate are somewhat effective.

 

For complete freedom, you need eliminate them in the grub stage of late spring and fall (beetles have two life cycles per season). Spray the lawn with 2 tablespoons of liquid dishwashing soap diluted in 1 gallon of water per 1,000 square feet. The grubs will surface and the birds will love you. Spray once each week until no more grubs surface.

Japanese Beetles

The Japanese Beetles are attacking my huge Pin Oak Trees. I can't believe how quickly the trees have deteriorated in less than 2 weeks. I'm frantically trying to get something done. Two people in tree business said they have never seen them in Oaks until this year.

Japanese Beetles traps

Think twice before using these!! We had corn fields on three sides of our property last year!!! We had traps in two areas of our yard!! We own 2 acres. We started using grocery bags as we were filling bags full 2 x a day!! We have come to believe that the pheramones pull the beetles out of the corn fields!! At this point this year they have completely killed one of our best apple trees and one of the others has 20 of the dam things on single apples!! Our peach trees at this point are loosing their leaves!! So sad!!! I really believe we should have never used the bags bought in the stores as we lured them all to our land!!
VERY SAD!!!!

Japanese Beetles traps

Do NOT use those traps except everyone in your community uses them as well. I set up a trap and it was very effective. < 5 days, it caught over 1,000 of them, they were all coming from everyone's backyard.

Japanese Beetles

We live on a 2 acre lot among corn and soy bean farmers!! The last three years we have been infested with the nasty beetles!!!! They have almost killed one of our older Apple trees and are also beating up our peach trees!!! I don't know how much damage has been done to the corn. Our trees are to big to spray and we are lost!! When do you start spraying the ground with dish soap and water mixture!! Hate to loose anymore trees!!!!
Gayle McCandless
Burlington, Iowa

Japenese Beetles

We live in SW Ia, Approx. 20mi E of Omaha/Co. Bluffs metro on 5acre plot. 4yrs ago, we took several of these to the DNR booth @ State Fair, asking for a positive id & control strategies, telling the DNR "officer" we thought they were Japanese beetles, but weren't sure. We were informed, in no uncertain terms, that Japanese beetles, had never been seen, were not expected to be seen, & if we would "just wait it out", whatever they were would die ,& not seen again. HAS NOT been a good strategy! Last yr, when checking the ripeness of the fruit in our 12 tree orchard, (apples, pears, peaches, plums), we discovered any individual fruit approaching ripening\picking time was covered w\these abominations,& eaten down to the core in short order, (hrs, not days). I started looking for solutions in April this yr, thinking i had until Aug to develop a strategy. It appears I'm gonna be 6 wks too late. Last Monday, (06/26), We started seeing them float in our above ground pool, & by Tues evening, we were dumping 150-200 of these evil\nasty creatures out of the skimmer daily sinc., Tues, returning home from parades, about a 20mi jaunt, we ran into 4 swarms of them coming out of farm fields, (beans & corn on either side), 2 of the swarms were so thick we were forced to slow from 60mph to 30mph & took almost an hr to get "bug juice", & squashed parts off car & windshield. Our fruit trees are starting to show leave damage, but no fruit damage evident yet. (best crop we've seen, btw), still haven't seen a workable solution for this infestation, but would certainly try something, if anyone has had success saving their fruit, please post up.

RickH~~Ad Astra per Astra~~
ps have pics of lastyrs infestation\damage, but find no way to attatch

Japanese Beetles

I use seven liquid and spray my garden and fruit trees is the only way I could save my crops and fruits it will kill them all but you will need to spray again after a rain

japanese beetle fix

just found out the things were destroying my plum tree. I knew sevin dust worked to rid these from roses, so tried the liquid sevin and hit my tree for 3hrs coating it as well as possible and now have many, many dead beetles. also covered lawn with the sevin granular. feeling better and hopefully won't lose my plum tree.

Bag trap: Once in how do they die? How soon? Where to empty?

Hello,

I am trying a bag trap. Once the Japanese Beetles are in how do they die? How soon do they die? Will all of them be dead when I empty the bag? Where to empty?

I live on an acreage, with farm fields on three sides.

Sheri

Beetle bag trap.

