It seems a little too early to talk about this, but we've already had one customer call us about their Japanese beetles.
Adult beetles find it easy to thrive in nearly any yard as they feed on nearly 300 different species of ornamental plants. Their favorite plants to munch on are roses, crabapples, cherry trees, grape vines and linden. They feed on leaf tissue between veins, resulting in skeletonized leaves.
Severely infested plants may be almost completely defoliated.
Japanese beetles overwinter as larvae (grubs) about four to eight inches beneath the soil
surface. In spring, about mid-April, as the soil temperatures warm to about 55° F, the grubs move upward through the soil to pupate. Adults normally emerge from late June through July. But this year they have arrived early. Within a few days after emergence, the females mate and burrow into the soil to lay eggs. Nearly all eggs are laid by mid-August. In sufficiently warm and moist soil, eggs will hatch in about ten days. Last year’s drought may have made egg-laying more difficult. We’ll have to wait and see what size population emerges.
The grubs feed on plant roots until cold weather forces them to greater depths in the soil for the winter. There is just one generation of this beetle per year.
In attempt to manage the adult Japanese beetles, you should try to handpick them. It is easiest to catch them by placing a soapy-water filled container directly under the leaf that they are chewing on and then shaking the leaf. The soapy water ensures that the beetles die while you’re collecting them. The beetles generally fly straight down into the collecting container. Sometimes Japanese beetle pheromone traps are used to trap them. This is not recommended as you will be attracting even more beetles to your property (more than the trap can collect).
Japanese beetle grubs have a different management strategy. Contact Trees "R" Us, Inc. for details on how to manage the grubs if you feel you have them and especially if you have area of turfgrass dying.