Get Control of Japanese Beetles

If you’re looking for a surefire way to get rid of Japanese Beetles, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 9 methods with proven results for removing these pesky pests from your trees, shrubs and flowers.

NOTE: If you don’t currently have Japanese beetles, keep an eye out for them. It’s important to take action quickly when you first see them on any of your plants. If they find an appealing location, they will release pheromones – chemical scents that will soon attractive more beetles to your yard.

Hand Pick Beetles

If you’ve only got a few, the cheapest way to get rid of them is to pick them off your plants by hand. Carry a bucket of soapy water with you. Wear gardening gloves if you prefer, and drop the beetles into the water.

Vacuum Them

For larger infestations, using a shop vacuum to remove them can also be effective. If it’s a wet/dry vacuum, add the soapy water to the collection tank before you start.

Scare them Away

This really seems to work. If you do vacuum up a good batch of them, consider this deterrent to future pests. Crush up a bunch of them in a pint or two of water. A blender works well also, if you’ve got an old one around. Strain the water and put it into a spray bottle. Spray shrubs and plants with the mixture. Somehow Japanese beetles seem to know what may be in store for them if they choose those shrubs to cling to and nibble on.

Kill Beetle Grubs

These scarabs lay eggs in the dirt, which hatch into a larvae, or grubs. They can be easily killed by treating your lawn with one of several products designed for the purpose. Look for products that contain acephate or carbaryl, the two most effective ingredients to fight Japanese beetle larvae.

An organic option, although one that is not as effective, is to introduce nematodes into the soil that will eat the eggs or larvae.

Attract Birds to Infected Areas

Many birds, such as robins, eat Japanese beetles. Make your yard bird-friendly with feeders, bird houses and a bird bath. NOTE: Don’t use chemical pesticides if you also plan to enlist birds in the effort. The chemicals may poison the birds.

Use Pesticides on Adult Beetles

Consider non-toxic pesticides first. Soapy water may do the trick. There are a few commercial sprays that are non-toxic to most things other than the Japanese beetles.
You may have to resort to heavier chemical pesticides in order to remove the bugs. Follow directions carefully; don’t overdo it.

Time your Attack

Beetles are most active in very warm weather, the mid-80s or above. Watch for them flying into your yard on very warm days. Wait to attack resting bugs until temps are below 65. They’ll be less active and easier to pick, vacuum or spray.

Choose Plants Japanese Beetles Don’t Like

If you’re planning to add plants to your yard, choose those that aren’t prone to damage from beetles. Here are some of the most common plants they don’t seem to like: Arborvitae, Conifers, Dogwood, Hemlock, Junipers, Lilac, Magnolia, Oaks, Red maple and Rhododendron
Use Traps Wisely!

DO NOT place traps near infected plants or those you are trying to protect. The traps attract beetles with pheromones. It’s proven that they attract up to 4 times more beetles than they capture, only making your problem worse! If you use a trap, place it far away from the plants you hope to protect. Most experts suggest not using them at all.


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  7. I use nematodes. They definitely kill grubs.

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