While inspecting a customer’s property today I had my first sighting of Japanese beetles of this season.  For those of you that are not familiar with Japanese beetles, they are the flying insect the size a skittle, bright green and dark orange in color.  I am sure that most of you have noticed the damage caused by this pest on your linden trees, crab apple trees and roses.  There are literally hundreds of plants that this insect will consume.  Japanese beetles will feed on the foliage of your plant, leaving only the veins in its leaves.  Generally the damage is just unsightly; I have yet to encounter a plant that died as a result of the damage caused by these pests. 

Since we are experiencing drought conditions in most of eastern Iowa including the Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Waterloo areas; damage caused by these pests can impact an already stressed plant.  We recommend applying an insecticide on the foliage of the susceptible plant.  To increase the longevity of the product it may be necessary to add a sticking agent to the mix.  This will help hold the product in place longer so that the product does not run off of the leaves.  You can contact us directly to apply the insecticide for you or you can find a product at your local nursery with similar active ingredients specifically labeled for the treatment of Japanese beetles.  Most insecticides will require multiple treatments to ensure that the pest is minimized or eliminated.  If we experience a hard rain, you may have to re-apply your product.  Make sure to read the label of your product for instructions.

Don’t use bag a bug for Japanese beetles.

Some of you use bag a bug products for the control of Japanese beetles on your plants.  Based on my experience with these products, they do more harm than good.  We have had several customers that used these products and they still had damage to their plants.  We recommended removing the product because it actually drew more beetles to the property.  Once the product was gone, we sprayed the susceptible plants and with-in a week the Japanese beetles were gone.