Home & Garden
What We’ve Learned about the Japanese Beetle
Photo Credit: Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Once again, the Japanese Beetles overtook many of our gardens this year. Where do they come from? Why does it seem impossible to get rid of them?
We talked to Purdue Extension entomologist, Cliff Sadof to find some answers. Even though there is a lot we just don’t know about this pest, Sadof generously fills us in on what professionals DO know. The beetles may start to die down, but hopefully with Cliff’s help we’ll be a little more prepared for next year.
Listen to the interview below!
Interview recorded July 2019 with Denny Smith WIBC.
Things to take away:
- DON’T use the traditional traps, this will actually attract MORE beetles.
- Wait until the peak of the season (mid-June/July) and spray Sevin (or any killer) once a week. This won’t get rid of them all, but will significantly reduce the number.
- If they attack your veggies you may be okay. You can loose up to 25% of foliage off of your veggie plant and still have produce. Be more cautious if you notice they are eating the actual vegetable.
- Typically Japanese Beetles won’t return to the same spot the following year!
- And finally, the reason most of you are reading, the best way to kill the grubs early on WITHOUT harming the bees, Acelepryn. You can find this spray in most stores, it’s great for targeting the beetles without threatening the bees.
- Don’t allow the beetles to congregate. A high concentration of beetles alerts the others!
- Remove any heavily damaged leaves. If left, it’s easier for other beetles to find.
- If you want an alternate method to getting rid of beetles besides spray you can use soapy water! Take a walk through your garden each morning/night with a bucket of warm water with industrial dish washing liquid from the kitchen and push the beetles in. Then take that water and the dead beetles and dump it in your compost.