There are a lot of different pests found in the landscape but one of the most frustrating is the Japanese Beetle.
In fact, the Farmer’s Almanac calls the Japanese Beetle “one of the most troublesome pests” out there. That’s because this pest is known to cause damage to as many as 300 plant species, including many found on your Pennsylvania property.
The Japanese Beetle also happens to be a threat to your landscape throughout its lifecycle. While the adult beetle will feed boldly on your foliage, these pests are born as lawn grubs, which feed on the roots of your grass.
For these reasons, this is a pest that you really don’t want on your property.
In this article, we’ll dive into some of your questions about Japanese Beetles and also provide some advice on how to get rid of them.
What Attracts Japanese Beetles?
Japanese Beetles are attracted to any given property in search of food. Various flowers and plant fragrances will attract these pests to start feeding on your landscape.
This pest feeds in groups so it is rare to spot just one. This is a big part of the reason why they can be so destructive. When a Japanese Beetle finds a good feeding spot, it will release a pheromone to attract its friends to that same location. It doesn’t take long for this to turn into an infestation.
Japanese Beetle damage is also very noticeable. They use their sharp mouthparts to chew on foliage and will fully skeletonize leaf tissue. Of course, the beetles themselves are noticeable, too. The adults are around a half-inch in length and recognizable by their shiny metallic green shells.
As we mentioned, Japanese Beetles will feast on as many as 300 different plant species, but they do tend to have some favorites.
Here are some plants that are known to attract this pest.
- Crab Apple
- Japanese Maple
- Pin Oak
- American Linden
While these are some plants they tend to prefer, we’ve found that they generally do not feed on Boxwood, Burning Bush, Redbud, Pine, Forsythia, Spruce, and Magnolia as frequently.
Of course, a hungry beetle might overcome its distaste for these plant species so they are not entirely safe either.
Are Japanese Beetles Harmful?
The good news is that Japanese Beetles are not harmful to human health. They do not bite or spread disease.
But the Japanese Beetle is most definitely harmful to your landscape. Unfortunately, as we’ve mentioned, this can be a highly destructive pest. Over time, Japanese Beetles can actually lead to the death of your plants if enough damage is done.
While a single beetle will not do much damage on its own, because these pests feed in groups, the damage can be quick.
How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles
Knowing how destructive this pest can be, it’s no surprise that so many people are searching for information on how to repel Japanese Beetles.
One of the common solutions that come up is Japanese Beetle traps. But these are actually NOT a good idea at all.
When you put one of these bags in your yard you might notice that it quickly fills up…and that might make it seem like the perfect solution. But in reality, people do not realize just how many MORE Japanese Beetles these traps attract to the property than were already there.
Traps work by releasing a pheromone that attracts other beetles. Yes, it will attract the beetles that are already on your property. But it will also bring them from many other yards.
That means that you are inviting more pests into your yard which might decide to feed on your landscape before making their way to the trap. While it will definitely trap pests, it will also cause more problems along the way.
You might also find various concoctions out there that claim to keep these pests on your plants. Homemade recipes with ingredients like dish soap and neem oil are said to repel Japanese Beetles. But they just aren’t going to be an effective enough solution to deal with such a powerful pest.
When it comes to how to get rid of Japanese Beetles, the best course of action is professional plant health care in Pennsylvania.
At Joshua Tree Experts, our Plant Health Care services can include effective treatments to put a stop to an existing Japanese Beetle problem.
Of course, chances are, there are other pests that your plants are dealing with, too. While Japanese Beetle damage tends to be the most noticeable, there are MANY pests in the landscape that Plant Health Care can help address.
It’s also worth mentioning that since Japanese Beetles begin their lifecycle as lawn grubs, investing in lawn care that includes grub control is also valuable in stopping this harmful cycle of destruction. You can start to get this pest under control and restore your landscape.
Investing in Plant Health Care in Pennsylvania
Preventing pests like the Japanese Beetle from killing your trees and shrubs is important. That’s why investing in Plant Health Care is essentially an investment in the protection of your landscape.
Unfortunately, the residential landscape is full of many pests that would love to destroy it. But for many pests, there are also preventative treatments that can be done. If you’ve dealt with a certain pest problem in the past, then you’ll want to talk to a professional about preventative applications that will provide proactive care.
At Joshua Tree, we can help set homeowners up for success by getting them on our Plant Health Care Program and having a Certified Arborist oversee their property to inspect for issues. It’s all about gaining peace of mind that your property is in good hands.
If you’re interested in having your trees inspected at your Lehigh Valley or Bucks or Montgomery County, PA home so that you can gain some peace of mind, contact us for a free consultation or give us a call at 610-365-4858 so that we can answer your questions.