Wildlife is wondrous in ways beyond our imaginations, from the largest beings that can engulf the sea, to the tiniest creatures invisible to the naked eye. Nature constitutes the strangest presenters of life on earth.
It shows us how large animals, intimidating in size, are actually quite harmless. Similarly, the smallest of creatures can very well fool the human eye with their own puny body but are known to be the deadliest.
Beatles from different origins vary in their characteristics. The Japanese Beetle, in fact, possesses special characteristics that vary quite differently than the average beetle. Born to the Scarab Species, it is gorgeous with its copper-toned Elytra and has a green head and a similar colored thorax. Quite enthralling, isn’t it?
While these insects are harmless on their own, they are known to predate on plants including rose bushes, birch trees, linden trees. They are found in the original Japanese wildlife, as well as in abundance in North America.
Some Quick Facts To Know About Japanese Beetles
- P. japonica , which is the scientific name given to the adult, is about 15 mm (0.6 in) long and 10 mm (0.4 in) wide.
- Originally from Japanese domestic life, these copper coloured beetles reached the US , not by the natural method of migration , but through a shipment of a certain kind of flowering plants , called Iris.While the shipment of the plant based commodities happened in the year 1912, the larvae hatched into visible number of japanese beetles , noticed for the first time not before 1916, ina New Jersey nursery place.
- The Japanese beetle grubs are known to feed on turfgrass. Apart from that , they munch on the root of the grass, which lets the turf turn brown, and eventually kill it.
- The larvae of Japanese beetles are not to be confused with other insect larvae. They are mainly off-white in colour , and have a distinct golden head. This will help you identify larvae in your garden , and you can dispose of them before they start growing.
- The adult form of japanese beetles can feed on the broad range of as far as 300 species of common plants. Apart from that , they also feed on flowers , shrubs , and grass. Read ahead to know the specific plants they most likely feed on.
Can Japanese Beetles Be Found At Homes ?
Steering away from wild forests, beetles can very well visit human habitats when the weather’s warm. With the rising temperatures, beetles emerge from their natural living to more domestic places, where they can reside in moderate temperatures.
Hence, on a sunny day in spring, keep a lookout for any insurgencies of beetles in your garden. Beware, they love to feed on common garden plants. Read along while we tell you about some of the effective remedies against their presence.
How Do You Get Rid Of Japanese Beetle, Remedies To Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles In your House?
We all love animals and insects alike. We don’t want to cause unnecessary harm to them. So, we often revert to natural remedies to shoo them away. It calls for cheaper resources, and DIY methods available at home.
The primary thing you can do to avoid the appearance of the Japanese beetle in your garden is to get rid of some of the plants completely.
- You can pick out the weeds from their most favourite plants to feed on . The common garden plants they are most likely to eat are :
There are other common plants bearing fruits that they love to target, such as linden, apple, crabapple, cherry, and plum. They also infest on trees like birch, elm, raspberry, currant, basil, Virginia creeper, hollyhock, and marigold.
Yes, you won’t be able to grow them in your garden for a while, but it is worth keeping the beetles from eating your plants away.
- There are organic items you can place in your garden to keep beetles away. They’re as easy to find as the vegetable tray in your fridge . Chives, Garlic , and Tansy make for some of the best natural repellents for beetles. Applying Castor oil soap on your plant’s leaves, made from home materials, can also prevent beetles from bombarding them.
To always be natural in your ways, is to always keep the environment safe. However, when you’re short on time and resources, you can always choose Pesticides like Pyrethrins. They make for a hassle-free remedy that is instantly effective on the Japanese beetles. Also, their composition makes them less harmful to other insects, like your essential pollinators, and bees, when applied to your plants.
How To Come Up With The Perfect Remedy For Japanese Beetles In Your House ?
We mentioned the most common techniques to keep these predating insects away, that are used by the general mass in their gardens. However, sometimes you need to get creative with your ways because we don’t always have the right ingredient, generally used.
Let us learn some things about the Japanese Beetle itself, to know what they dislike or breed upon. We can build from here to make remedies of our own.
What Smells Do Japanese Beetles Hate ?
You might have observed the elongated tiny tusks protruding out from a Japanese beetle’s head. They are antennas that it uses to sense the smell around them. Smells can be great indicators for their mating or feeding purposes.
Use that to your advantage and apply aromas that they hate the most, on your plants, The smells of wintergreen, gaultheria oil, teaberry oil, peppermint oil, and neem oil can be easily applied like a coat on the leaves, and they will never disturb you plants ever again.
When Are Japanese Beetles Most Active?
Summertime is a relief from the harsh winters to all of us. The Japanese beetles wake up from their deep winter sleep, to come out and feast on plants. This generally occurs well into the month of June and carries on till early September.
Like most hibernating animals, the warm weather rejuvenates their energy, and the bright rays of the sun are attractive to their sensory motions. This leads us to the next question –
Where Do Japanese Beetles Go At Night?
The springtime insects are drawn towards light, rendering them harmless around darker places. However, they can still fly around with their sense of smell guiding them. Keep your plants from being eaten away during the night by preserving them in a cool, dark place.
