red beetles eating zinnias - Knowledgebase Question

Worcester, Ma
Avatar for HeatherLyn
Question by HeatherLyn
June 30, 2010
We've just started to see a new little red beetle, which digs itself into the dirt around the stem of the zinnias during the day and hides but we're pretty sure it's munching the leaves big time when we're not looking. Sevin didn't kill them - now what do we do? We're killing them daily by hand, but is there another solution? We think they came in with the root ball of an apple tree we just planted.

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
These troublesome reddish-brown beetles are Asiatic garden beetles. As you've noticed, they feed at night (you may see them clustered on screens at night as they are attracted to light)and hide out in the soil during the day. They chew on a wide variety of plants. I've had them completely decimate my Shasta daisies. Their larval stage is a white grub that lives in the soil (kind of like Japanese beetles). They are tough to control because they are night feeders. The best way is to go out at about 9:30 at night with a flashlight and spray them with pyrethrin. It's possible that sine came in on the root ball of your apple trees, but they are pest that is found all over the northeastern US. You didn't notice them before because they don't start to emerge as adults until right about now.

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