According to legend, cargoes from Japan in the early 1900s unwittingly brought Japanese beetles into the American ecology. One of the most common and destructive garden pests in the United States today, the green and coppery-colored beetle is almost entirely unchecked by native predators.

These beetles and their larval grub form may wreak havoc on your lawn, especially during the hottest summer months (mid-June to late August for adults, fall and late spring for larvae). In addition to eating grass and other roots below ground, adult beetles “skeletonize” practically all plant life. Japanese beetles may quickly destroy whole lawns and gardens due to their swarming behavior and dual feeding habits (above and below ground). If you have Japanese beetles and want to get rid of them or prevent damage to your grass, read on.

Remember your plant life need attention

Keeping your lawn and garden in good shape is essential since Japanese beetles favor decaying and overripe vegetation. Diseased or decaying trees, plants, fruits, and vegetables should be removed quickly to prevent attracting more beetles to your yard. It is also important to gather plants before the bugs find them tasty.

Place in your landscape elements that will not attract these pests as much

Even while Japanese beetles may and will kill practically any plant, tree, or shrub, they are particularly fond of specific species. And not only roses, but hibiscus, fruit trees, Crape myrtle, Japanese maple, birch, and more appear to be favorites of these insects. Plants that may be less attractive to these beetles might be installed in your landscape alongside pesticides for a more natural approach to pest management.

Put up some cloches for your rows

Cover your plants with row covers from June through August to avoid damage from Japanese beetles, which can occur anywhere in the world. Insects like beetles can’t get to your plants because of the coverings.

Suggestion: Pollinators will not visit your plants if you use row coverings. Plants that need to be pollinated should not be covered.

Take care when selecting your plant

Although Japanese beetles will feed on many different kinds of plants, they have a preference for a few specific plant families. Bringing in a lot of plants that Japanese beetles love to eat is asking for disaster. You should restrict these plants as much as possible.

If you’re trying to get rid of Japanese beetles, pesticides are your best bet

Late June or early July is often when you’ll notice these beetles emerging from the earth where they pupated and beginning to attack your plants. If a prophylactic therapy has been implemented, their numbers should decrease. Treatment with the intent to cure may also be necessary, especially if the invasion is severe or the beetles remain for an extended period of time. The treatment should be applied once or twice yearly depending on the climate.

These insects may be eliminated with a chemical called Bifenthrin, which we use at A+ Lawn & Landscape. Useful for warding off Japanese beetles, as well as ticks, fire ants, spiders, yellow jackets, flies, fleas, termites, and more, this product has a wide range of pest control applications. The duration of impact for each therapy is around 30 days. The spray will kill the beetles on contact if they are on your plants, protecting the parts of your yard that have not yet been eaten away by the greedy insects.

Make your own insect spray to ward off Japanese beetles

If you have a problem with Japanese beetles in your yard, you may spray your plants with a scent that will drive them away. The use of harmful chemicals is unnecessary, since a repellent may be easily created at home.

To make a garlic spray, just crush six or more cloves of garlic, add one gallon of boiling water, and shake well. The garlic has to sit out for at least a full day. Remove the garlic bits using a mesh strainer, and pour the water into a spray bottle.

Provide food for the birdies

Guinea fowl are an effective strategy to reduce pest populations, including Japanese beetles, ticks, and others, in your yard and garden. But other people just can’t stand the constant chirping of their avian companions. In that scenario, you should try to get ducks and other birds into your yard.

It is possible to lure birds that feed on Japanese beetle larvae to your yard by spraying your grass with a soapy mixture made from 2 teaspoons of dish detergent to 1 gallon of water (this should be done in fall and late spring, when Japanese beetles are in the larval stage of their life cycle). Do this every week until no more larvae appear in the soil.


A swarm of Japanese beetles may decimate your landscape in no time. For this basis, it is advisable to take precautions before they ever set eyes on your landscape.

Taking precautions like those we discussed above every spring is essential if your location is susceptible to assaults by Japanese beetles. If you can stay one step ahead of these pests during the summer, you will save yourself a lot of hassle.

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