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Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetles

What you’ll see…is the leaf being skeletonized. Japanese beetles eat the leaf tissue between the leaf veins but leave the veins behind. Attacked leaves look like lace that soon withers and dies. The adult will often attack flower buds and fruit. Some of the most commonly attacked plants are Plums, Roses, Lindens, some forms of Crabapples & Cherries.

The reason for the problem…is a Japanese beetle that was detected in New Jersey in 1916, having been introduced from Japan. The adult beetle is a little less than ½ inch long and has shiny, metallic-green body with bronze-colored outer wings. You are most likely to see the adults in early summer until they lay their eggs in late July. They lay their eggs in the grass where the larval stage is the dreaded white grub, which then in turn feed on the grass until they turn into adults the following spring.

What you can do…is to be patient as the damage to trees and shrubs is mostly aesthetic. You should continue to water your plants to keep them healthy.

What we help by…providing foliar sprays to help protect the rest of the foliage. Deep root feeding with systemic insecticides will also help and in some cases prevent the need for spraying. We can also apply grub control to help reduce their populations for the following year. This will not prevent all foliar damage the next season as they can and will fly in from a mile away.

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