Japanese beetles are members of the scarab beetle family, some of the worst garden pests. Adult beetles chew holes in foliage, fruit, and flowers, and their larvae devour grass roots. Adult Japanese beetles attack more than 250 kinds of plants, chewing holes in the leaves. Eventually only the leaf veins will remain, forming a lacy skeleton. The larvae, called white grubs, feed on grass roots. In severe infestations there can be more than 50 Japanese beetle grubs per square foot of lawn. Damage consists of dead or balding patches. The turf will have no roots and can be rolled back like a carpet.
Effective control measures must be aimed at both adult and larvae, and should be done as soon as you see them before they do too much feeding damage. We recommend using Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew, Sevin, and Safer brand Japanese Beetle Traps.
Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew contains Spinosad, a natural substance made by a soil bacterium that controls insects. Deadbug Brew kills bagworms, beetles, borers, caterpillars, coddling moth, gypsy moth, loopers, leaf miners, sawflies, spider mites, tent caterpillars, thrips, and many other insects! It is approved for organic gardening – use it on fruits, vegetables, berries, citrus, grapes, nuts and ornamentals.
Sevin kills more than 100 pests, including Japanese beetles, ticks, and worms. Ideal for vegetables, fruits, ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers. Keep away from pets and people until the spray has dried, and don’t use on lawns.
With all products, foliage and flowers should be thoroughly treated. The application may need to be repeated to prevent re-infestation during the adult flight period.
Safer brand Japanese Beetle Traps do not contain any harmful chemicals or pesticides. Use the bait and jumbo sized traps to attract Japanese beetles. No spray. No mess. Just be sure to place traps away from gardens and landscape plants.
Because Japanese Beetles are attracted to favored host plants from a considerable distance, controlling white grubs in your lawn will not protect landscape plants from adult feeding.
Download and print our Tips & Info sheet: Japanese Beetles