Know Your EnemyJapanese beetles are definitely not from this area. In fact, they aren't native to the Midwest at all. As the name implies, they came from Japan, and the stories date them back to the early 1900's. There was a law passed in 1912 that made it illegal to transport plants rooted in soil. Unfortunately, the law wasn't implemented fast enough and the Japanese beetle made its grand entrance.
Entomologists (bug experts) have concluded that the beetles arrived the US as grubs in soil on the Japanese iris roots. They were first spotted in 1916 in a nursery near Riverton, New Jersey. By 1920, eradication programs were dropped. The beetle proved to be too prolific a breeder, and it's not choosy in what it eats. These beetles will actually devour over 200 species of plants.
While they aren't picky eaters, they do have preferences. Unfortunately, some of those include roses, grapes, raspberries, and beans.
What Does a Japanese Beetle Look Like?These little beetles can be pretty easy to spot because of their bronzey green wings. The adult life cycle of a Japanese beetle is only 40 days, but they can really take over quickly. Not to mention, they lay their eggs in June - so if you want to get rid of them, you have to have a long term plan in place. The grubs are white with brown heads and will remain under the soil for about 10 months. They hibernate and grow while underground so that when they emerge they are ready to take over. They emerge as grown beetles and start their feeding regime in June. They are devastating because they feed in groups.
How Can I Maintain Beetle ControlIt can be hard to get a handle on the beetle population. Mostly because even if you get rid of yours, your neighbors might come over for a visit. Even if you think you've removed them, they may have already laid their eggs in your soil, which can start the process over again next year.
The most practical way to remove them, unfortunately, is to pick them off individually from your plants. You can make a solution of water and soap in a jar, and drop them into that to drown them. You can also lay tarps over the ground, knock them off the plants, and then dump the tarps into a liquid solution.
Pesticides will help aid in your end goal - but you need to know exactly what type to use for your location, and make sure that whatever you use won't hurt any local bee populations. Are you looking for a Japanese Beetle spray at the Lake of the Ozarks? Come out to our garden store in Camdenton, MO, and we'll help you find what's best.
Do you want to stop the grubs? There are a few ways you can stop the grub population, but how do you know if you have them? Grubs will damage the grass when overwintering in the soil because they are eating the roots of your lawn and garden plants. If you start
In the grub stage of late spring and fall (the beetles have two life cycles per season), you can spray your lawn with 2 tablespoons of liquid dishwashing soap diluted in one gallon of water per 1,000 square feet. The grubs will come to the surface and the birds will have a feast! You can spray once each week until no more grubs surface.