Japanese beetles are a type of insect that are native to Japan but have become a common pest in the United States, especially in the eastern and central regions. They feed on the leaves, flowers, and fruit of over 300 different species of plants, causing significant damage to gardens and crops. We often see them on cherries, rose of sharon, crape myrtle, roses and buckthorn.

Here are some ways to get rid of Japanese beetles:

  1. Handpicking: This method is most effective for small infestations. Simply pick the beetles off the plants and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Traps: Japanese beetle traps use a combination of pheromones and floral scents to attract the beetles. While they can be effective, they can also attract more beetles to your yard, so it is important to use them carefully and follow the instructions provided.
  3. Natural predators: Encouraging natural predators, such as birds and parasitic wasps, can help control Japanese beetle populations.
  4. Neem oil: Neem oil is a natural pesticide that can be used to kill Japanese beetles. Simply mix the oil with water according to the instructions provided and spray it on the affected plants.
  5. Chemical insecticides: Chemical insecticides, such as carbaryl and imidacloprid, can also be used to control Japanese beetles. Always follow the instructions provided and take care to avoid applying the insecticide to plants that are in bloom, as it can harm beneficial insects such as bees.

It’s important to note that a combination of these methods may be most effective for controlling Japanese beetles in your garden. Additionally, removing any larvae from the soil in the fall can help prevent populations from growing in the following season.