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  • Mikaela Trexell

There's a Party Under Your Yard but You Weren't Invited


What are Japanese Beetles Anyway?

Once a rare sight, Japanese beetle populations have exploded in Wisconsin over the past five years. Despite their small size and pretty coloration, these beetles are amongst the single most destructive insect that can visit your home.

Your Yard Just Became Party Central

Your yard is the perfect party destination, with an abundance of healthy grassroots for the larvae..and flowers, foliage, and trees for the adults. The invasive beetles begin their lives as grubs under your lawn, eating your grass from the bottom up and damaging turf beyond repair. Then, they burrow out of the soil as adult beetles (pictured above).

While the newly emerged emerald and copper-colored beetles may seem harmless or even pretty, they are notorious eating leaves and doing damage to ornamental plants. Consuming the leaves of vegetables, fruits, trees, and flowers, Japanese beetles will defoliate the plants until all that remains is a skeletal pattern of holes.


The beetles love to bask in the sun and are often hidden in treetops with southern exposure. Throughout its life, a female beetle will lay batches of five eggs in 1-2 day cycles (around 40 eggs total).

How To Get Uninvited Guests To Leave

Dealing with Japanese beetles is very difficult because you can't prevent them. Without natural predators, their populations swell to large numbers and they can fly distances of up to five miles to scout out the next "hot destination" like your yard. Your only option is to treat them, and you'll want to be careful about how you do it.

A List of Don'ts for An Unwilling Host

  • First, don't crush them. When disposed of this way, the beetle will emit a pheromone attracting more beetles.

  • “Catch” bags aren't the answer. Though popular, they release a scent which practically hypnotizes the beetles to come to your yard. We don't recommend them.

  • Although Japanese beetles seem to be paralyzed for a short time after consuming geraniums, this is not an effective method of control since they will recover to continue eating the rest of your plants.

  • You may have heard of a "soapy water" remedy. This isn't effective as the solution will not permeate their shells.

Be Green is Ready to Crash the Party

Our all-natural and low toxicity beetle management is specialized to deal with the insects in your yard without attracting more. Our insect treatments are also safe for the pollinators we love.


Early action is key to saving your yard. Our grub treatments are naturally designed to draw grubs out of the ground before maturity. Prolonged sun exposure is detrimental to larvae and is a great way to say "Bye-Bye Bugs".


If grub treatment was not on your to-do list this year, there's still an opportunity to treat the beetles before the party gets out of hand. Call us when you spot your very first beetle and we'll get your property scheduled for treatment.


Even with our best efforts, Japanese beetles may return several times within a season or they may drop by annually and need to be re-treated. Widespread treatment is hands-down most effective. To help reduce the chance of returning beetles, talk to your neighbors about treating grubs early in the season and spraying at the same time you treat your property for Japanese beetles.


Japanese beetles are like cockroaches, there’s never just one, so feel free to call us if you see a beetle because there are sure to be hundreds more you don’t.


Mikaela Trexell is an aspiring entomologist who plans to study at UW-Madison this fall. When not sifting through the Dollar Store for hidden treasures or enjoying the Waukesha Farmer's Market, she works as an intern at Be Green Pro.

Bibliography

Williamson, C. R. (2013, June 14). Japanese Beetle. Retrieved June 23, 2020, from https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/japanese-beetle/


Japanese Beetles Resource Page. (n.d.). Retrieved June 23, 2020, from https://www.adamspestcontrol.com/pest-info/fall-invaders/japanese-beetles/japanese-beetles-resource-page/


Lipford, D. (2019, November 14). Do Japanese Beetle Traps Really Work? Retrieved June 23, 2020, from https://todayshomeowner.com/do-japanese-beetle-traps-really-work/

Schier, M. (2012, July 17). Two Things You Did Not Know about Japanese Beetles.

Retrieved June 23, 2020, from https://mynortherngarden.com/2012/07/27/two-things-you-did-not-know-about-japanese-beetles/

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