Japanese Beetles – A Recurring Pest
Written by: RJ Busch, Certified Arborist WI-0985A
Summer is in full swing and your yard is looking beautiful. Then you notice one of your tree’s leaves have been almost completely destroyed with just the leaf veins remaining, giving the leaf a skeleton appearance. Gazing in disbelief, you notice several small exotic insects with green heads and shiny copper colored wings. Unfortunately, your tree has been infected with Japanese Beetles. Luckily there is a solution!
Japanese Beetles typically start flying in late June or early July until early September; with their population being at its peak typically around the 4th of July. When trees go unprotected, the feeding can cause a tree to look completely defoliated. People with roses in their garden will likely be the first to notice Japanese Beetles, as roses are their preferred plants. However, there are many other trees that the beetles enjoy munching on including Lindens, Birches, Crabapples, Grapes, Elms, Japanese Maples, Norway Maples, and Mountain Ash. Japanese Beetles will also indulge in stressed trees of any variety, as well as many perennials and annuals. You’ll notice that these adult Japanese beetles are most active during warm sunny weather, typically during the mid-day hours. High humidity limits their ability to fly, but this just encourages them to feed even more on the trees they are currently feeding on. In addition, the adult beetles release a chemical that will attract other Japanese Beetles to the target tree or plant, causing even more damage to an individual tree.
Here at Wachtel Tree Science our professional Certified Arborists can help you eliminate the pests from your trees. Before the summer season begins, we offer a soil application of a systemic insecticide that can be done in Fall or Spring. The soil systemic insecticide will reduce the amount of defoliation caused by these adult beetles. One thing to note is that you may still see some beetles feeding on your tree even though you had the soil injection done. Don’t Worry! Beetles need to ingest the insecticide to die, but your trees will generally stay healthy during this period as the feeding will be minimal. In addition, If the populations are very high and/or timing isn’t right for the soil application, we do offer summertime spray applications that can be used as additional control of the beetles.
If you have noticed these pesky Japanese Beetles in the past, or notice them during the summer months, please give us a call. One of our Certified Arborists will gladly come take a look at your trees and provide you with a service that will keep your trees looking healthy and beautiful!