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Controlling Japanese Beetle and Grubs

Japanese Beetle

This is the time of year when we begin to see those glossy, half-inch-long, coppery-green beetles grazing on our shrubs and plants. Japanese beetles skeletonize foliage by feeding in big groups in the spaces between leaf veins. Usually, you may find them on fruit and flowering plants including pin oak, raspberries, Japanese maples, linden, hibiscus, crabapples, and linden.

The Japanese beetle adults are the ones you see chowing down on your foliage. Despite having a brief 30- to 45-day lifespan, they reproduce frequently. Each 24-48 hours, the females eat, mate, and then lay eggs. The females typically lay one to five eggs, four inches deep, in the ground. Eggs deposited deep in the soil hatch into grubs that eat the roots of grass. Because water absorption is so difficult, this damages and eventually kills the lawn. The most common turf pest in the country is this one. They are to blame for the erratic brown patches in your lawn. When the soil temperature rises and the grub reaches adulthood, it rises from the earth and takes to the air. For our lawn and plants, it’s a viscous cycle.

What can you do for treatment?

Japanese beetles feed during the day. On hot, sunny days, they are very active and have been observed to fly up to three miles every day. Japanese beetles can be controlled by removing them from the plants and placing them in a bucket of water that has been diluted with soap. For larger population treatment, you can also get in touch with Autumn Tree Lawn and Landscape. Please note that the beetles have to be present for our solution to work. This is not a preventative application but a contact solution.

Remember the cycle of life we were describing earlier? Well there’s another way to manage this destructive pest population. In the autumn and winter the eggs hatch into grubs. In order to manage the Japanese beetle come summer, we begin treating the lawn at this point before they have a chance to leave the ground. In addition to applying insecticide, we also aerate. Aerating aids in soil aeration. Grubs may be exposed to freezing temperatures as a result.