Hi Sheri,
I've been battling with the J Beetles for 3 summers now. I tried the traps last year( yes they die in there).
I truly believe whatever is in those bags attracted more beetles. This year I tried nematodes, in a sprayer in
mid June, I think I was too late. I have 2.2 acres and can't afford to spray the whole area. The last few days we have literally pulled a few hundred and dropped them into mineral oil they die in a few seconds. It seems to be
the only solution thus far. As a rule I do not kill anything insects included, but these are devastating. Let me know if you find anything that works. Good luck. Nancy

Dispose idea: in farm field or yard (as nutrients?).

Nancy,

Thank-you.

Mineral oil, you say?

I am thinking of disposing of the dead bodies back onto my acreage ground, or the farm field next to me. I suppose they will enrich the soil.

When my bag was 3/4 full, the top layers of bugs were not dead. I have a kid's swimming pool, about 4' in diameter, I put about an inch of water in it and added some soap. I unzipped the bottom of the bag and let the whole lot fall into the pool. The remaining live ones, died there. Now I need to go find a pool skimming net!

Bag 'em

We've used the bag traps along with spraying our fruit trees once or twice for the last couple years. We just have a suburban lot. We empty the bag once or twice a week into an old frozen veggies bag and throw it in the garbage.
This year we put up the old trap but forgot to get a new bait. It caught a few and stopped working. Long story short our plum tree only has about 50% of its leaves and now they're working on the Apple trees and grape vines. Not to mention they've destroyed a lot of fruit. None of the neem oil at this stage or soapy spray did anything, only the bag traps work (not wanting to poison our fruit). So we may attract more bugs, well we already do because of the fruit trees. But I'm just fine with that; they can go into the bag to die also ;)

Rose Chafer Damage

chafers have eaten 90% of the linden tree leaves HOW do we save the Trees?

Accidental Japanese Beetle Attractant

While trying to reduce the number of annoying mosquitos in my backyard using Repel's Outdoor Camp Fogger, shorty after spraying it around my patio deck, we were swarmed by hundreds of Japanese Beetles. This wasn't just a fluke since it happened several times after using the fogger. Who would have thought a repellant would attract these beetles.

Japanese beetles

I have had massive beetle invasions for going on 6 years. I have had no luck. I start each day with a surgical glove on and a pitcher filled with water and Clorox. Why Clorox ? The fumes seem to over come the beetles so they do not fly away to the next branch, next plant, or at times down my shirt. I am talking thousands of beetles for weeks. They have driven the bees away. I used to have migrating humming birds but that has stopped I had 7-8 feeders that would be covered. The beetles love pussy willows,gold raspberries,clematis,June beauty berries,and strawberries. My grape vines were :one in 2 years. Why am I fighting a losing battle? A corn/bean field adjacent to my land. The farmer seems to be intent on fighting weeds not bugs. It's going to cost him big time as his first time spraying Round up it wiped out my pine tree, 4 arborvitae, my red delicious apples, and an 84 foot bed of strawberries. I am 66 years old and I've prayed each year for relief each Spring. After reading this article I know that won't happen but I'm going to try planting some of the plants suggested .

Japanese beatles

Instead of picking Beatles off plants place plastic cup with soapy water directly under beatle then just touch beatle, their inclination is to fall off plant and fly away , instead they fall into cup.

Soap Solution and dying time

Hello,

When you use the method of soapy water in a cup, what ratio of water to soap do you use? How long do you leave them in the solution? How do you dispose of them?

Sheri

Killing Japanese beetles in soapy water

Hi Sheri,
There's no magic formula. I literally just squirt some dish soap into a jar and then fill it 3/4 of the way to the top with water. You want enough that you can see it's a little soapy, but nothing crazy. The exact amount, brand, etc., don't seem to matter.
You knock them into the jar (or they fall in) and they try to swim around a bit. They usually stop fighting it within a couple of minutes, and then they are goners. I tend to let the jar keep filling up in hopes that the ones that get away are at least haunted by the bodies of their comrades. (This is warfare.)
When I do decide to empty it, I use the lid to create just a little opening to pour the soapy water down the drain. Then, I can dump the wet bodies into the trash, rinse the jar, and be ready to go again. If you're super grossed out, you could toss the whole sealed jar.
Last weekend was the worst here for beetles, so I was getting 12-20 from a single bush every hour that I went to check it. I just kept knocking them all into the same jar.
Hope that helps,
Julie

Japanese Beetles

I have fought these critters for years because I grow roses in my yard. I make the rounds of my rose bushes three to four times a day and spray the bugs with insecticidal soap. It kills them within seconds and is not harmful to any of the good bugs. Today, for instance--I count--I killed over 120. Just spray ' em.

