19 Sep

The Metallic Destroyer

If you live in eastern America and take a walk through your yard, you may notice something terrible occurring to your grass, trees, and shrubs. You might begin to notice brown spots in your lawn, which get worse as autumn approaches. When September hits, the leaves on your roses will begin to look like leafy skeletons. If you are experiencing this type of destruction, you can blame it on an illegal insect alien.

The Japanese beetle
The Japanese beetle first arrived in New Jersey in 1916. From there, it began its spread across most of the eastern United States; however, it has been seen as far west as California. When you first look at the nickel sized beetle– with its bright, metallic green body–you might not think much about it. You may even think it’s a unique bug. Your first opinion will change rapidly when you notice how destructive the creature can be.

Destroyer…What do Japanese beetles eat?
Roses are not the only plant they love to devour. If you have fruit trees beware, they will chew up your apple, peach, cherry, and plum trees faster you than you can eat the fruit. If you have ornamental shade trees like linden, elm, willow, chestnut, birch, and sycamore… they’re next. Remember those brown spots in your grass? That is from the larval Japanese beetle. They look like a bloated white grub. Throughout the spring and summer, they live in your lawn and eat the roots of your grass. If you’re skeptical that such a little beetle can cause so much damage, there is one additional factor.

Image by Michael Gil

Funky Pheromones
One will soon become thousands. When a single adult beetle finds a delicious tree, it releases pheromones, signaling to other beetles that dinner is ready. Your yard will soon have more beetles than a hive has bees.

Can you get rid of it?
If you have Japanese beetles, you know that eradication is difficult. Some communities have been able to eliminate the beetle completely. In 2006, Japanese beetles were spotted in the city of Orem, Utah. The community jumped into action and eradicated the bug. Today you can’t find the beetle anywhere in the area.

You can expect good results if you use the same approach. Take a deep breath and get ready to work. In early September, you will need to purchase pheromone traps. Hang them from trees that Japanese beetles refuse to eat. The traps will draw adult beetles away from your at-risk-plants. Effective traps can reduce up to 70% of the adults. Next, every few weeks in the spring you will need to cut into those brown spots in your lawn. Lift up the turf and see if grubs are present. Since there are many types of lawn grubs, you should call a professional pest eradication service to identify the pest. If they are identified as Japanese beetle larva, Admiral Pest control can help you reduce their numbers. We can keep the metallic destroyer from illegally invading your yard.

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