Japanese Beetles

A couple of days ago, I found Japanese Beetles munching on my roses. Right away, I did some research on this invasive species. Here’s the link to the information I found on the MN DNR website. At the bottom of the page, there are links to more information, and I would encourage people to look at those if they want to get rid of this pest.

My mom talked to a professional gardener to see what we should do to get rid of our beetles. It’s too late in the season to use pesticides, not to mention they do more harm than good. In order to prevent the spread of beetles products need to be used in May. So what do you do with the beetles already there? Hand remove the beetles and put them in soapy water, that’s what you do!

It’s hard to tell size simply by the diameter of the bucket, but the water is about half way. I think the foam needs to be thick enough that the beetles can’t just climb out and fly away.

You may be wondering, why the soapy water? After all, at this time of year, their life cycle is ending. The reason for killing them now rather than when they die naturally, is if I were to wait they would lay eggs in the soil. If I allowed them to lay eggs, then there would be more beetles next year, causing the potential for them to spread to become greater than what it was this year.

In order to give you an idea about what’s going on, I’d like to show you a picture from when I first noticed the beetles.

It’s hard to tell from this small section, but this is how the rose is supposed to look.

Now for a couple of pictures of the beetles for comparison.

I’m not sure why they cluster like that. It seems to me they destroy flowers first, before going for the leaves, but that’s just an educated guess.

Here’s a better shot of the beetles with more damage. unfortunately, I don’t have a clear shot of the leaves, but the beetles also destroy those.

So, what’s the big deal about roses being destroyed? I happen to really like them, but  if these die I can always buy new ones. However, if I only buy plants for the ones the beetles keep on eating it’s only fixing a symptom, not curing the disease, so to speak. If an invasive species is in my yard it’s a guarantee that it’s in my neighbor’s yard. It’s important to stop the spread of an invasive species before it’s everywhere. It may not be roses being killed, next time it could be a rare plant.

Those are my 2 cents about Japanese Beetles. I hope my experience will help you better recognize and understand this issue. I don’t think I got all the beetles using my method, so I have a feeling I’ll be giving updates either here or on my Facebook page.


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