Preferred plants

Perhaps because they are taller, the cherry tree leaves are being selected over the roses. (SE Virginia)

Getting rid of Japanese beetles

Could you give more details about what insecticidal soap spray you use. Is it something you mix? Where do you get the particular kind of insecticidal soap you're referring to?
Thanks,
Paul

Japanese Beetles

I was told (not sure who) that Japanese Beetles were beneficial to the garden as they fed on aphids on the rose bushes....I have been reading in this forum where they are pests...What is correct ?

Japanese Beetle Pests

Japanese beetles are indeed pests. They feed on leaves and flowers (rose bushes are a favorite), but do not feed on other insects, such as aphids. Ladybugs (also called Asian lady beetles), on the other hand, are voracious aphid-eaters and are a great help in the garden. Get rid of the Japanese beetles, but keep the ladybugs!

Combat Japanese Beetles

I have used milky spore for many of years & it has really reduced the number of J-beetles in the flower, vegetable gardens & lawn. I lost a good part of my lawn to these rascals, used milky spore after reseeding & have not had a recurrence of the J-beetle infestation.

Hope this helps, Good luck

Japanese Beetles

These horrible beetles love destroying the leaves on my red Japanese Maples. Since these trees are so picky about anything put on them or in their soil, I'm scared to spray them with anything. The beetles also decimate my heuchera and banana plants. I have my dogs in the yard (it's their yard after all :-) ) a lot and I don't want to apply anything toxic to them either. The milky spore bag at my local nursery says poisonous to pets in a warning on the bag as did the neem oil spray. I hand pick when I can, but I'm not always home and these beetles work fast! Any pet safe ideas? Will putting garlic cloves around my plants (not planted, just placed around) help? Thanks!!!!

Safe beetle deterents...?

All of our best ideas, including homemade solutions that should be pet safe (thinking dish water detergent spray) are listed above. For example, In the grub stage of late spring and fall (beetles have two life cycles per season), spray the lawn with 2 tablespoons of liquid dishwashing soap diluted in 1 gallon of water per 1,000 square feet. The grubs will surface and the birds will love you. Spray once each week until no more grubs surface.

However, if you read through responses to similar questions below, you’ll see that hand picking is best.

Or you could install different plants. Adult Japanese beetles feed on nearly 300 different host plants. Yes, roses are the ultimate feast. Other favorites include: flowering cherry and crabapple, zinnias, canna, marigolds, crape myrtle, linden, Japanese maple, and birch. See this page for options that these beetles will not pester: http://www.almanac.com/content/japanese-beetles-best-and-worst-plants

Japanese Beetles

We have a blueberry farm in Georgia. Last year, along with the drought, our plants were ravaged by the Japanese beetles. We are trying the milky spore this year, but my understanding is that it can take a while to really have the full effect. The best quick, although temporary solution I have found is diatomaceous earth. It is available in a food grade version and would be safe for your pets to ingest (even beneficial in killing fleas and other insects that bother pets). It is a powder (ground, fossilized phytoplankton) and you can purchase a small pump to dust it on your plants with. Rather than trying to pick hundreds of the beetles off, I found this much easier. It is not a poison, but an irritant to the bugs. It works its way into their exoskeletons and kills them. You can do a quick search and find lots of information on it and where to buy.

Japanese beetles

Thank you for posting this. I have Diatomaceous earth and use it for ants. When is the best time to apply?

Japanese beetles and fruit crops /leaves and fruit

Hi ! I am excited to try de but want to avoid harming beneficial bees will they be harmed by de ? Do you only apply it at certain times ? Do you know a great source for the price
I have a huge garden etc and would nred A LOT

Japanese beetles ridding them

If you got the time and patience, follow along. Get a small jar with an inch or two of gas in it, then go Beetle Hunting. After putting them in the gas, they will nose-dive to bottom of jar and on the way will break wind. Seriously, folks I tried this and it WORKS!

