Popillia japonica (or Japanese beetles) are to plants what piranhas are to river inhabitants. Once an adult bug lands on a herb that he finds tasty, a certain chemical is released into the air which attracts beetles from neighbourhood to come and join the meal. A big swarm of these insects can strip entire tree of its leaves in 15 minutes! The bugs can be easily identified, since they ‘skeletonize’ foliage giving it the characteristic lacy look.
There exist many various Japanese beetle control methods, both natural and chemical with their benefits and drawbacks. When starting a battle against these pests it is important to follow a complex plan of their eradication. Group effort, combining several methods simultaneously and involving your neighbours into the bugs control program will help you to achieve the best results in fight with insects.
Complex Approach to the Japanese Beetle Control
Complex plan of bugs removal is the most beneficial method to fight with them. First of all you need to learn how to prevent your garden from the beetles infestation. Popillia japonica feed on about 400 different plants and herbs, thus it can find any yard very attractive and tasty. Yet, there are certain plants which repel bugs. It would be a great idea to add some of these to your garden’s greenery:
- white mum
- garlic and citronella.
You may also make your garden unattractive to the pests by planting trees and shrubs which are neglected by the Japanese beetles. They include hemlocks, common lilac, firs, hollies, white poplar, pines, rhododendrons, scarlet oak, spruces, tulip tree, white ash, yews and box elder. By making your yard distasteful to these annoying creatures you will decrease chances of beetles infestation. Encourage your neighbours to do the same. It is important to mention that you don’t have to get rid of ‘tasty’ plants, you may just interplant garlic among them to repel bugs.
- pink oak
- apple, crab apple
- Norway maple, Japanese maple
- crape myrtle
- cherry, plum, peach, apricot
At first signs of attack use neem oil which is proven to be highly effective. This oil is derived from a tree and is also known as an antifeedant (when sprayed on plants it reduces feeding). Moreover, not only does it control Japanese beetles in the peak of their voraciousness, it also works as antifeedant for sawflies, aphids, lacebugs, cabbageworm, leafhoppers, chinch bugs, crickets, earwigs, flea beetles, pear slugs, tent caterpillars, grasshoppers, thrips, psyllids, gypsy moth caterpillars, rose slugs, harlequin bugs and other soft-bodied pests.
Other beetles control methods include removing sick and dead plants, picking ripe, over-ripe and rotten fruit from the trees and ground (bugs find them delicious), giving the lawn infrequent, deep waterings to discourage beetles breeding etc.
You can find further details of Japanese Beetles Control here.