If you grew up in the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic or just about anywhere along the East Coast of the United States, you probably still have early-summer memories of capturing dozens of the copper-and-green bugs in your backyard with slippery Japanese beetle traps. As an adult with a yard full of lovely foliage, though, or perhaps a backyard garden or a rose bush, these miniature Asian invaders aren’t quite as much fun.
Where Do Japanese Beetles Come From?
The bugs are believed to have first escaped Japan and entered the U.S. in 1916. It’s thought that they stowed away in a shipment of Japanese flowers.
Because of natural predators that are still present in Japan, the beetles aren’t much of a problem there. Yet here in the West, it’s a much different story: Once the clear and warm weather of June or early July approaches, Japanese beetles gather in clusters to feed on your lawn, your leaves, and even plant species ranging from hibiscus and raspberries to sassafras and peaches.
If you don’t manage to get their population under control as early in the season as possible, it won’t be long before your beloved garden will be literally straining under the weight of these pests, which are capable of eating their way through shrubbery in an incredibly brief amount of time.
But what are the best ways to accomplish the goal of reining them in?