Use of gas on jap beetles

The use of gasoline to kill Japanese beetles is not only unsafe and irresponsible it is a VERY stupid thing to do. Use soapy water instead.

Beetles

I've used a 3# 'wide mouth' coffee canister filled with spent motor oil. Once they 'fall' into the wide mouth, game over! Or, you can hand pick the beetles and toss them in. I realize this is like holding an ocean wave back with your hands but, I say it is one less beetle to worry about. Someone wrote about using a spray for mosquitoes and that was attracting the Japanese Beetle. I've also tried the Bag-a-Bug approach but the local raccoon ripped the bottom open. If one were to get a wide mouth container, fill it with old motor oil, and insert a Bag-a-Bug bag leading the the wide mouth....it might just work!

Do Indian Summer raspberry plants need to be winterized? If so,

Do Indian Summer Raspberries need to be winterized? If so, how. I live in Southern NJ.

Winterizing raspberries

Hi there! You do need to winterize raspberries in your zone. Try this:
1
Continue watering the raspberries long after the plants have stopped producing fruit, and don't hold off on watering until the first frost. This extended watering prevents over-drying during the winter and also helps harden the plants and prepare them for the cold.
2
Remove any of the brown canes that produced fruit during the summer but leave the green canes alone. When pruning the canes, cut them down to the soil level.
3
Bury the remaining raspberry canes if these are new plants that haven't experienced winter yet, as these plants are extra-sensitive to winter's chills. Push the flexible canes down to the ground and bury them under a couple shovelfuls of dirt.
4
Erect a simple fence barrier around the raspberry bush, as raspberries attract rabbits and other pests during the winter who like to feed on the plant's stems. Use traditional 1/4-inch mesh wire, which you can buy at garden stores and nurseries. The fence should go 3 inches into the soil, to keep rabbits from digging under it, and stand 20 inches above the soil to keep rabbits from jumping over it.

Things You Will Need
Pruning shears
Garden spade
1/4-inch mesh wire

Some raspberry varieties have thorns, although most domestic varieties have had this tendency bred out of them. If your raspberry bush has thorns, wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself when handling the plant.

beetles

I live in Maine and found beetles eating my chamomile; plus other plants. I was told they were Japanese Beetles, but they looked liked coffee beans; they did not have the green metallic. They are in the soil...many of them. Do you have any idea what type of beetle it is?
Thanks, Annie

False Japanese Beetles

They could be sandhill chafers, which strongly resemble Japanese beetles, but without seeing them, we can’t say for sure.

Japanese beetles

A type of milkweed plants were covered/infested
with these beetles this morning at Home Depot on Atlantic Boulevard this morning in Jacksonville, Florida. It was brought to the attention of the employees.

Japanese beetles

I just went out to deadhead some geraniums - they did not fare well in recent storms - and found several Japanese Beetles nibbling away. I am surprised since geraniums are not often targeted by insects. Any comment?

Japanese beatles

Thank you for the info.

Japanese beetles

Over several days, I have been hand-picking scores of Japanese beetles off my young trees and rose bushes and dropping them into a bucket of soapy dish water effectively killing them. My question is this: are these beetles coming solely from my property or are they coming from neighboring properties as well. If they are coming mostly from my property, based upon my kill rate, then my lawn must be loaded with them?? Yes or no

Japanese Beetles

Rest assured, you are not fighting the battle on your field alone. Adult Japanese beetles are highly mobile and can feed on plants several miles from where you spot them.

Japanese Beetles

I found a great solution for the Japanese Beetle last year! I was sick from seeing the beetles covering and devouring my rose bushes. I took a spray bottle filled with hydrogen peroxide and sprayed them....they dropped instantly on a plastic tarp and died on the spot. I didn't have a single beetle left on my bushes and the peroxide acted like a fertilizer to the bushes. The leaves all grew back and the plants were covered with hundreds of beautiful roses. Didn't look like it affected bees at all. I sprayed the plants when the bees were at there homes. Cheap and easy solution!
I'm going to try it on all my plants if I see those critters again this year. I'm thinking about trying a spray of a peroxide/water solution on my lawn also. I'll let you know how that does.

