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Home » Information » Protect your Lawn and Plants from Japanese Beetles

Protect your Lawn and Plants from Japanese Beetles

Protect your Lawn and Plants from Japanese Beetles

Do you have issues with Japanese beetles eating your lawn and plants? These tiny insects will decimate your flowers and shrubs if left unattended. These inch-long beetles love eating rose bushes and dine on hundreds of other garden species. Japanese beetles are common in the Midwestern and Eastern United States and arrived in the 1910s through plants imported from Japan. So, how do you protect your lawn and plants from Japanese beetles?

How to Protect Your Lawn and Plants from Japanese Beetles

Lay a Drop Cloth

Place a drop cloth on the ground in the early morning. Japanese beetles are most active during this time and will be attracted to the drop cloth. Once they are gathered on the cloth, lift it and shake them off into a bucket of soapy water to eradicate them.

Use Row Covers

Stop Japanese beetles from infesting your flowerbeds or veggie garden by using row covers. Use the row covers during the six to eight-week period from mid to late May in the southern states and mid to late June in the northern states.

During this time, Japanese beetles feed and multiply. Using row covers stops the beetles from finding a food source.

DIY Insecticides

Soap-Based Insecticide

DIY insecticides can prevent Japanese beetles from infesting your lawn and flowerbeds. Mix a solution of one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with one cup of vegetable oil. Add one quart of water and one cup of rubbing alcohol, as well as the mixture to a spray bottle and shake it up.

Apply the spray to rose bushes and flowers in the early morning. Don’t spray plants or flowers in the midday heat or when temperatures exceed 90ºF. The DIY soap-based insecticide will cause blooms to wilt or die if applied during hot times of the day.

Neem Oil and Potassium Carbonate Sprays

Neem oil is highly effective for repelling Japanese bugs and garden pests from your lawn and flowerbeds. Potassium carbonate is also a great choice for keeping pests out of the yard, and it’s especially effective at keeping Japanese beetles off your roses.

The adult Japanese beetles consume a chemical in neem oil that they pass it on to their eggs. As a result, the eggs die before they evolve into larvae and become adult beetles. Neem can harm aquatic life, so don’t use it near ponds. You’ll need to reapply it after it rains.

Try a Fruit Trap

There are dozens of commercial Japanese beetle traps available. However, we recommend you try a natural alternative to keep the pests out of your yard first. A can of fruit cocktail is all you need to trap Japanese beetles – they go wild for the stuff.

Open the can and let it ferment for a week by placing it in the sun. Place the contents of the can on top of wood blocks or bricks in a light-colored bucket or food container.

Fill the container with water to two inches below the top and place it 25 feet away from the plants you want to protect. The beetles rush to the container, fall into the water and drown.

Nip the Rose Buds

Most insecticides don’t offer full protection from Japanese beetles, especially those dining on rose bushes. When beetle infestations are bad on your roses, nip the rose buds and spray the bush with neem oil or commercial insecticide.

When the beetles die off and become scarce, let the rose bushes bloom. The thoroughness and timeliness of your treatment are imperative to getting rid of Japanese beetles and keeping them from returning to devour the new buds.

Plant Geraniums

Japanese beetles love geraniums. They eat the flowers, get disorientated from the natural chemicals in the flowers, and fall off, allowing you to collect them.

Plant geraniums nearby the plants you want to protect, and the beetles will target the geraniums instead of the other plants.

Additional Information: Strategies for Professional Japanese Beetle Control

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