Japanese beetles are bothersome insects which are responsible for extensive crops damage in the eastern part of the USA. These pests feed on hundreds of species swarming from plant to plant leaving so-called ‘skeletonizing’ injuries (the bugs eat out the green tissue of the leaves avoiding large veins). These bugs, also known as Popillia japonia are pests that must be prevented and controlled once invaded.
Natural Methods Versus Chemical Pesticides
There exist many ways to treat your garden from beetles, both organic and chemical. It goes without saying that pesticides are effective and fast acting, yet they are toxic not only to beetles, but to humans, animals and pets. They can pose a health hazard and pollute water and land. Natural methods are safer and ecologically friendlier comparing to chemical ones. Farmers and gardeners all over the world tend to use homemade remedies or other organic means to control these voracious insects. So, let’s list the natural ways how to get rid of japanese beetles below.
Natural Ways to Control Japanese Beetles
There exist several answers on how to get rid of japanese beetles question: traps, handpicking, homemade remedies and using pathogens (milky spore).
- Traps. Most of the beetle traps contain two ingredients: a pheromone and a floral lure. The combination of these attractants is very effective and lures insects in large numbers. However, studies show that pheromone lures attract far more japanese beetles than they actually trap. In simple terms, they invite pests from the neighbourhood to your yard. Traps are a great means to control isolated bugs populations, but they are ineffective in case of large infestations.
- Handpicking. This method is rather simple and is often combined with other control means, especially those which are applied to grubs only. Squirt a tablespoon of liquid soap into the bucket and fill it at least halfway with water. Shake the plants containing beetles to make them fall into the soapy water. Wear gloves. Leave the bucket with beetles overnight (they will drown there).
- Homemade remedies. Mix kaolin clay with water in a sprayer according to the package directions. Seal the garden sprayer and shake the solution. Distribute the mixture over the plants which may attract Japanese beetles.
- Milky spore. This is a great bacterial-based method to eradicate pests from your garden effectively and for a long time. It may take some time to work, yet it effects will last for about 15 years. Milky spore is a pathogen which is available in the form of granules and powder. It is distributed over the lawn with a drop spreader. When it is swallowed by grubs during their natural feeding, it makes larvae get infected and die of milky spores disease (the spores germinate inside their bodies). When a grub dies it releases millions of new spores into the soil thus killing more grubs. In such a way large territories vulnerable to Japanese beetles infestations can be controlled effectively.
In addition to the aforementioned methods there exist preventative means which can help you to decrease chances of pests infestation, like making your garden unattractive to these bugs by planting herbs which repel insects (garlic, citronella and white mums).
You can find further details of Japanese Beetles Control here.