Peroxide to Rid Roses from Japanese Beetles

THANKYOU SO VERY MUCH FOR THIS WONDERFUL TIP! I AM GOING OUTSIDE TO TRY THIS ON ALL MY ROSE BUSHES AND HIBISCUS RIGHT NOW!! VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!! SINCERELY, NICOLE K.

japanese beatle

I wonder what strength (water:peroxide) ratio did you use? were plants affected?

Peroxide ratio

Said they sprayed the plants with 'peroxide'.. and was only considering a mixture for the lawn.
Cheers

Japanese Beetles this year

I always have Japanese Beetles and they always show up around the 4th of July. Their favorite plants in my garden are: Rose of Sharon,Rose Mallow, Annual hibiscus - ALL and ANY hibiscus plants, roses, Petunias, and Hakuro Nishiki- Japanese willow shrub. They will completely decimate Rose Mallow. This year the hibiscus are all slower to bloom, but the beetles came out. I found them eating the leaves, but not that many this year. Yesterday, I went around to pick them off and found only dead ones all over the Geraniums! I have never seen them dead before hanging on the plants, so I have assume the Geraniums are deadly for them. Get some Geraniums and put them out. maybe this will work for others as well. I am located in N IL.

Japanese Beetles and Geraniums

Yes, you are right! Geraniums can be deadly to Japanese beetles, and planting them can be a good method of control. Check out this page for more plants that Japanese beetles don’t like.

Geraniums toxic to pets

Be careful with geraniums around pets as they are poisonous to them (and young children if they'll eat them).

Japanese beetles

' Hand Pick'. By holding a paper plate under the beetle. Touch the beetle with a stick or finger, they will 'freeze' and fall onto the plate. Then fold plate and squeeze over the bug. The plate will hold many beetles. Very dead

japanese beetles

Is there a problem with using the lure traps sold at most garden centers that have the sex and food lure in them? I can't find any comments about it.
Are these not safe? please help!

Sticky Traps for Insect Pests

Yes, they are a very good, nontoxic tool for pest management.

However, traps cause the beetles to love your yard best.

After talking to a local chapter of the National Wildlife folk at a recent town faire, I stopped using the traps. The attractant in them basically makes all the beetles drop the larva in YOUR yard instead of your neighbor's. Sure enough, this year, I'm having much more trouble than ever before. You're better off using milky spore and nematodes.

After treating my apple trees

After treating my apple trees for Japanese Beetles, do I need to pick off the eaten leaves from my trees? Or just leave them? I have searched and searched for the answer to this on many sites, please help.

Removing Damaged Leaves

Yes, it is a good idea to pick off the eaten leaves if you are able to do so. Beetle-damaged leaves emit certain odors that could attract other beetles, so it is best to remove them.

Japanese beetles

Found another favorite food of these horrific beetles got them by the thousands apparently the only way to rid yourself of them is to hand pick them . Wish there was another way to get them off my mulberry trees . Tried seven dust irritated them killed a few but not many . Tried an organic spray of dush soap vege oil and garlic but nearly killed my trees . And the beetles wouldnt stop . Now trying hand picking them off have a jar nearly full and there still coming . If anyone has any other ideas that would be great .

Hi Ken,

Hi Ken,

Hand picking is the best way to get rid of these beetles. We have added a few more ways to get rid of them at the top of this page, nematodes being one.

I use a wet/dry vac to suck

I use a wet/dry vac to suck them off my roses, doesn't bother the roses much and I can catch 20 at a time just putting it down over the rose bloom then pulling back off. After vacuuming for about 20-30 minutes I seal it up well and leave it in the sun, then I feed them to my chickens. Repeat daily for best result and happiest chickens. :)

grubworm nightmare

Buckeye, az is where we're located. I have found out i pretty much have an infestation of grubworms. off of just about 98% of what i produce homesteading is how i manage to survive i plant all food productive plants melons peas strawberries cucumbers carrots basically anything i can get to grow that we can eat with nearly no financial budget. So i hav to be very careful when & what i do to my plants doesnt help im fairly beginner gardener. I've been tilling up grounds sifting out & squishing as many as i find also been tearing out all grass to jus bare grounds within 6ft radius of veggies areas

So im gonna try ur jug trap 4 adult beetles and soapy water spray but im really nervous my plants grow 100% off earth & water mainly cuz i cant afford any plant supplements. I know theres MANY different kinds of liquid dishsoap with different smells and cleaning power agents like Dawn, ajax some say triple action cuts grease, and other things.

