Learn about Japanese beetles, and find the best organic Japanese beetle control to kill these unwanted garden bugs. These beetles will skeletonize the leaves and destroy the buds and flowers.
Scroll down for some suggestions on Organic control of this dreadful bug pest!
They were accidentally introduced into the United States in 1916 from Japan. The Scarab beetle (Popillia Japonica) was first discovered in a nursery near Riverton New Jersey. They are now very wide spread in Northeastern states from Main to South Carolina, and continue to spread to other areas.
In their native country of Japan, they are controlled by natural enemies, but not so here in the states. They have become a very destructive pest and problem to many gardeners. The adult beetle is 1/2 in length. They are a bright metallic green color with bronze colored wings. Males are usually smaller than females, but both sexes have the same color markings.
The Japanese Beetle larvae are about 1" long. They are a creamy white with a brown head.
Egg laying begins in the middle of June. Females bury into the ground to lay between 1-4 eggs at a time. Their life consists of mating, feeding, and laying eggs. The entire adult life is 30-60 days. One female can lay between 40-60 eggs during her life.
Larvae called Grubs feed on underground roots such as grass roots. They hibernate in winter, and the adults emerge around mid-summer to feed on leaves, flowers and fruits.
The life cycle of these beetles pests is typically one year, but each year they produce a new batch of larvae to begin the cycle again! They can skeletonize a plant, also destroying buds and flowers. (Rose plants are a favorite to them!)
If you are digging in the garden, and see these white grubs in the ground, you will have these beetles come summer! Moles eat grubs, so if you have grubs in the garden, you could also have the problem of Moles!
I use only Organic methods in my garden, so below you will find my solutions to this bug problem.
Organic Beetle Control
To destroy the larvae (grubs) try an organic grub control.
Planting natural repellants have limited effectiveness. Some of these would be Chives, Garlic, and Tansy. Planting garlic and chives have added benefits to your roses, so put a clump or two close to the rose bushes. Tansy can spread, so be sure to plant it where it can be contained.
Also 'Four O'clock flowers are suppose to be toxic to them. They say that they are lures for the beetles, and when they eat them they die. (I might try planting some next year, the flowers are very pretty).
Another organic suggestion is to buy olive oil mixed with garlic,(or make your own) spray by mixing crushed garlic and olive oil, letting it infuse, then straining it to make a spray.
If the beetle control problem is not to bad, you can try to keep them under control by hand-picking them and then dropping them into a bucket of soapy water.
If you are this lucky good for you! Usually, once one finds your garden and comes to dine, he always invites lots of friends! Another method is to place the Japanese beetle trap around the garden to lure them, and then trap them. Some believe that these traps actually lure more beetles to the area than would otherwise visit. Others swear by these traps, and say if you place them a distance from the rose garden, they will be lured away from the roses. You be the judge!