Will Vinegar Kill Japanese Beetles?

If you have Japanese beetles, you’ll be able to tell since they leave behind lawn and garden damage that is extremely obvious. Once you are aware of the Japanese beetles’ peak activity periods, you may keep an eye out for both the insects’ presence and any indications of damage.

About Japanese beetles

Japanese beetles, scientifically known as Popillia japonica, are an invasive species that originated in Japan but has now spread to the Midwestern and Eastern regions of the United States.

Knowing when to look for and recognize the damage caused by Japanese beetles is one of the most crucial components of a successful control strategy. You can prevent and eradicate them by using the appropriate medicines at the appropriate points in their life cycles.

First wave of grubs: In the spring as the ground thaws, the first wave of Japanese beetle grubs (the larval stage) emerges from deep underground. The roots of your lawn will be eaten by these nearly fully formed grubs, which are difficult to eradicate and will cause your grass to become brown.

Adult Japanese beetles: The larvae develop into adult Japanese beetles, which start eating plants in late June in the majority of locations (earlier in the warmer South). Up until August or September, adults eat plants and lay eggs in the ground before going extinct altogether.

Second generation of grubs: Do you recall the summertime eggs that the adult Japanese beetles laid? These eggs develop into grubs in the early fall, which begin eating grass roots and turning the lawn brown once more. The most susceptible stage of the life cycle to pest management measures is the immature grub stage.

Signs of Japanese beetle damage

You most likely also have grubs in your lawn if you have Japanese beetles in your garden, and vice versa.

Look for this type of damage from June to August. Adult Japanese beetle damage: Adult Japanese beetles nibble around the veins of leaves, leaving behind a “skeleton of the leaf,” according to many gardeners.

If you notice brown patches in your lawn, tug on the grass to see if it comes easily from the soil. Grub damage: Grubs eat grass roots, which prevents the grass from receiving water or nutrients, causing the grass to turn brown and die. Look for this type of damage from April to May and August to September.

Physical appearance of Japanese beetles

Most of the time, you can readily see the Japanese beetles on your plants as they move about. They appear as follows:

  • Size: Approximately 1/2 inch long
  • Scarab-like form with hard, shell-like wing coverings
  • Head is metallic green with coppery wings and white side hairs.

Grubs are less visible since they reside in the soil. By excavating a 1-square-foot area of your grass and looking at the dirt, you can check for grubs. What you seek is as follows:

  • Size: Approximately 1 inch long
  • worm-like bodies with typically (but not always) curled-up C shapes
  • Milky white with a brown head is the color.

You have an infestation on your hands if your soil test finds more than 10 grubs in a 1-square-foot region.

What natural cure gets rid of Japanese beetles?

Like certain other insects, Japanese beetles can be a huge annoyance in your garden and lawn. They have few natural enemies because they are not native to the United States. Try one or more of the following solutions if you discover a Japanese beetle infestation in your garden or yard.

Spray a homemade soap-and-water solution.

Japanese beetles can be easily suffocated with a simple solution of water and dish soap. Get a bucket, add a teaspoon of dish soap, and a quart of water. The least “touchy solution” is to put the dish soapy water in a spray bottle and spray the beetles on your damaged plants after mixing it with water. Because of this, the beetles could fall off the plant and end up as food for raptors like birds.

Pick the Japanese beetles off plants by hand.

Hand extermination of Japanese beetles is among the simplest methods. You can just go to town on those little bugs with your fingertips because the insects don’t move swiftly and don’t bite or pinch (wearing thin gardening gloves if you prefer). Pick up a beetle from the plant, and then place it in a pail with your water-soap mixture.

Spray the affected plants with neem oil.

Japanese beetles can be killed off before they mature with neem oil. Neem oil is harmless, so you can apply it directly to the plants that need it.

Here’s how it works: Neem oil is transferred to the eggs by male beetles after they consume it. The hatching larvae will ultimately perish before becoming adults. Spraying neem oil on Japanese beetles before they reach adulthood would ensure that they consume it before mating, which is the most effective approach to kill them.