I dont want to pick one that i shouldnt use so Which one would u recommend to use or is there anything in there ingredients that i should look to avoid when choosing the liquid dish washing soap? And is that liquid dishwashing soap for hand washing dishes or liquid dish washing soap for dishwashers?

Use dishwashing liquid like

Use dishwashing liquid like Ivory or Dawn. Don’t use dish washing liquids containing bleach or degreaser.

Green Beetles coming out of the ground in Nov. strange or not

I have these green beetles coming out of the ground in Nov. Is this strange? or Not. I have never seen this before. Does anyone know if this is the same type of beetle or if it is just this year's weather? Thanks to any one who can answer my question.

Beetlemania

Hi, La-shell: Without knowing where you are and more about what the beetles look like, it is hard to say what these are – but they are probably not Japanese beetles. Perhaps a tiger beetle of some sort. Thanks for asking!

I don't believe I've seen

I don't believe I've seen these, but if chickens will eat them, that may be why.

My chickens Love them! I

My chickens Love them! I knock them off my plants, into a cup. If you keep shaking the cup they can't fly out. When I dump out the cup the chickens gobble them up in an instant.

If I spray my corn in my

If I spray my corn in my garden with soapy water will it keep the japeneese beetles off them?

Spraying the corn with a soap

Spraying the corn with a soap spray is not going to hurt the plants and may help to keep the beetles away. Neem oil and sprays containing potassium bicarbonate are also somewhat effective. You can find these at garden centers.

Right now in blessed because

Right now in blessed because the beetles are only eating the weeds in my Garden. Darnedest thing I have seen. Problem is what are they going to target next. Looks like the may have stripped a pepper plant also.

I have found a few Japanese

I have found a few Japanese beetles on our cucumber, pumpkin, and zucchini leaves. We have marigolds planted around the garden as we heard this may help. I believe it is, as the marigold plants in the area have been chewed up like crazy. We will plant more. I have been walking through the garden every morning and picking them off and dropping them in soapy water as suggested. My question is can we somehow apply this to the leaves or area safely to help deter them? I've read different thoughts on this. This is our first year gardening, as a one income family with three kids. We need to make this work, any advice is much appreciated.

Also on our basil! Thanks

Also on our basil! Thanks for any advice!

Spraying the plants with a

Spraying the plants with a soap spray is not going to hurt the plants and may help to keep the beetles away. Neem oil and sprays containing potassium bicarbonate are also somewhat effective. You can find these at garden centers.

Can I use vanilla extract.on

Can I use vanilla extract.on corn or what can I use on corn to keep bettles away

Hi, Angie: Please see the

Hi, Angie: Please see the tips above regarding how to deal with Japanese beetles. Unfortunately, it is very hard to keep them away from corn once they have found it, so the trick is to get them off it or lure them away from it to begin with. One thing not mentioned above is to make some fermentation traps out of plastic milk jugs (with top off) holding a cup or so each of water, sugar, and mashed fruit of some kind (e.g., banana), plus a packet of yeast. Put some of these in your corn rows and see if they can attract the beetles. Good luck!

Help these beetles are

Help these beetles are killing my peach tree. I've tried several things from the store (seven dust and Ortha) and they did not work. I prefer something natural. Can you help me?

There are traps that you can

There are traps that you can use and neem oil and sprays containing potassium bicarbonate are somewhat effective. See above for other methods to get rid of the beetles.

The brown beetles that come

The brown beetles that come out at night might be June Bugs or Junebugs....I am not sure of the official name. They will decimate a basil plant in just a couple of days here in NC. They burrow in the ground below the plant during the day. I keep all of my basil plants in pots. The way I get rid of the beetles is to water the plant during the day which causes the beetles to come out of the ground...floating in the water. I grab them and smooth them between my fingers. I have not found a natural/organic spray to kill them. The good thing is they show up roughly at the beginning of June and go away roughly as the month of June ends so I don't have to fight them all summer. I'm going to try the nematodes this year. I hope they work.

