Warmer temperatures are back in Indiana and with them comes many insects that may not be a health hazard to human beings but may have an economic impact. One such insect is the Japanese Beetle. I am sure you have seen them.

The Japanese Beetle is slightly over ½ inch long and considered a beautiful insect that is metallic green in color. In the United States until 1916, this beetle was not even considered a major insect pest in our country. All that changed in 1916 when the beetle was accidentally introduced. The rest is history when in the 1950’s the Japanese Beetle spread to the Midwest and with it damage to a variety of plants, leaves, and crops. This invasive species eat the soft parts of leaves leaving them look like skeletons with only the veins of the leaves left showing.

Adults emerge from the ground and wreak havoc on some vegetation but not all vegetation. After the adults feed to their hearts content, it is time for breeding and laying eggs in the soil where grubs develop and cause damage of a different kind. Many common trees are resistant to the Japanese Beetle however roses, Japanese Maples, flowering crabs and many elm trees are delectable delights to this invasive species.

Control of Japanese beetles can be touchy. There is a chemical option from your lawn specialist or DIY from your hardware store. But they can also be controlled if the population is not too large using traps. Beetle traps can be a good option but know this: beetle traps that contain sex pheromones may attract more beetles than what normally may have come to your trees or plants. Treatment by your lawn service may help control the grubs thus breaking the life cycle of the bug.

June is the key month in which these invasive species may be more prevalent on your property. Know your enemy and be prepared. Knowledge is power in controlling insect pests.