Achieving Effective Japanese Beetle Control

Japanese beetle control requires a little knowledge about the life-cycle of the pest. Most people are all too familiar with the leaf-eating, tree-destroying adults. But, Japanese beetle eggs and grubs are also part of this pest's destruction capabilities. While adult Japanese beetles feed of off plants, trees and flowers above ground, their larvae, or grubs, munch on the roots of vegetables and grasses below the surface. Japanese beetle control requires a 1-2 punch solution for pest removal.

Right Hook: Repellents

For the sake of this article, a repellent is anything that deters the beetles and their grubs from wanting to use your yard as an all-you-can-eat restaurant. While do-it-yourself pest control suggests the word repellent is some chemical or pesticide, there are plenty of ways to deter the pests and regain Japanese beetle control.

Natural Predators

In Japan, there are plenty of natural predators to keep the beetle population to a minimum. Here in the United States, we have to encourage natural predators into our yard. Here is a list of birds that enjoy a good Japanese beetle snack and can offer you some natural Japanese beetle control:
  • Robins
  • Cardinals
  • Blue Jays
  • Purple Martins
  • Starlings

Barrier Plants

Planting shrubs, flowers and other items that Japanese beetles either detest or simply prefer to avoid is another do-it-yourself-pest control idea that offers natural Japanese beetle control. There are actually quite a few trees, bushes and the like that these pests do not enjoy. Talk to someone in your lawn and garden center for a complete list, and in the meantime, try out some of these favorites:
  • Begonias
  • Bleeding heart
  • Carnations
  • Columbine daisies
  • Flowering dogwood
  • Forsythia
  • Junipers
  • Lilacs
  • Lilies
  • Nasturtium
  • Snapdragons

Tell your Hose to Go on Strike

Japanese beetles, and perhaps more importantly their grubs, cannot survive in hot, dry soil In fact, a well watered lawn is exactly what attracts them to someone's yard. You may not have the greenest grass this year, but if you want to achieve Japanese beetle control, then turn off that sprinkler.

Let Your Mower Go On Strike, Too

Here is an easy do-it-yourself pest control tip: don't mow. Well, don't mow too much, and keep your grass blades around 2.5 inches tall to drive away the adult Japanese beetles until they find a more hospitable lawn to lay their eggs.

Left Hook: Pesticides/Insecticides

Adult Beetles: Insecticidal soaps are a popular do-it-yourself pest control tool because they help with pest removal and also have repellent properties. The soaps not only kill the pests for effective Japanese beetle removal, but the coating left behind makes the foliage and flowers taste inedible to the insects as well.
  • Pesticides are very effective, but dangerous to use. Pesticides should not be used in areas where humans could come into contact with them, like a vegetable garden. That being said, there are plenty of pesticides that target Japanese beetle removal. Depending on what plants or trees the beetles are infesting, you may require more than one pesticide to finish the extermination job. If you are like many homeowners and are not sure what kind of foliage you have, get an expert like a master gardener or knowledgeable neighbor to tell you. Otherwise, you could kill your own plants faster than the Japanese beetles ever would have.
White Grubs:
  • Preventative pesticides are a certain grade of chemicals that work best when they are applied during the Japanese beetles egg-laying season (mid-summer for most of the U.S.). When you use preventative pesticides, you will be spraying before you ever know if an infestation is looming. If Japanese beetle control has been a problem for you in the past, then this is a likely choice. For do-it-yourself pest control, look for products that contain either Merit (imidacloprid) or Mach-2 (halofenozide) and follow all directions with absolute precision.
  • Curative pesticides are best when used against newly hatched eggs, like in the early spring or fall. For the most effective pest removal, follow all watering instructions, along with timing advice for these products. Curative pesticides containing Sevin (aka carbaryl) or Dylox (aka trichlorfon) are what you will likely find.
  • Biological grub control offers you a way to achieve Japanese beetle removal without enlisting the use of a wide variety of chemicals. The downside to these biological means is that they are much slower than chemicals and so you have to be willing to wait for success. If you still want to try a do-it-yourself pest control product that is all natural ,then look for the bacteria called milky spore, or beneficial nematodes sold live in large numbers. Both of these biological Japanese beetle control products can be found in stores or online.

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