How to manage Japanese Beetles in your garden

Battle of the Beetles

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It is that time of year again when the bugs are out and feasting on everything alive. The most common and annoying bug, besides mosquitoes, are the Japanese beetles. The pesky little creatures will eat pretty much any living plant in sight. If you are unfamiliar with the bug, walk down the street and one might fly right into your face. There are, however, a few solutions that can put a stop to your dying plants once and for all.

Translucent milky white beetle larva in the dirt.

Japanese Beetle Larva

Milky Spore

Milky spore is one of the better solutions to permanently eliminate the beetles. It is a white powder that brings disease to the Japanese beetles. Application of this product should be done when the beetles are burrowing in the ground or preparing to emerge. It is best to give the disease to the beetle when it is in grub form or laying eggs. This would be in either the spring or the fall. You should apply this product once a year for about 3 years. For more information visit: The Gardening Know How

Four japanese beetles eating the pink petals of a rose.

Beetles eating rose petals.

Soap in a cup

Another solution to eliminate the beetles is to put hand soap or dish soap in a cup of water. You can put your concoction in a spray bottle and apply it to the affected areas, or you can scoop the beetles in yourself. Picking each beetle would not be difficult, seeing as they are slow movers, but it would be more time consuming. This solution is also environmentally friendly.

Close up view of an iridescent Japanese beetle on a light purple flower.

A Japanese Beetle up close

Neem oil

Neem oil is great for spraying on the affected plant. This works by entering into the male Japanese Beetle, and when he creates larva, they will die before they hatch. The oil is most effective when sprayed right before the beetle reaches the adult stage.

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