Japanese beetles causing some angst for homeowners

Ames, Iowa – Some homeowners are worried after seeing leaves being stripped from trees and plants by Japanese beetles, but an Iowa State University horticulturist says there’s not a lot that can be done. Extension horticulturist, Richard Jauron, says the conditions were right and the beetles apparently came out a little early this year. He says it doesn’t appear to be a statewide issue.

He says you may see more Japanese beetles in your yard because you have some of their favorite trees and plants to munch on. Linden trees for example, are a favorite.

There are other trees and plants that they don’t care to eat.

The bugs have a green metallic head with copper-colored wing covers. Jauron says there’s not a good way to get rid of the Japanese beetles once they decide to make your tree their meal.

There are some plastic traps you can buy that will catch the Japanese beetles, but Jauron says they may do more harm than good by attracting more beetles to your area.

Jauron says the Japanese beetles will stick around until the end of July or early August.  If you had a bad beetle infestation this year, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll return again next year. Jauron says weather conditions dictate their population, as cold weather can kill off the grubs in the ground that emerge as beetles.

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