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Lawn Care Blog

Insects That Can Destroy Your Lawn: The Japanese Beetle

japanese beetleIt's come to the point of the season where lawn care companies have begun to see their dreaded nemesis, the Japanese Beetle. This green colored insect is a sign of pending doom for lawns and homeowners that have not taken the proper steps to protect themselves. We'll look at the insect, and more importantly, how to protect your lawn from this pest.

Where Did It Come From?

According to the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, the Japanese Beetle was discovered on a small farm in New Jersey in the year 1916. This invasive, and crop destroying beetle, was probably imported from Japan through grub larvae in the soil. Since that fateful day, the Japanese beetle has been causing problems for lawn care companies and turf across the Midwest and Northeastern part of the United States.

So How Does This Beetle Damage Lawns If It Eats Shrubs and Trees?

Adult Japanese beetles feed on various trees and shrubs, including the birch, crabapple, maple, ash, oak, willow, and rose bush. These plants that are located in abundance around Cleveland and Columbus are injured when the beetle consumes the tissue located between the leaf veins, giving them a "skeleton" like appearance.

The trouble begins for your lawn when the female beetle looks to reproduce, burrowing itself 2-3" into your lawn's soil. From there, the larvae form of the insect hatches and begins to engorge itself on your lawn's root systems, leaving the lawn heavily damaged. Damaged areas appear yellowish-brown and will pull up off the soil like a carpet. 

How Do I Protect My Property From The Japanese Beetle and Their Larvae?

Turf Protection

June and July is the perfect time to protect yourself from the larvae of the Japanese beetle. It's at this time that the female Japanese beetle has begun to lay her eggs in your soil. Once these eggs hatch in August, it's doomsday for your turf. The best way to protect yourself is with a comprehensive lawn care program that includes a grub prevention application. This application serves as a preventative, killing larvae when they begin to feed. You may never get grubs, however this application serves as insurance just in case you do.

Tree & Shrub Protection

Japanese beetles attack your trees and shrubs consuming the tissue of the plants leaves, leaving a "skeleton" like appearance. Healthy, strong trees and plants can recover from this damage, however plants that are stressed from weather, or other diseases can succumb to this damage.

The best protection for your landscape plants is to put your plants on a comprehensive plant health care program that includes a insect and disease spray. These sprays help keep your plants insect free, and healthy throughout the season.  

Need More Information About Lawn Destroying Insects?
Don't Bug Out, We Got You Covered!

Japanese beetles and grubs are just two of the many insects you need to worry about this season. Cleveland and Columbus are full of lawn and landscape eating bugs that are just waiting to invite themselves over to your property for a tasty lunch! Learn what other threats there are and how to combat them with our "Common Ohio Insect Identifier & Protection Guide." This FREE guide is packed full of great information on how to keep your landscape free from lawn & plant destroying insects! Download your free copy by clicking on the link below! 

Lawn Care & Landscape Insect Guide

 

Shaun Kanary   has been a part of the Green Industry for the past 15 years. As the Director of Marketing for Weed Pro Lawn Care, a Cleveland and Columbus Lawn Care Service Provider, Shaun is a regular contributor to the Weed Pro Blog, and other industry magazines and blogs. 

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