As of November 2011, The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has identified the Japanese Beetle as the #2 most destructive insect in the USA.
In its native Japan, where the Beetle’s natural enemies keep its populations in check, the Japanese Beetle is not a serious plant pest. But, in the United States, the Beetle entered without its natural enemies and found a favorable climate and an abundant food supply. By 1972, Beetle infestations had been reported in 22 States east of the Mississippi River and also in Arkansas, Iowa, and Missouri. Since then, the pest has spread to Southern and Western States, but tough regulations and careful monitoring have prevented its establishment there. Without its natural checks and balances, the Japanese beetle has become a serious plant pest and a threat to American agriculture.
|Life stages of the Japanese Beetle|
© Joel Floyd
Several traps using a floral lure and sex attractant are available, but these traps are ineffective and not recommended for general use unless special conditions are met. The traps have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing damage and populations only when landscapes are isolated from other Japanese beetle breeding areas or when mass trapping (involving everyone in the neighborhood) is used. In most urban areas, traps tend to attract more beetles into the area than would normally be present. In this situation, adult feeding and resultant grub populations are not reduced.
Beetle grubs are best controlled when they are small and actively feeding near the soil surface, usually late July to mid-August. However, with the development of new grub control chemistry (e.g., imidacloprid and halofenozide applications in June and July have sufficient residual activity to kill the new grub populations as they come to the soil surface in late July through August. Control of grubs in late fall or early spring is difficult, because the grubs are large and may not be feeding. Only trichlorfon and carbaryl formulations are available for such rescue treatments. The key to good control is to make an even application and water thoroughly.
|Life Cycle of the Japanese Beetle|
Gardeners joyfully toil in their gardens to enjoy the beauty of their flowers; Japanese Beetles will deny the gardener their reward. The most effective product I have found to control Japanese Beetle infestations is Optrol from Plant Care Science. Optrol contains the highest amount of imidacloprid approved for sale on the market and is by far the most effective defense I have found. Optrol is a new product and not widely available at your local retailer. If readers are having a challenge finding Optrol, please leave a comment and I’ll try to find a source for you.
Sources referenced while writing this article:
Ohio State University
United States Department of Agriculture
Thank you for stopping by to spend time in my garden. If you enjoyed this article, please let me know. I will be delighted if you would suggest Gardens Inspired to your friends, follow me or subscribe to my Blog. If you enjoy upcycled garden style, there is a link to my site just under the navigation bar, above.
Leave a legacy, but garden like you’ll live forever!
Did you 'like' this post? Please recommend it to other readers by selecting the g+1 box, below.