What Attracts Japanese Beetles? (Answered)

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By Bryan Peters

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Japanese beetles, to an extent, causes severe damages to plants and reduce overall agricultural production. Now, do you know what attracts Japanese beetles?

In this article, we will discuss the various things that attracts these Japanese beetles to your garden, how they get into your farm, and how you can prevent them from fisting on your beautiful plants. Finally, we will equally answer some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

Let’s get started!

What is Japanese Beetle?

Japanese Beetles, also known as (Popillia Japonica) are usually iridescent green beetles that carry a significant threat because of their ability to feed on a wide variety of plants, leaving a lacy skeleton that is easily identifiable.

Their ability to feed on a wide range of plants or crops is well known, and these beetles are classified as pests to 100 different species of plants and crops, which makes them very dangerous to plants and crops. 

They are one of the major insect pests in the Eastern and Midwestern United States that cause significant monumental damage to different crops each year. 

Before the beetle’s accidental introduction to the United States in the early 1900s, these Japanese beetles were found only on the islands of Japan; they were isolated by water and were thus kept in their natural habitat. 

In 1912, a law made importing plants rooted in the soil illegal. Unfortunately, the failure to implement the law immediately allowed the Japanese beetle to arrive in the United States. Most entomologists believe that the beetle’s entered the country as grubs in the soil on Japanese iris roots. 

In the year 1916, these pests were first spotted in New Jersey; by the year 1920, they could not be eradicated because they proved to be too prolific and widespread.

See Also: Indoor Yucca Plant Problems

What Attracts Japanese Beetles?

As we all know that in Japan, they are naturally occurring, but the lack of excellent and reliable predators for these beetles has made them a significant pest in agriculture. In general, the Japanese beetle is attracted to the following;

  • Raspberry
  • Canna
  • Roses (mainly white and yellow roses)
  • Potato Vine 
  • Black walnuts 
  • Cherry 
  • Apple 
  • Grapes 
  • Plums 
  • Holly hock 
  • Pheromones of other beetles
  • Marples, among many others.

Japanese beetles are one of the easiest pests to discover in a garden or farm because of their beautiful color. They usually have green heads with beautiful metallic-colored bodies.

How To Identify Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are usually ½ inch long and typically have metallic blue-green heads. The color of their backs is copper, the wings are tan, and they have small white hair lines on each side of their abdomen. Japanese beetles usually feed in small groups. 

Before they become adults, usually in June, they become about 1- inch long, white, C-shaped, live in the soil and survive by feeding on the roots of different plants. 

Once they reach the adult stage, these Japanese beetles have a low life span, but they are very voracious, eating over 100 different species of plants. 

The life cycle of the adult Japanese beetle is not up to 40 days, but when not controlled, they can eat a lot of crops and cause so much damage to crops.

How To Identify Japanese Beetle Damage

The Japanese Beetles feed on a wide range of flowers and crops of different varieties. But when it comes to garden plants, the Japanese beetle is primarily common on roses, beans, grapes, and other crops. 

Here are some of the things you should look at if you want to know if the Japanese beetle caused the damage done to your crops

1. Skeletonized Leaves and Flowers

Japanese beetles do not only eat the plant but they chew leaves tissue from the veins of the plants, which leaves a lacy skeleton. You will know immediately you see skeletonized leaves. 

Beetles usually feed on foliage, thereby leaving it skeletonized. Japanese beetles are known to cause a reduction in the productivity of plants anywhere they are, so you need to inspect your plants very well to ensure no beetle is hiding underneath them.

2. Unhealthy, Brown Patches On the Lawn

Japanese beetles are known to cause significant damage to grass when overwintering in the soil, as they cause damage to the root of the grasses and garden plants. 

This usually causes brown patches of dead or dying grades to get formed in the lawn, which will pull up because of the weekend roots.

How To Control And Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles

Some of the best and most natural ways to get rid of these Japanese beetles are through good horticultural practices that include watering and fertilizing the plants. 

It will significantly reduce the impact of these beetles. Here are some of the best ways you greatly reduce the number of Japanese beetles in your farm or garden.

1. Hand Pick Them

Japanese beetles have a striking color that makes them very easy to pick and knock into a can of very soapy water. As this process is time-consuming, it is one of the most effective ways to eliminate these pests from plants. 

You have to be diligent to make this process a reality. When you’ve handpicked some of them, you need to put them in a solution that contains one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing agents; the reason this is to cause them to drown in the water. 

2. Spraying Of Neem Oil

You can equally and effectively reduce the feeding of adult beetles by spraying part of the plant with neem oil. This oil spray contains a lot of potassium bicarbonate which is effective, especially on the roses. 

The adult beetles ingest the chemical in the Neem oil and pass it onto their eggs; the endpoint of this is that the resulting larvae die even before they become adults.

One needs to note that Neem oil can, at times, be harmful to fish and other types of aquatic presence, so I advise you don’t use it near the rope.

3. Using Row covers

You can easily protect your plants from Japanese beetles by using a row cover during the 6 to 8 weeks feeding period that usually begins in mid to late May in the southern United States. 

Row covers will help greatly to keep the pests, but in keeping the pests out, they equally keep out plant and flowers pollinators.

4. Use A Dropcloth 

You need to put down a dropcloth, and very early in the morning, when the beetles are primarily in their active stage, all you need to do is to shake them off and put them all into the bucket of soapy water we mentioned.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Get Japanese Beetles?

The scent of certain kinds of flowers or fruits or even plants, as well as other pheromones of other Japanese battles, will lure them to his yard. 

What are the signs of a Japanese battle infestation?

One of the first signs you will notice is the skeletonizing of outdoor plants. When you inspect the plants closely, you will even see the adults feeding on the leaves of the plants.

What Kills Japanese Beetles the best?

One of the best killers of beetles is pyrethrin or neem. Pyrethrin-based insecticides are usually safe and effective ways to control these pests.

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