japanese beetles - Knowledgebase Question

lockport, Ne
Question by shirleyljo
June 30, 2010
I have used many products which are suppose to kill Japanese beetles,but nothing works.Do you have a suggestion?

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


I apologize for the delay in responding. We were flooded with questions and are working to catch up! It often takes a two-pronged approach to control Japanese Beetles. You are seeing the adults which were grubs in your lawn and garden earlier this year. So, you'll want to control both the adults you're seeing now, and any grubs that may overwinter in your soil. Japanese beetle grubs are best controlled by spraying beneficial nematodes on the lawn and garden area. These microscopic worm-like creatures attack only the grubs in the soil and not plants, animals or humans. Spray them in spring when the temperatures are above 55F. Another option is milky spore, Bacillus popilliae, a disease-causing bacterium that is effective against grubs of Japanese beetles.

For adult beetles, there are a variety of options. Start by hand picking early or late in the day when they are less active (drop them into soapy water). If that doesn?t control their numbers, try neem oil (Bonide Bon-Neem or Green Light Neem Concentrate) or cyfluthrin (Bayer Advanced Garden Power Force Multi-Insect Killer Concentrate) or permethrin (Spectracide Bug Stop Multi-Purpose Insect Control Concentrate). A new product called whole neem oil is different than standard neem in that it is a stronger concentration of this organic spray. Rotenone is a nonselective, slow-acting nerve poison that paralyzes insects after they eat it. It is highly toxic to most beetles and other insects with chewing mouthparts. It breaks down in about one week when exposed to air and sunlight. It's nontoxic to humans, as are pyrethrin products. Sprays containing carbaryl (such as Sevin) can also be used.

With all pesticides, make sure they are labeled for use against the pest you want to control (not all products kill all pests) and read and follow all label instructions and precautions.

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