Identifying & Controlling Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are “skeletonizers” that feed on a plant’s leaves until only the veins remain. They will feed on hundreds of different plants and are invasive to Missouri and the United States.

Up Next: Hit ‘Em First: Pest Prevention During Winter Produces Healthier Trees Year Round

Once Japanese beetles are established, there are no quick fixes to get rid of them but they can be managed.

What Do Japanese Beetles Look Like?

They may not be easy to spot, as they like to hang out in a tree’s canopy but are easy to identify with their metallic green and copper bodies. They can be confused for False Japanese beetles, which are similar and size and appearance but do not sport the bright metallic colors or the white abdomen tufts of the Japanese beetle.

How Do I Remove Japanese Beetles?

Japanese beetles can be picked away by hand and put in a bucket of soapy water to kill them. This method of control is easy, environmentally friendly, and something you can do in the morning when the beetles are still sluggish.

Plant Trees Resistant To Japanese Beetles

You can also attempt to manipulate the environment to make it less hospitable to Japanese beetles by planting resistant tree and plant species and using traps to attract adult beetles.

Trees resistant to Japanese beetles include:

  • Red maple
  • Dogwood
  • Lilac
  • Ash
  • Redbud

Remember that no plant or tree is 100% resistant to pests so you will need to take steps to ensure your trees are healthy. Healthy trees are more likely to be able to resist major pest infestations.

What About Pesticides?

If you do decide to use pesticides to control Japanese beetles on your property, call a professional, certified technician that can safely apply pesticides where needed. This is especially important to prevent harm to the surrounding environment and beneficial insects like native pollinators. A certified technician will apply the right pesticide at the right time and address any questions or concerns you may have.

Always check a tree care specialist’s credentials to ensure that you are getting a certified, insured professional from a reputable company like Hansen’s Tree Service.

Protect Your Trees This Winter

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