Originally from the southeast (and east of Mississippi), Japanese beetles unexpectedly made its way to northern and now southern California. Their “grubs” or larvae seep into the soil and cause severe root damage. However, their destructive behavior is not limited to roots. Japanese beetles eat through fruit, flowers and leaves – leaving holes in their victims. They prefer sunny warm temperatures to conduct their menacing behavior – of which we have an abundance in southern California.

How do you get rid of them?

In autumn, adult Japanese beetles lay their eggs in the soil. During the 10 months they lie underneath, the larvae feed on roots (especially their favorite – grass roots). To disrupt this, break up the soil in order to reveal the small vulnerable “grubs” to birds. Any adults you see in plain sight, you can remove.

Japanese Beetle DamageFor the adult beetle, spray with the highly effective Bayer 2-in-1 Rose and Flower Care. Not only does it kill Japanese beetles, but also leafminers, whiteflies and more. It feeds your roses and flowers as well as protects them from pests. The optimal time to apply this insecticide is on new plants just after planting. You’ll want to add an even coat to the base of the plant. Mix solution into the first 1-2 inches of soil and water deeply after application. You’ll have to do this every six weeks to ensure ongoing protection.

For your edible vegetables, fruits and nuts, we recommend Bayer’s Organic NATRIA Neem Oil. This organic solution is not harmful to the beneficial insects in your yard. If you have an infestation of Japanese beetles, we recommend spraying daily onto your plants for at least a week. After the initial application, you’ll want to spray for two weeks afterwards to ensure Japanese beetles have been eradicated. Find out exactly how Neem Oil works for your plants and trees. Another preventative measure is to utilize row covers.

Now you know how to successfully prevent and manage a Japanese beetle invasion. Stop by any of your local Hydro-Scape today to get the materials you need to protect your plants and trees. If you still have questions, our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be there to answer them. Feel free to leave a comment and tell us what you think!