During the summer gardening months, you may have noticed a few spots or bugs on your vegetable leaves or grapevine leaves. There’s a chance that you may have Japanese Beetles in your garden. If you don’t know how to get rid of Japanese beetles, you might lose most of your garden.
What are Japanese Beetles?
Known for laying eggs their entire adult life, they can lay eggs quickly and can produce anywhere from 40 plus eggs that will start out as grubs and feed off the base of your plants before growing and starting to eat at the tops. Rain doesn’t deter them and moist areas actually help in keeping their eggs and grubs from drying out.
What damage can Japanese Beetles do?
The short answer, A LOT! Throughout their life cycle, they focus on various areas of the plants. At a young age, they are in the soil and near the roots and base of the plants and as they grow, they will start to focus more on the leaves and the veins of the flowers and vegetables.
Not only can they kill off sections of your garden (and even your entire planted crop!), but they can also attack your grass, your flowers, and any other outdoor plants as well. If not detected and caught early, they have the capability to put a huge damper on the growth and survival of your outdoor plants.
How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles
There are many methods that you can do to try to rid of the Japanese Beetles. While you can use pesticides that kill the instantly, I prefer natural and organic options.
Remove beetles by hand
If you notice them early enough, you may be able to pick them off your leaves and out of the soil before they really start to spread.
Plant 4 o’clock flowers
The beetles can’t resist their leaves and it kills them. The flours open up at 4 PM (Old time) – 5 PM (DLST) and they smell wonderful.
They close back up in the early morning.
The first year just a couple of Four O’Clocks killed about 90% by the end of summer. The rest died the next year and we didn’t see anymore until we moved to a new place.
Use a store bought beetle trap
Many argue that you’ll attract more beetles to your garden if you do this, and it may be true. But, you’ll help thin out the Japanese beetle population, and if you place it in a spot away from your garden, it WILL help keep your plants safer.
Create a natural homemade trap
Another homemade method for getting rid of Japanese beetles is to mix 1/3 gallon of warm water with a packet of yeast, 1/4 cup of sugar, a small piece of ripe banana and a tablespoon of dish-washing liquid. Mix all of it an an empty milk jug you cleaned out, and hang it close to where Japanese beetles are attaching your garden.
If you want to see how this is made, take a look at the video below:
Try this natural homemade insecticide
Don’t use harmful chemicals when you can just make your own! Combine a teaspoon of dish-washing detergent and a cup of vegetable oil and mix together.
Once combined, add to a quart of water and spray on the beetles in varying intervals. Some say to use to over a 10-day period for best results.
Always spray early in the day if possible as that is also when they will be a lot more active!
More natural methods from our Facebook followers
- I mixed water with peppermint oil and sprayed on the leaves they were eating. So far I don’t see anymore beetles
- I treat my yard with milky spore, and also ask to treat my neighbors yard and no cost to them. It won’t help with the adults this season. Will help next season.
- Kaolin clay works great, it irritates the beetle and they go away – but it doesn’t hurt your pollinators – sold under the name surround – I have used it for 2 years now
- Per quart I use 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of cayenne. I add about 1/2 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap to make the mixture stick
- Beneficial nematodes…just spray the yard and they kill the grubs…no more moles or fleas either
- They are fantastic bait for fishing. You’ll catch stuff all day with them
- big birds, turkeys, chickens just to name the common ones, love them
Plant plants that do not attract Japanese beetles
While Japanese Beetles aren’t finicky, there are certain plants that they do not seem to like as well. In your garden, they will stay away from cabbage and kale and if you are looking for a fruit tree that seems to be immune from them, plan ahead and plant a pear tree. You’ll save yourself a headache if you can just avoid certain plants altogether!
The moment that you notice Japanese Beetles in your garden or on your plants, it’s time to take action. Use the methods above to try a natural approach to see if you can rid of them on your own! The sooner that you can remove them, the better the chance that your garden and your plants will survive!
Have you ever had to deal with Japanese Beetles? What have you done to get rid of them?