The beetles u are referring

The beetles u are referring to are actually a reddish brown color and they're called asiactic garden beetles. They are nocturnal. They go under the dirt and eat the plant roots during the day then come out right after dark and eat plants. I have lots of them here at my house...they've been eating all my pepper plants. I found these cocroach traps that are little cardboard boxed with glue inside...so I opened them up and laid them flat under my pepper plants and it seems to be working cuz there's more and more on the traps every morning

My knockout roses are

My knockout roses are beginning to bud but a lot of the leaves at the top of the bushes are curling and turning brown. I can't see anything on them.I hope you can help.

Hi, Kathryn: Start by going

Hi, Kathryn: Start by going to "Gardening" above, then "Flower Growing Guides," then "Roses," where you'll find a number of possible pests/diseases. This could be a fungus of some sort, but more likely the plants are just "angry" because of their soil conditions. Make sure they are not being burned by too much fertilizer in the soil. Knockouts are fairly robust, but they are also "Goldilocks" in some respects: They need not too much nutrients/water/sun and not too little, but just the right amount. Make sure your roses are watered only down to about the 3 inch level in the morning; lightly spray the top leaves at night. Do research on some of the other possibilities on our Roses page. You should be able to solve this by online research here and elsewhere, but if you want something permanent to have, check out our Store for a downloadable 13-page digital Roses guide for 99 cents. Good luck!

Japanese beetles are all over

Japanese beetles are all over my gardens, flowering plants, grape vines, potato plants leaves, even roses. Impossible to hand pick them all, treatments wont work if surrounding neighbors don't do something about them, they are flyers. Looking for a localized treatment.

Try some Milky Spore. It's a

Try some Milky Spore. It's a bacteria the kills the grub of the Japanese Beetle. It is not harmful to pets, kids, fish, ponds or ground water supplies.

Milky spore toxic to pets

The milky spore bag at my local nursery says it's toxic to pets. Be careful if you have pets in your yard at all as milky spore stays for years too.

Found a gold colored beetle

Found a gold colored beetle with small white markings like triangles on it
burying itself in the dirt...It hid from me when I saw it !! It was not a Japanese beetle and havent found any that look like it in photo i/d's

I have a neighbor who was

I have a neighbor who was prosecuted by the EPA and fined $5,000 for killing Japanese beetles with Malathion,

Bull! There is either more to

Bull!

There is either more to the story you are not telling us or you just pulled the whole thing out of your imagination.

Japanese beetles/ malathion

Why did the lady get prosecuted and fined? Was it the malathion or is it because you are not supposed to kill those beetles?

Malathion/EPA

Your reply is false. The EPA has approved the use of this product since 1956.
Visit the EPA's website so you can read all about it.

I have perennial hibiscus and

I have perennial hibiscus and Japanese beetles are eating them up! What can I use on them to get rid of the beetles.

The Japanese Beetle does love

The Japanese Beetle does love hibiscus. You need to put on some gloves and-pick the beetles in the early morning when they are sluggish and drop into a can filled with soapy water. The presence of beetles attracts more beetles.  You could use Reemay or other spun-bonded material to protect your plant for a while. Unfortunately, many organic sprays don't work and most of the chemical applications have high toxicity to bees which pollinate your plants. If all fails, consider choosing plants they do not like such as poppies, hosta and coreopsis. See more advice on this page.

The bettles I have in my yard

The bettles I have in my yard and garden are not green. They are closer to shinny brown/orange and start feeding at 10:00 pm sharp. They live right in the ball of the plants down in the soil. The only solution I know is to dig them up during the day and hand-kill them. I have manually killed about 500 in one day, easily. So which other Japanese beetle is the green ones?

We can try to help. Please

We can try to help. Please tell us where you live? Which vegetables or plants are the beetles eating? What type of holes/evidence do they leave?

