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We’ve imported many things from Japan that many of us love – sushi, Toyota, hibachi, the list is endless. But there is one thing in particular that we have imported from our Asian trade partner that gardeners such as ourselves are not so thrilled about – Japanese Beetles (and no, we aren’t talking about VW bugs that accidentally got manufactured in Japan). These pesky critters are all over your crepe myrtles, roses, and soft leaved fruit trees right about now, so Autumn Hill Nursery in Canton, GA wants to help you limit the damage they do to your precious plants.

Where Do the Beetles Come From?

The beetles were accidentally imported from Japan around 1916 and first appeared in New Jersey. They have now made their way down to Woodstock, GA and infest the ground in the larvae stage until they erupt as adults around June. They have a one year life cycle so the best way to treat them is both in their larvae stage and adult stage.

How to Protect Your Plants from Japanese Beetles

Unfortunately, there are only a few things that are effective in ridding your gardens of these pests. You can use sprays, but the treatment only lasts a few days until you need to spray again. Sevin will be effective, but it also kills bees so it is best to use in the middle of the day when the bees are less active. And, if spraying on vegetables or fruit, there is a 3-5 day wait period before the crops are safe to harvest and eat. Your other option for treatment is to hand pick or shake off the beetles. The larger the population, the more beetles will be attracted as they emit a pheromone that attracts other beetles for mating. When you remove the beetles from the plant, send them to their demise in a soapy bucket of water.

Then, as many people do, you can also ignore the beetles all together and let them snack on your plants. Typically, while the plants won’t look very good for the rest of the season, the beetles shouldn’t do any permanent damage.

Do you have a solution for getting rid of or deterring Japanese Beetles? Leave it in the comments below.

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