Japanese Beetles Damage Garden - Knowledgebase Question

Cairo, NY
Question by maryking
April 19, 1998
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?


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Answer from NGA
April 19, 1998

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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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