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Denver Tree Services and What to Know About the Japanese Beetle

June 28, 2017

There are a number of different pests that may harm the trees and shrubs in your lawn, but there are few that are as destructive as the Japanese beetle. This pest originates from Japan, however it has natural predators in Japan that keep the population in check. Unfortunately, these natural predators are not in the U.S., so Japanese beetles are free to destroy greenery. It’s important that you learn about this pest so you know how to spot an infestation and when to call a Denver tree services company for help.

What Does A Japanese Beetle Look Like?

Japanese beetles are very small—around ½ of an inch—but they are brightly colored, which makes them easier to spot despite their size. These bugs have metallic bluish green heads, copper colored bodies, and white hairs on their abdomen. It’s possible that you will spot one of these beetles before seeing any signs of damage, so keep an eye out for bugs that match this description.
Adult beetles lay eggs in the soil that will soon turn into grubs, which are beetles that are still in the larvae stage. Grubs are small and white with six legs and brown bodies. It’s unlikely that you will see them as they stay in the soil over the winter and only emerge when they are adults.

What Plants Do Japanese Beetles Destroy?

It’s estimated that adult Japanese beetles feed off of 300 different kinds of plants, so it’s very likely that you will have at least one plant in your yard that interests these bugs. Some of the most common plants that Japanese beetles feed off of are roses, beans, grapes, and raspberries. However, they also are attracted to black walnut trees, cherry trees, dahlias, elm trees, chestnut trees, and mountain ash trees, among many others.
It may seem like this beetle will eat anything, but that’s not the case. Certain plants, such as dogwood, juniper, green beans, and holly, are not appealing to Japanese beetles. If possible, try to mix these plants into your landscaping so beetles aren’t as attracted to your yard. Learn more about Japanese beetles.

How Can You Spot Damage Caused by Japanese Beetles?

Japanese beetles quickly devour foliage, leaving only skeletonized leaves behind. If you see leaves that just have the veins left, this is a sign that your yard is infested with Japanese beetles. Signs of an infestation will be different if the bugs are attacking the trees in your yard. Trees that have been attacked by these bugs will look almost as if they have been burned by fire.
It’s also common for Japanese beetles to begin at the top of the tree or plant and work their way down to the bottom. Therefore, if you notice damage on the top of your plants, this could be a sign that your plants are currently being attacked by Japanese beetles.
Although adult Japanese beetles begin feeding in June, grubs start to feed on grass roots in the winter.

How to Prevent Japanese Beetle Infestations

There are a few things you can do to prevent Japanese beetles from taking over your yard. As previously mentioned, it helps to place plants that are not attractive to Japanese beetles next to those that are. This may reduce the amount of damage that the beetles do if they do make it to your yard.
If you’ve had a Japanese beetle problem in the past, be proactive by spraying your yard with a solution of two tablespoons of soap diluted in one gallon of water. Do this during the late spring or fall, which is when the beetles are still in the larvae stage.
Pest management experts also recommend keeping your landscaping as healthy as possible to prevent an infestation. This means removing dead or diseased trees and fruits that are ripening prematurely as soon as possible.
Even if you follow all of these steps, it’s still possible for Japanese beetles to creep into your yard. Fortunately, there are ways to control an infestation with the help of a professional.

What Should You Do If You Suspect A Japanese Beetle Infestation?

If you have reason to believe that your yard is being infested by Japanese beetles, contact a tree services company as soon as possible. There are several steps that a professional may follow to remove Japanese beetles from your yard. First, he may remove all of the adult Japanese beetles that he can find by hand and destroy them by placing them in a bucket of warm, soapy water. This is typically done in the early morning when Japanese beetles tend to be the most active. This step of the process is only recommended in cases where the tree service professional suspects that there are not many bugs in your yard yet.
Second, the tree service professional may recommend weeding your yard and keeping it tidy. Japanese beetles are attracted to weeds, so keeping these out of your yard may help with the infestation problem.
Finally, a pesticide will be applied to the areas of your yard that have been affected. The tree service professional may need to use special tools to ensure he has thoroughly sprayed the tops of tall trees that are being destroyed by Japanese beetles. The bugs will make contact with the pesticide when they land on a plant to feed, so this should be effective in destroying large populations of Japanese beetles.
Getting rid of these bugs may seem simple, but it’s no easy feat. Once the bugs have been removed from your yard, it’s possible that they will come back if your neighbor’s yard is also infected. That’s why it’s important to work with a professional who can work one-on-one with you to manage your pest problem.
Is your lawn infested with Japanese beetles or other harmful bugs? If so, talk to the professionals. Arbor Garden is a locally owned and operated tree services company that specializes in tree pruning, removing, stump removal, planting, and pest management. Contact us today to learn more about our services and receive a free estimate.