Things That Kill Japanese Beetle Bugs
The Japanese beetle is sensitive to a lot of things, from faint smells to items that can potentially kill them. When natural remedies like garlic and the smells of oil, as mentioned above, still aren’t enough to prevent them from raiding your garden, learn about the things that are threatening to their life, and implement them accordingly.
- Like Japanese beetles love to feed on different plant weeds, there are other predators that feed on them.They belong to the wilder species , where forest birds like robins, cat birds and cardinals are commonly known to eat them.
- As the beetles stay on ground, they are prone to danger from mammals like opossums, raccoons, skunks, moles and shrews. If your garden’s has one of these digging creatures underneath, they will keep the beetles away, but can harm your plants in other ways.
Vinegar– In the US, these predatory birds of the wildlife who prey on the Japanese beetle do not exist in abundance. Hence, it became a cause of extremity in their growing numbers, as people’s gardens began to be destroyed in a matter of days.
In these dire circumstances, people chose to go to vinegar, as their ultimate Japanese beetle repellant. The acetic acid in the vinegar’s composition eventually kills their body. Do not forget to dilute the acid with at least an equal share of water. Handling acid can be dangerous for your other plants.
Coffee – Caffeine doesn’t just make you energized, it can help protect your garden too! The aroma of coffee suffocates the breathing of Japanese beetles, killing them gradually. Ground your coffee seeds in a mixer, add a few cups of water to make it thin enough for a spray. If that seems tedious, just pour some coffee grounds around your plants and you’re good to go.
Soap – Soap has numerous chemicals in its compositions that make it an excellent repellent against plant-eating insects. Soaps help dissolve the moist layer around the beetle’s body.
This renders them dehydrated, draining all the fluids out of their system, and eventually killing them. People usually mix soap with water to make a spray, or pick and throw them in a filled bucket instead.
Japanese Beetle Traps- Do They Work?
The pestilence of Japanese beetles munching away on your ornamental garden is something no one wants to face. Hence, in advertisements and pro tips, we get lured by the practice of setting up insect traps, because they seem like the most effective way to secure our beloved plants. Well, the effectiveness of traps is questionable, as the researchers and experts on the field have surmised.
While the mechanism of insect traps has been practiced for ages, it has poor success rates based on the beetle’s sense of smell and attraction. Their pheromones are put to advantage and used as scents on the traps. While these traps do manage to attract hundreds of beetles at once, that’s also where the problem arises.
Too many beetles accumulating into one single garden is a nuisance of its own. There is no guarantee that futile traps like bags or funnels would actually trap all of them in unison, but your garden surely has the risk of being infested with more beetles than you ever imagined!
Alternatives To Japanese Beetle Traps
- The right way to use Japanese beetle traps :
Many studies have gone behind the right mechanism of beetle traps. They suggest that the way you place a trap in your garden confers its effectiveness. There are three things to consider while placing your trap :
- The number of traps placed (one trap or multiple traps)
- The location (how far or close you’ve placed them to the vulnerable plants )
- The direction of the wind (upwind or downwind from susceptible vegetation).
Keeping these in mind, one can be careful with the entrapment of Japanese beetles, without fearing infestation.
- Physical barriers and covers :
A sheath of cloth does wonders to your garden when used as a wall against the entry of feasting insects like beetles. Use it as a drop cloth to cover your plants. Later, pick out the beetles attached to it, and dispose of them in vinegar or soap water.
When you are left with no resources to apply to work on, your hands are your only way of getting rid of the problem. Physically picking out Japanese beetles, as gross as it sounds, can sometimes be the most useful management option.
However, this can only be done with fewer plants in personal gardens. Inspect your plants every morning, and pick out beetles if you spot them. This may be a tedious task, but still worth it.
Advantages : Are Japanese Beetles Good For Nature?
We have been talking about how Japanese beetles wreak havoc in our gardens, by feeding on edible plants. However, it is important to know that their predatory nature is in some way, good for the environment.
Yes, they do indeed feed on about 300 species of plants, and their arrival during springtime makes it all the more difficult for our gardens.
However, simultaneously they also feed on more than 200 species of other insect pests harmful to your plants. They make for the best natural pesticides against these insects, who live under the soil and are hard to detect otherwise.
Japanese beetles are also termed nematodes, because of their benefits in preventing soil-borne insects from hoarding plant-based vegetation. They are scientifically used as a measure of pest control, targeting a wide range of soil-inhabiting insects and other pests.
Is The Japanese Beetle Harmful To Humans?
Beyond the realm of gardens and vegetation, Japanese beetles don’t bite humans in the slightest. They are harmless, quiet creatures who go about their life, and cause trouble during the summers, only if you own a full-fledged garden. They define nature’s beauty with brilliant colors that make up their body.
They are also known for their excellent predatory skills. These beautiful, intelligent creatures, as troubling as they can be to our ornamental plants, at the end of the day should be cherished as one of nature’s gifts to the human habitat, as well as the ecosystem.
Also Read: How To Eliminate Bamboos From Garden?