The Japanese Beetle: A common landscape menace

Japanese Beetle
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The Japanese Beetle can be a highly destructive pest on your clients' properties. In fact, The Old Farmer's Almanac has named Japanese Beetles as some of the most troublesome pests in the eastern and midwestern parts of the country. It's thought that these pests can damage around 300 different species of plants, including ones that are probably in your clients' yards like rose bushes, linden trees, and birch trees.

Here are a few more things that you should know about these destructive pests.

Getting to know the Japanese Beetle

One of the positive things about the Japanese Beetle is that it is easy to spot. At around a half-inch in length and metallic-green shells, this is a pest that your clients will likely see right away. Of course, their damage is easy to spot, too. Japanese Beetles use their chewing mouthparts to eat leaf tissue (leaving behind only the vascular section). 

It's also notable that the Japanese Beetle will feed in a group. This is unfortunate since a single beetle wouldn't do much damage on its own. But a bunch of beetles can definitely cause significant damage to your clients' plants. When a Japanese Beetle feeds, it releases something called the "congregation pheromone." This lets others know that there is food available. 

This is why Japanese Beetle traps are not the best idea for your clients. These traps also work by attracting the Beetles to the bag. But your clients are actually bringing in Beetles from other properties to their own yard. Let your clients know that they are drawing even more Beetles to their property than they previously had.

Restoring plant health

There are sprays that can address Japanese Beetles, however, some of these can also harm pollinators. Better yet, you can focus on cultural habits and encouraging overall good plant health.

If your clients have a problem with Japanese Beetles, they might benefit from plant health care to help strengthen and restore plants' health. It might also be beneficial to plant non-preferred species like dogwood, red maple, and boxwood. 

Also, if you spot these pests early enough, you can hand-pick them off of foliage before they become a more extensive problem.

While Japanese Beetles are a destructive foe, with some diligence you can fight back.

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