The Q&A Archives: Controlling Japaneese Bettles

Question: Every year I Japaneese Beetles are all over my weeping cherry tree and my rose bushes. I am afraid they are going to kill my plants. What can I do to get rid of these pests?

Answer: Although they can cause significant damage some years worse than others, the beetles do not usually kill plants outright. Some gardeners opt to grow plants that are less attractive to the beetles. Some gardeners find that a spray containing neem repels them to some extent. You can also do handpicking early or late in the day when they are sluggish, drop them into soapy water. You can also try to control them at the grub stage by using milky spore on your lawn -- but to be effective a large area would need to be treated or they will just fly in from next door. You may also find that spreading the most susceptible plants around the yard (instead of growing all your roses together in one area) helps reduce their concentration. In my experience the pheromone traps are better not used unless you have a large property where you can set the traps at a long distance away from the target plants. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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