Bedecked in emerald green and flecks of blue and copper, Japanese beetles are beautiful to look at, but they are one of the most destructive pests to hit homes and lawns. Not only do they put leaves and flower petals in tattered, lacy states, they also destroy soil quality and lead to thousands of dollars in repairs. In their larval form as grubs, they can kill off plants from the inside out and make irreparable damages to the appearance and health of lawns.
Getting rid of Japanese beetles is no walk in the park, but here are some ways you can minimize their destruction:
Attack the Grubs
Japanese beetles start out as grubs, which are small, white, and destructive by producing dead grass blades and dried-up soil. Set up traps using sexual attractants to decrease the grub population. Nematodes, which are a type of parasitic roundworms, are also commonly used to eliminate grubs and offer homeowners non-toxic ways of getting rid of them.
Keep Grass Shorter and Less Watered
Like most lawn-inhabiting pests, Japanese beetles thrive in tall grass and large amounts of moisture. By keeping your lawn short, you can limit the areas in which Japanese beetles can survive in. Additionally, by using only the minimum amount of water on your lawn and plants, you remove the ability for Japanese beetles to congregate and lay eggs.
Water and Insecticidal Soap
Insecticidal soaps offer another way of getting rid of Japanese beetles from eating through your plants and flowers. Mix with water and spray in areas where the beetles are present. Most insecticidal soaps are formulated specifically for Japanese beetles and can be used on any outdoor surface, but read the labels carefully anyway.
Plant Different Plants
There are some plants that ward off Japanese beetles entirely on their own without the help of pesticides. Planting begonias, carnations, and lilacs instead of roses are another way of keeping Japanese beetles away from your property. You can also keep some of these plants indoors near windows and doors where they may enter from.
Garden netting is another way to get rid of Japanese beetles without using pesticides. A thin sheet of microscopic screening placed over flower beds and lawns keeps them from growing and limits access to Japanese beetles. Not only is it an inexpensive way to keep Japanese beetles away, but it also prevents grubs from being planted as well.
Stick to Pesticides
If all else fails, you can always turn to pesticides as a way to get rid of Japanese beetles. Read the labels carefully to see how to best use the product and make sure it targets Japanese beetles specifically, not just lawn pests in general. If using pesticides near your home, be aware of the risks in using them on vegetable crops and near areas where children play.
If you're still running into Japanese beetle infestations after taking the above steps, contact a professional pest control company for help. A pest control professional can evaluate your specific condition and recommend treatment that is safe effective in your battle against Japanese beetles.