Set beetle traps away from targeted plants.

The best approach to prevent a Japanese beetle infestation from getting worse is with Japanese beetle traps. Before they can mate, male beetles are lured away from the damaged areas by traps.

There are many different types of traps that can be bought, but the basic concept is that the trap needs to have an attractant like a pheromone (chemical message) to entice insects to it. The insects either die as a result of being trapped in the trap or are poisoned to death.

Use row covers during peak feeding period.

The easiest way to prevent a Japanese beetle infestation before it begins may be to use a row cover. Row covers shield plants from harm by keeping Japanese beetles out while still being thin enough to enable some light and moisture to reach the plants, allowing them to grow.

The optimal time to utilize row covers is when the beetles are actively eating, which is typically mid-June to mid-August. The coverings are available in several sizes and can be used to cover flowers, ornamental plants, garden vegetables, or shrubs or trees.

Bring in parasitic nematodes to eat Japanese beetle grubs.

Nematodes are a type of parasitic roundworm that may exist in many habitats and feed on a wide range of organisms, including humans, animals, plants, and microorganisms. Certain nematodes can be employed to manage the pest in its grub stage when battling Japanese beetles.

Steinernema and Heterorhabditis are the two genera of insect parasitic nematodes that have received the greatest attention for managing Japanese beetles and other insect pests; only Heterorhabditis is commercially accessible. Most garden stores and online retailers sell it in a container that may be stored in a cool environment for up to two months. Simply apply using any insecticide applicator and follow the directions on the package.

Plant geraniums close to the plants you want to protect.

Including a specific plant in your yard can help you manage Japanese beetles. Geraniums, according to scientists, are a natural strategy to prevent these troublesome insects from harming other neighboring plants.

The beetles typically recover within 24 hours, but they frequently pass away after predators spot and eat the beetles while they are helpless, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Within 30 minutes of consuming geranium petals, the beetle rolls over on its back, its legs and antennae slowly twitch, and it remains paralyzed for several hours.

Prune rose buds and treat rose bushes before they bloom.

Prune any rose buds and treat plants before blooming to stop Japanese beetles from destroying your precious rose bushes.

Try trimming the roses a little bit more severely than usual after the first flush of the season. By doing this, you may ensure that any insects are gone before the flowers begin to bloom again. After pruning is complete, manually remove any beetles that are still there.

In addition, you may always spray neem oil on any impacted plants to stop lingering grubs from maturing or cover your rose bushes with a mesh covering (available at most gardening supply stores).

Avoid grouping plants that attract the invasive Japanese beetle together in your garden.

Various plants are beloved by Japanese beetles. Additionally, studies have revealed that natural sugar content and the availability of odoriferous chemicals have a significant role in determining how vulnerable a plant is to attacks by adult Japanese beetles. According to the University of Illinois Extension office, for instance, plants with higher concentrations of the reducing sugar dextrose are more susceptible to adult beetle damage than plants with lower concentrations of dextrose.

Thus, avoiding combining plants that draw this invasive insect is one strategy to stop Japanese beetles. Japanese and Norwegian maple, birch, crabapple, cherry, raspberry, rose, plum, and grapes are among the highly vulnerable plants that you should not group together.

Do Japanese beetles get killed by Dawn dish soap?

Japanese beetles are a bothersome pest, but you may eliminate them by using regular dish soap. Insects won’t harm your garden if you use a few tablespoons of soap and a few glasses of water.

Here is a brief summary of the article:

  • Japanese beetles can be eliminated using neem oil, Dawn dish soap, and poultry.
  • To handle them, think about using row coverings or drop cloths.
  • Beetles and other insects can be caught in a fruit cocktail trap by drowning them.