I would like a list of the

I would like a list of the plants the J Beatles feed on:

Here are the ones I have noticed in my garden:

Hibiscus blooms
Connester's leaves [evergreen]
Maple Trees
Roses [a given]
Petunias blooms
Wisteria leaves
Milk Weed "
Purple Plum Bush "
Burning Bush "

Adult Japanese beetles feed

Adult Japanese beetles feed on nearly 300 different host plants. Yes, roses are the ultimate feast. Other favorites include: flowering cherry and crabapple, zinnias, canna, marigolds, crape myrtle, linden, Japanese maple, and birch. Here is a helpful reference page of plants that are commonly damaged and plants that are seldom damaged:
http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomol...

I have green beetles and they

I have green beetles and they have destroyed my Cherry tree Grape Myrtle , roses all over our yard , They are sexing in large groups now like Sodom and Gomorrah so now I guess I need to soap my yard all over for several weeks now. These are Madding insects.

What Japanese beatles feed on

I have also noticed they really love my ferns!!! Also they always seem to come out around the 4th of July

Is it o.k. to use the remedy

Is it o.k. to use the remedy of two tablespoons of dishsoap in a gallon of water around fruit trees and blueberry bushes. I did not know if it would do anything to the trees.

Hi Keith, The dishsoap mixed

Hi Keith,
The dishsoap mixed into a gallon of water is not going to harm your bushes or trees.

Is there something that can

Is there something that can be added in the spring when tillilng soil that will help control the grubs that turn into the Beatle

Hi Timothy,   Milky spore

Hi Timothy,
 

Milky spore powder and beneficial nematodes are a natural way of getting rid of grubs in the soil. Check your local garden center or do a quick search online to find out more about how to use them.

What about fruit and

What about fruit and vegetables in gardens? will this mixture help them or hurt them? I remember my dad used to use mixture to spray the lawn. I don't remember why. to kill bugs? thanks!!

This year my peony brushes

This year my peony brushes grew usually long stems, them many of them twisted and curled around. On those stems the blossom grew but turned brown and of course never blossomed.

Do you have any ideas?

I was told to get rid of

I was told to get rid of Japanese Beetles to spray your plants with a mix of 2 tbls of vanilla extract and water.
They are on my rosé bushes and just showed up in the last 2 days.
Is this been tried by anyone?

We haven't heard this.

We haven't heard this. However, you want want to cover your roses with cheesecloth or a fine netting during the peak of beetle activity.
If you find that natural solutions don't work, repeated chemical applications (malathion or sevin) are really the best control against Japanese beetles.

I saw a video where the

I saw a video where the beetle ate a slug, so they aren't all bad.

you might change your mind

you might change your mind when you find all of your beautiful formerly healthy plants dying and stripped of leaves. Like mine. :(

japanese beetle control

I've read article and most of the comments. I've been battling these horrible beetles for 4 years not. I used the bags first then bought one of the tangle foot traps with a jar that screws off. the task of emptying the jar and the bags every 10 minutes was too much so I took my sawsall and cut the bottom off the screw on jar. then I used that bottom as the measurement for the lid of a old 5 gal. oil bucket. I cut the hole then slide the jar in about 3/4 of the way then put foam like you seal windows with around the jar to hold it in place. it worked like a charm!! I baited the trap with the lure that came with the trap and about 2 hours later when I checked the trap was almost full! I had made sure the little tabs that hold the lid on the bucket were already loose so it was easy to get the lid off to empty the bucket. one word of caution. do not put the beetles in your garbage can or dumpster or anywhere near your house!! dead beetles smell horrendous! this worked so well I made 4 more buckets. the tangle foot traps are kind of expensive. about 30.00. but if you have a the thousands upon thousands of beetles like I do they are well worth the money. the farmers around us spray their fields. I don't want to kill every bug that comes into my little farm. traps have worked well for me.

Report this bugMore information about the Big bug hunt

Keep Your New Garden Growing

keepgardengrowingcover.jpgTop 10 Veggies.
Almanac Editors Tips- water, feed, pest control, harvest
 

 

You will also be subscribed to our Almanac Companion Newsletter

solar_array.jpg

Solar Energy Production Today

0.00 kWh

Live data from the solar array at The Old Farmer's Almanac offices in Dublin, NH.