How do I get rid of Japanese Beetles - Knowledgebase Question

Painesville, Oh
Avatar for smrogi
Question by smrogi
July 1, 2010
I have japanese beetles all over a flowering plum bush. I have tried picking them off and spraying them with raid but nothing seems to get rid of them. I don't like the bag that you stick in the yard. Is there a way to get rid of them and keep my bush from looking like a bunch of sticks?

Answer from NGA
July 1, 2010
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). Shake them off plants onto sheets of paper to squash them or into containers of soapy water. There are Japanese beetle traps that have a sex attractant to lure males and a floral lure to attract females and males. These are not a cure for a big infestation however and there is concern that they attract the neighbors? beetles to your yard. Attract birds and insect predators which love to feast on the beetles. Plant pollen and nectar plants to attract parasitic wasps and tachinid flies. 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.

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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