The Q&A Archives: Japanese Beetles Damage Garden

Question: What is the most effective way to get rid of Japanese beetles? Last year they ruined most of my garden. Is there anything I can do to get rid of them but still stay organic?

Answer: Japanese beetles are a difficult pest to control. Your best bet is a two-prong approach: one to deal with the larvae, one to deal with the adults.

Japanese beetle larvae are the white, C-shaped grubs you find in the soil. They are best controlled by spraying beneficial nematodes on the lawn and garden area. The microscopic worm-like nematodes harm only the grubs in the soil and not plants, animals or humans. Spray them in spring when the temerpatures are above 55F and you should see a difference this summer.

For adult beetles, try handpicking combined with a neem oil spray. Avoid using Japanese beetle traps. In some cases, it appears that they actually draw beetles to them from the surrounding area -- and you don't need to be attracting extra beetles!

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