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How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles

About Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are a threat to more than hundred plant species. They are small, but they can do a lot of damage to your plants. They do not need any particular plant to feed on. Because of Japanese beetles, midwestern and eastern states in United States have reported huge crop losses.

There was a time when Japanese beetles were only found in Japan. This is no longer the case. Japan is an isolated island and back then, it was not possible for these insects to cross the ocean and intrude other countries. However, in 1912 these Japanese beetles were accidently brought into United States. At that time, there was a law that no plant with roots is allowed to be imported, however, this law was not effectively implemented and with such plant entries in the States, these insects were brought in.

It is believed by many entomologists that it was Japanese iris roots, which brought Japanese beetles in the country in form of small grubs in its soil. They were first identified in a plant nursery in New Jersey. They breed too quickly and in too much quantity, and they feed on almost 200 plant species.

Japanese Beetle’s identification

Japanese Beetles are half an inch long with an oval type body. They have a bluish-green metallic tint on their head with a golden-copper back and white hair on each side of their stomach along with wings on their body. They lay eggs in the summer season, during June and turn into small white colored grubs with a brown head. They then stay like that for up to ten months. Wrapped, they grow in the soil and after ten months they turn into full sized beetles and begin their feeding session.

Japanese beetles feed in groups, which is why even though they have a short life span, the damage they do to crops is massive.

Here are some effective ways to ease your garden woes and help you fight against stubborn Japanese beetles.

  1. Plant geraniums in your lawn

Geraniums are known to lure Japanese beetles towards them only to send them to a slow and dizzy death. As pretty as a geranium might be, it is still lethal to a Japanese beetle. Plant geraniums along with other plants in your garden and wait for the Japanese beetle to be attracted to these flowers. They will feed on geranium but they will soon feel dizzy and fall down. This will give you a chance to pick up these half-dead beetles and clean them off your lawn.  

  1. Spray insecticide on plants

Another way to get rid of these pesky, little intruders is to spray them with insecticide which will kill them. Contact your local horticulturist and ask them which insecticide is permitted in your region. Mostly, Pyrethrin-based insecticides are used because they are effective and safe for your plants. It can be sprayed on flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables, raspberries, and grapes. Not just Japanese beetles, it also takes care of cabbageworms, cucumber beetles, and Colorado beetle.

Alternatively, you can try to make your own home invention to spray on these bugs. Take one teaspoon of washing liquid, one cup of vegetable oil, and one quart of water. Mix these items together and shake well enough that they all dissolve in each other to some extent. Then add one cup of rubbing alcohol, which will act as an emulsifier. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and shake it well. Spray the mixture on your plants, which are infested, and keep spraying after every ten days to keep the bugs at bay.

However, never spray this mixture in full sun or in temperature above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Use neem oil

Neem oil is known as anti-feedant and is used to reduce attacks from Japanese beetles. Adult Japanese beetles will ingest the oil and pass it on to their eggs, which will kill the larvae before they turn into adults. Spray neem oil when you first notice Japanese beetles feeding on the plants, as it is most effective in the beginning as to keep them away without the bugs doing any damage in the first place. Sprays that contain potassium bicarbonate can also be sprayed.

  1. Let the birds help you

Birds love to feed on worms and grubs. Late spring and fall is the season when eggs turn into grubs. Make a mixture using two tablespoons washing liquid and dilute it with water, and then spray it all over your plants. This will make the grubs come up on the surface and when they do, you can pick them up or the birds will eat them up for you.

  1. Strategic planting

Plant your garden strategically knowing that it is always under a threat of Japanese beetles. Luckily, there are some plants, which repel Japanese beetles with their strong scent. Try planting some of those plants in your garden next to other plants, which are likely to attract these beetles. Such bug repellent plants include; Rue tansy, garlic, onions, white geranium, marigold, leeks, larkspur, white chrysanthemum, and chives.

Another way to keep them off your garden is to grow plants that do not attract Japanese beetles. There are some chances that beetle may even attack these plants, however, once they know your garden has nothing tasty to offer, they will stay off. Beetle-resistant plants include; caladiums, dusty miller, common lilac, flowering dogwood, forsythia, persimmon, tulip, red mulberry, red maple, Mongolia, hydrangeas, and many more.

Let Solutions Pest & Lawn Help You With Our Professional Products

Aside from the above remedies, there are more solid methods the professionals use to address a Japanese Beetle Problem. For instance, using a insecticide as a yard spray, such as Reclaim IT, will kill Japanese beetles and keep them off of your lawn.  Aside from spray, you could also use insecticide granules such as Bifen LP Granules. Reclaim can also be used as a barrier treatment to keep Japanese beetles from getting inside the home. Order these products to get rid of your Japanese beetle infestation.


Japanese Beetles may be a headache at certain times of the year but they don’t have to be. By using our DIY tips and equipping yourself with our top notch products, you can eliminate Japanese beetles from your yard once and for all. For more helpful DIY pest control advice, call us at 800-479-6583, email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or live chat with us online!



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