Japanese Beetles | What You Need to Know


beetle_jap-bellasawynetCoast to coast, the Japanese Beetle is one of North America’s most pervasive garden pests and chances are good your garden is not devoid of them. The adult Japanese Beetle makes an appearance just two months a year, in May and June depending on where you live. You may not immediately recognize the beetle as an inhabitant in your backyard garden because they burrow just beneath the soil and only live about a month. While their tiny, shiny green and copper winged bodies are easy to miss, evidence of their voracious appetite is not. When feeding, these  communal beetles can strip an average plant to its skeleton overnight. Given enough time, hoards of Japanese Beetles can defoliate complete shrubs and trees. They are indiscriminate feeders, known to devour more than 300 varieties of plants, trees and shrubs.

The four-stage  life cycle of the Japanese Beetle is consistent with other beetles: egg, larvae, pupae and adult. If you have encountered the Japanese  Beetle, it’s most likely been in the larvae stage, recognized as the white grub you find in the deep recesses of your lawn. Once the egg has hatched, the larvae migrate to the soil surface, feeding along the way on the tender roots of your prized plants and vegetables. Arguably, it is the larval stage that is the most important to control because of the sheer number of organisms and the damage they can do beneath the surface.

Natural Controls
Birds do feed on the larvae and pupae, but do not favor the adult Japanese Beetle. Some species of predatory wasps will help with control in areas where the wasps are in numbers great enough to make a difference.

Have you encountered Japanese Beetles in your gardens, shrubs or trees? What tricks do you have in your arsenal, to erradicate them? 


This article is the tenth in a series of 26 consecutive articles, as part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the whole month of April. Tomorrow, I’ll post an article with a title that begins with the letter “K”… So goes the rest of the alphabet, through the end of the month.

In closing, I have a little challenge for you. Because the letters “Q” and “Z” pose a challenge of their own, send me a title idea beginning with those letters. If I choose to write your title, I’ll send you a small prize to show my appreciation.  Use the comments box below, or email your title to iwrite@chuckdouros.com

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2 thoughts on “Japanese Beetles | What You Need to Know

  1. When I lived in Milford, MI, north of Ann Arbor, I had a large white birch shading the house. I had seen a few beetles around, but I didn’t pay much attraction until one afternoon when I looked at the birch. It was covered with 1,000s of beetles, 3 or more to a leaf. They were devouring the leaves so they looked like lace. I called my gardener to spray it ASAP or I wouldn’t have a tree left. Thank goodness, the spray was effective.

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