Hand-Pick Beetles

Beetles should be thrown into water that has some dish soap added. Wear nitrile gloves to help reduce the unsettling feeling when handling beetles. According to entomologists, 7 p.m. is the ideal time of day to collect beetles. Although you’ll catch more in the early evening, gathering at other times of the day will help you minimize feeding harm.

Japanese Beetle Trap

The usefulness of traps is hotly contested because they do attract additional beetles to your yard. Considering that traps only capture 75% of the beetles they attract, the majority of specialists concur that utilizing them is not the best option. The remaining 25% can target your prized plants. The best results will be obtained if you set out traps early in the season to catch beetles before they lay eggs, whether you want to utilize commercially available or homemade Japanese beetle traps. Place the trap at least 50 feet away from plants that are desirable. Every day, empty the trap. The accumulation of dead beetles in the trap serves as a deterrent. Feed the beetles to pond fish or pet chickens. Extra beetles can be frozen and used as a prepared fish or poultry treat.

Repel Beetles

For other Japanese beetles, the smell of deceased ones serves as a deterrent. Place containers with dead beetles—those you hand-pick or catch—near desirable plants.

Make a Spray

This approach is not for the weak-hearted. Put some water and some dead beetles in an old blender, then blend until the bugs are liquefied. Spray the mixture onto plants after adding more water and removing the beetle pieces. When it rains, reapply.

Apply Pesticide

Adults can be effectively treated with neem organic pesticide and fungicide. Avoid applying systemic pesticides to the soil by pouring them on top so the roots may absorb the poison. Some of these goods’ active substances have been linked to the disease that causes honey bee colonies to collapse.

Use A Trap Crop

To draw bugs to one area of your yard, plant a row of Japanese beetle favorites there. African marigold, borage, evening primrose, and knotweed are also effective beetle bait plants. Beetles can be manually removed from the trap crop or vacuumed up with a bug vacuum, which is available online or at bigger garden centers.

Japanese Beetles On Marigold

Plant a plant that Japanese beetles adore, such as marigolds, to attract the insects to a specific area of your garden so you may hand-pick or vacuum up the bugs there.

Skewer Grubs

Your lawn is being attacked by Japanese beetle grubs in the early fall as they feed on the roots of the grass. They are currently most susceptible to treatments because they are close to the soil surface. Putting on a pair of grass aerating sandals is a simple remedy (which actually do nothing to aerate the lawn). According to entomologists, the length of the spikes is perfect for spearing grubs. Concentrate your efforts on any browning spots of your grass. The spikes can also be used in the early spring when the soil reaches 60 degrees F. (search for average soil temps online). One of the few treatments available that is effective against adult grubs.

Spray Nematodes

Nematodes that live in the soil (they resemble microscopic worms) are naturally occurring predators that go after and kill grubs. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora is the best variety. Purchase them from a business that specializes in selling helpful insects. Apply in the spring or early fall. Nematodes must be applied yearly because they don’t accumulate in soil.

Welcome Predators

The easiest animals to draw to your yard are usually birds. Birds will flock to your yard if you provide them with food, shelter, and water. The beetles are eaten by some birds, including catbirds, cardinals, and robins. Crows and starlings among those who prefer the grubs. In the fall, starling flocks are likely digging up grubs as they fly through your yard. Tachinid flies (shown above) appear when the number of beetles is large. Adult Japanese beetle heads are where they lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the larvae enter the beetle to feed and live, killing the beetle in the process. Adult tachinid flies consume nectar, just like many useful insects. Dill, fennel, sweet clover, gomphrena, and mint are among their favorite flowers.

Tachinid Fly

A helpful insect that deposits its eggs on Japanese beetles is the tachinid fly. The Japanese beetle is effectively eaten from the inside out by the beetle larvae that hatch from the eggs.

Don’t Water Your Lawn

For egg laying, Japanese beetles prefer well-watered turf. That’s because moisture is necessary for the eggs to grow. By avoiding watering the grass during the beetle season, which lasts from late June to late July, you can reduce the appeal of your lawn to egg-laying insects. Let the grass go to dormancy instead.