We’re all familiar with the perils of insects interfering with our gardening. We’ve covered how to deal with flea beetles, aphids, cabbage worms, slugs, and many more pests in our cultivation calendar series so far but we have yet to cover the nuisance that are Japanese Beetles. An invasive species, Japanese beetles are native to Japan where several natural barriers to preventing their dominance are present. With no such barriers in North America, Japanese beetles have managed to cause infestations in several US states and Canadian provinces. Now, let’s look at how to manage the damage that they cause.
The life cycle of the Japanese Beetle is part of what makes them so difficult to catch early on, Japanese Beetles lay their eggs in the soil near the roots of plants that are beneficial to their larvae. As time progresses and temperatures rise, eggs hatch and larvae feed on roots that they were planted near before emerging to the surface.
Japanese Beetles can be dealt with through a variety of ways including:
- Hand picking them early in the morning when they’re most active
- Introducing beneficial nematodes to your garden that feed on their larvae and grubs
- Removing rotting or fallen fruit from around your growing area. While Japanese Beetles will eat healthy plants, their preference is for those that are diseased and damaged.
- Planting Japanese Beetle resistant trees such as Ash trees, Pine trees, Magnolia, and Maple trees
- Floral and pheromone attractant traps
- Maintaining secure and firmly sealed row covers