How To Handle Those Pesky Japanese Beetles
It's a plague of nearly biblical proportions. The Japanese beetle is munching its way through the tri-states, leaving behind lacy skeletons of leaves in its wake.
These pests are almost pretty decked out in iridescent bronze and green, but make no mistake, these scarabs are nasty. They wreck gardens and your prettiest ornamental plants. Roses and tomatoes are a particular favorite. That's a shame, but even more alarming is that the Japanese beetle is starting to expand its diet into farm fields. They've acquired a taste for corn and soybeans. They like to devour corn silks which hurts pollination and kernel growth. It's costing farmers about $20 an acre to spray for these beetles, but often the pesticides kill beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.
If you're looking to curb these pests at home, you have several options. Beetle bags have become popular. My Facebook feed is full of running tallies of the pounds of beetles trapped in these bags. The drawback is the beetle bags attract the bugs from your neighbor's yards and could actually increase your infestation in some cases. Click here to learn more about controlling your Japanese beetle population. The beetles are at their peak season right now and they should start tapering off in the next few weeks. However, entomologists warn these bugs are here to stay, they're moving west, and they'll only get worse in the years ahead.