Japanese Beetles: The Problem & The Solution

Has it seemed like there are an abundant amount of insects like aphids, spider mites and Japanese Beetles in your yard or around your plants and gardens? You’re not imagining things, and they may be damaging your ornamental shrubs and trees.

Both a mild winter and a wet season have only encouraged the growth of these pests, but there are some ways to combat them without harming your plants and other beneficial critters that may be present near your home as well.

Pick, don’t spray: Instead of spraying with a pesticide, give your plants a little extra TLC by pruning your plants and addressing your pest problems in some simple ways: For spiders mites and the like, remove webs and leaves with webs. For Japanese Beetles, remove leaves that have already been damaged as this can attract other pests due to hormones left behind, according to the University of Illinois Extension. One of the best solutions is actually to physically remove the beetles yourself. Knock them off your plants into a cup or jar of soapy water, and you’ll have more success getting them into the jars in the afternoon when they’re less prone to fly when disturbed. Professional gardeners and horticulturists have found these steps to be as effective as using a pesticide, while not harming other insects that are helpful to plants such as honey bees that help keep your plants flourishing.

Get Nature on your side: Less harmful, organic and naturally occurring bacteria such as BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) can be used like a pesticide to control the Japanese Beetle larva in your yard.

Trap them: Traps can be purchased and used to control beetles if you mind yourself with large amounts, but they can also cause more of an issue by attracting beetles that we’re in your yard to begin with, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. It also states to make sure traps are placed far away from your plants so that they don’t end up in your plants instead of in a trap!

Still stumped? Need coaching on how to combat your pests or need a pruning lesson? Contact Harvey or our office today! 630.365.3210

Sources: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/lmw/eb255/entry_7159/