Look Out for Japanese Beetles

Look Out for Japanese Beetles

This weeks Facebook post is by Beth Hoar, Chair of PEIISC and City of Charlottetown’s Parkland Conservationist

Have you been seeing a lot more of these guys this year????
It’s the beautiful but notorious Japanese beetle!

We certainly have be seeing a lot of them around Charlottetown.
They have been feeding on the vegetable planters in the Parks, on our ornamental displays and on many of the trees in the City.

The Japanese beetle feeds on more than 300 species of plants!
It’s a double whammy because the adult feeds on the top of the plant while the larvae (which most of us would recognize as a grub) feeds on the roots of the plant. The especially love grass/turf roots!

Here are some tips you could try to control the Japanese beetle in your yard:
– Beetles attract beetles, so keeping the population low attracts fewer beetles to your yard.

– When replacing or adding new plants to your yard, select plants that the beetle tends to avoid (this does not mean that they will avoid them totally). Plants the beetles prefer are roses, grapes, lindens, Norway maple, Japanese maple, some flowering crabapples, fruit trees, horse chestnut and, sadly, many others.

– Try manually controlling a population in a small area by hand picking beetles or shaking the beetles off the plants into a bucket of soapy water. Morning is a good time of day to do this as the beetles are sluggish because of the cooler temperatures.

– Excluding the beetles with materials such as cheesecloth or fine netting can protect highly prized plants.

– Neem oil products can deter adult beetle feeding for 3-4 days. But… insecticidal soap, extracts of garlic, hot pepper, orange peels and companion planting seem to be ineffective.

– Nematodes, applied to the soil, feed on and may control the larvae. Fall applications may increase the nematode efficacy as the larvae are small and the soil generally has good moisture.

Good Luck!